Generally it’s a good idea to leave interventions to professionals. If somebody is brandishing a gun, call the police. If somebody is going into cardiac arrest, call the paramedics. If someone is in agony with impacted wisdom teeth, get her to an oral surgeon.
However, when you want to bring someone back to the faith, don’t walk away because you’re not a religious professional. When God calls you into his family as his child, he is simultaneously drafting you into... Read More
“Lord have mercy!” Do you ever say that? I hope you do, and when you say it, I hope you mean every word of it. We are utterly dependent on the Lord’s mercy for our spiritual life and hope. Mercy means to be shown kindness that we do not deserve. Mercy comes from goodness in the heart of the giver, not merit on the part of the receiver.
You and I are bathed in mercy from God, and it is... Read More
Here’s a crazy feature of the Christian life—as you become more effective in helping other people to come back to the Lord, you become just that much bigger a target to the devil. Even as you become more proficient in understanding and explaining the Scriptures to people, you can succumb to pride, hypocrisy, or mental gymnastics and game playing to justify ignoring what you have told others.
St. Paul knew that he needed to guard his heart: “I do not... Read More
It’s hard to tell your teenage kids not to smoke when you do. It’s hard to get them to take their studies seriously when they keep hearing stories about how you wasted your years in college. It may seem hard to bring someone to take God more seriously when you have some things about your own life that are common knowledge that you’re ashamed of.
If you needed a completely clean record in order to speak up for God, nobody... Read More
During their three-year training period, Jesus’ disciples were not particularly good ambassadors for him. The remarks they blurted out revealed men who were often confused, personally vain and ambitious, and vengeful. They talked when they should have been listening, and they fell silent and even ran away when their testimony was needed.
But the Lord stuck with them. He sent his Spirit upon them and transformed them from cowards into champions of the faith. Even when threatened with imprisonment, physical... Read More
So many people. So much sin. So many lost. So many fallen away. I must confess that my own outreach and restoration efforts sometimes bog down because I feel overwhelmed. You too?
So let’s bring it down to just one. Look around you. Pick one person close to you who seems to have lost his or her faith. Care about that one. Maybe it’s your brother. “The LORD said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ ‘I don’t know,’ he... Read More
Why does the universe exist? Why is there soil? an atmosphere? moonlight? iron ore? salt water? gravity? whales? corn?
The answer is you. God made all these things and everything else to provide a beautiful home for you and for the other six billion people. It is his heartfelt desire to have a joyful personal relationship with each one of us on earth, and his heart is restless until we all love him back.
We were made for him; that... Read More
When God commissioned Moses to represent him to the pharaoh of Egypt, Moses’ courage failed. He was afraid to speak up because he knew that in and of himself he could never change the mind and attitudes of the most powerful man on the planet.
You might have that same apprehension about speaking up to bring someone back. Perhaps you wish you knew more about the Bible. Perhaps you are rusty at witnessing for your faith. Perhaps you are not... Read More
“Talk is cheap.” You’ve heard that before. What are words? Ink on paper; air waves moving from lips, tongue, and throat. Human talk is indeed often cheap and insubstantial. But when God speaks, there is power.
When God spoke at the beginning of time, matter erupted out of nothing. When God spoke, light shattered the darkness. When God spoke, the globe’s entire water system rearranged itself, vegetation exploded into existence, stars and solar system leaped into the sky, and air... Read More