People need to feel welcome in our churches and accepted. Jesus accepted people right where they were at in life BUT He never left them there, He gave them the truth. This is what we must do as well, accept them, welcome them, and serve them the truth with love.
Legalism points the finger. Grace opens wide its arms and seeks to restore. Legalism loves condemnation, Grace loves restoration. “So you messed up, so did I. Come on in. We want to get around you, we want to lift you up, we want to restore you. We may get in your business and get honest with you, but we want to restore you back to fruitfulness. We don’t just want to point out your faults, we want to restore you.”
Anytime you get rid of the designer, the creator, if you don’t have a designer, you can’t have design. If there’s no such thing as design, there’s no such thing as purpose. If there’s no such thing as purpose, there’s no such thing as destiny. Once you destroy the concept of a destiny, you’ve destroyed the concept of accountability, which is at the root of the fear of God. We live in a culture that is absent of the fear of God. And we don’t get it back by threatening people.
The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly.
Have people in your life that will chase you and come after you with love when you are struggling or not at your best.
Much of what’s claimed to be “iron sharpening iron” is just blunt force trauma.
Just as a tempered metal can sharpen soft or rusty metal, so can a zealous brother set a tepid one on the right track.
Independence, fear, and pride all keep us from the deep relationships that we need with God and His people. It is so important that we have people in our lives that we trust more than we trust ourselves. Do you have a relationship with someone you would trust with your life? If that person told you that you have a problem, and you were blind to it, would you believe that person even though it didn’t feel true? We need to build these kinds of relationships to keep us safe so we can live on the radical edge.
Early African converts to Christianity were earnest and regular in private devotions. Each one reportedly had a separate spot in the thicket where he would pour out his heart to God. Over time the paths to these places became well worn. As a result, if one of these believers began to neglect prayer, it was soon apparent to the others. They would kindly remind the negligent one, “Brother, the grass grows on your path.”
Although we have responsibilities to others, we are primarily accountable to God. It is before him that we stand, and to him that one day we must give an account. We should not therefore rate human opinion too highly, becoming depressed when criticized and elated when flattered.