Wednesday, July 30

Higher standard...

"Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?" Genesis 18:25 (NASB)

Abraham's pleading with God concerning the judgment placed upon the wicked city of Sodom teaches us how we should approach our brethren and even those still lost in the darkness if we feel that there is immoral, unscriptural, or unethical behavior happening in their lives. "The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." Matthew Henry reflects in his Concise Commentary regarding this section of verse (23-33).

I am grieved by the actions I felt took place within the gathering of the brethren this Sunday past, not for myself, for I am unfortunately very familiar and very 'comfortable' with the judgment cast upon me by people who are uninvolved and uninterested in my life and the trials, tribulations, and disasters that have been part of the landscape. But for those who came and were told they could enjoy some respite from the toils of the world within the safe environment of Christ's body. I was surprised, upon arriving there, to find two of my invited guests sitting out from the gathered members of the church; told that those gathered didn't know my name. They weren't taken in, sat down, and fellowshipped with until my arrival. Just a image of what was to come, I guess.

I am not interested in exacting 'payment' for incorrect judgments or even been 'avenged' by some calamity befalling my accusers. Whether they accuse me to my face or behind my back. Rather, I trust in the Judge of the Earth, who will call me and all others who claim the name of Christ as the head of their lives and will set forth a righteous flame as a measure against the works that we preform within the body and within the culture of society in which we are supposed to 'be separate from.'

I know that God is powerful enough, adept enough, and loving enough to call me to 'task' for sins I commit, whether consciously or unconsciously, and to bring me back to a place of restoration and purpose. I cannot derail His purpose for me, nor ignore it, and in the time and place of His choosing I will find myself equipped to meet the standards and the abilities such purpose will need; not to enable myself to gain glory or even fame, but to bring about that which God Himself has declared such purposing would bring.

God brings all of His servants; whether called to ministry to the flock or to another God-designed, God-inspired purpose, to a place where they are made weak and timid so that His power and glory is evident in the defeating of the enemy's designs upon those still lost in the darkness, those straying from the light, or those embattled upon the front lines of this war. He doesn't call the equipped, for there lies within those so set an ability to become proud instead of meek, and selfish instead of servant-seeking.

"Do Moses' Teachings enable us to judge a person without first hearing that person's side of the story? We can't judge a person without finding out what that person has done." John 7:51 (GWT)

We are too often swayed by outward appearances, motives, or desires that have nothing to do with the truth of the situation or the circumstances to which we've judged another. We cannot, within or without, the body of Christ bring a blanket judgment against those who we haven't taken the time to be in relationship with. We should always look to the eternal perspective of our decisions, rather than be embroiled in the passions and the 'fashion' of the moment.

I have come to a place where it doesn't matter if I ever come to what I know was God's purpose for me; the call to minister not only to those of the body but to serve those who wander in the darkness of an evil-inspired nightmare; locked within themselves, devalued by society, by the world, and by those who decide they have the power to judge where only God can. To teach those who are so wounded that there is One who don't look at their wounds, scars, and tormented minds with discust but with an understanding that can bring them to a place where salvation isn't just a word, and hope isn't just a feeling but a reality established upon the blood of the Holy and Righteous Jesus Christ.

But I will continue to work towards that realization, and perform the tasks to which He has set before me to do......

Until He calls me home or I stand with the rest of the faithful in joyful triumph on the day He travels across the sky in victory!

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