Thursday, January 26, 2006

sheep

john o'keefe at ginkworld has a thoughtful post on hurt and ministry:
i have always felt that the church needed to do everything in its power to help people deal with life issues, and i still feel that way. as a community of faith we must be ready to help people process life, and help them over come issues that can be distructive to their lives. it is not that we "beat them to change" but that we invest our lives in them to help them change. yet one must ask, at what cost? do we help people at the cost of the community? do we allow people to be in process and allow them to hurt the lives of others? can we allow the negative of one in process to distrutp the lives of others in the communiyt? can we, in all grace, love a person and not allow them to distroy the world around them? this is hard, because i have always felt that we need to leave the 99 sheep to save the 1 sheep.

that is where the hurt comes in; what if the one you are running to save is simply not a sheep and is showing no desire to be saved? you see, the call is for us to be willing to risk it all for a sheep, a "follower" a person who is seeking at some level a redemptive life in christ. but, do you leave the 99 to chase after a "sheep" that is unwilling to come in and unwilling to change their heart? this is what i am processing today.

There are no easy answers to this. it's part of the tension of lettin the life of Jesus live through us. Sometimes it is hard to tell who is a "sheep | follower." The so-called "easy answer", is to not chase after the 1, and just look after the 99 - the only problem - is Jesus said "go for the one." We need to be very careful that we don't rationalize that away.

3 comments:

The Righteousness of God said...

Agreed - Spiritual Discernment is imperative. There have been times I wanted to get involved . . . but have heard the words 'hands off they are Mine!'.

The key is being sensitive (and obedient) to His Spirit. I have seen more oft than not that God permits humans to come to the end of themselves...before they can permit Him to enter into their lives so that He can reign and do what He does best. Granted we 'may' be part of the one sheep's life or maybe not at that point - HIS call.

We all want to be the
Florence Nightengales in preventing others suffer and doing kingdom 'good'. However, our band-aide solutions are frequently ineffective, nor wanted by Doctor God.

The same can be said about prayer. We as believers are quick to ask for our situations to be changed. We rarely thank, welcome and rejoice in our circumstances where God has placed us for whatever reason. Look at the topics at most believer's prayer meetings...please God .... change this...remove this...would you be with us (ridiculous request of a Daddy who neither leaves nor forsakes us) it goes on and on..blah..blah...blah.

The reality, Paul welcomed whatever his lot - He rejoiced. It is an expression of God's faithfulness and trust in His abilities to look after us.

Back to the issue: Even Jesus knew when to quit on some people - remember shake the dust out of your sandals and give em the bird routine? Meaning - move on

pastor mike said...

"blah... blah... blah..."
sadly that is an accuate description of too much that passes for prayer

michael lewis said...

Is it possible to restate that quote above WITHOUT using financial metaphor?

Please do, if you can.