Saturday, December 31, 2016

Back to His Arms (James 5:19-20)

Today’s scripture: James 5:19-20

As I wrote yesterday, I don’t usually post on weekends, but I wanted to finish James before the new year begins. (I’m going to try something new, so I hope you continue visiting!)

We’re told, “Do not judge and you will not be judged” (Luke 6:37). We’re told to “esteem others better than ourselves” (Phil. 2:3).

And indeed we should not judge others. It is God’s place and His right to judge the actions of us human beings.

However, we who follow Christ should be willing and able to help guide fellow believers back to faith. While we shouldn’t judge them and the choices they’ve made, we can help them to see where they’ve strayed and share truth with them.

And we can remind them of God’s love for them. We can share verses like 1 John 1:9 that assure them of forgiveness.

Over a decade ago, I wrote my testimony in book form. Toward its end, I included these words:

God loves each of us, and He dearly loves prodigals—and welcomes them back with open arms. I know this from experience. I spent a very long time as a prodigal daughter, but praise God, I finally made my way back to Him. As I wrote in Crooked Paths: For the first time, I could picture that father standing in the road, just waiting for his son to return. It didn’t matter where the son had gone or what he’d done, the father loved him still. It didn’t matter that the son had squandered his inheritance or that he’d lived an immoral lifestyle, the father waited with unconditionally opened arms. That’s the picture I had that evening and the picture I have now: my heavenly Father standing in the road with His arms open wide, just waiting for me to come home, waiting to embrace me with all the love He has for me. (Crooked Paths © 2005 Sauni Rinehart)
If you know someone who’s strayed from the truth, someone who’s a prodigal, walk alongside her. Help her find her way back to the arms of the Father.

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