“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold […]
Alcohol Anonymous uses a 12-step program to help people deal with their problem and overcome alcoholism. A lot of the steps follow a pattern that you could say is biblical within the thought of people acknowledging their need of help, turning away from the vices that have them bound, and changing their lives. But the 12-step program is without the context of the Savior. The program is trying to appeal to everyone, including those that do not believe in God.
We want our presence and our words to be effective in refreshing and encouraging souls. Here in Philemon the apostle Paul writes to a fellow labourer - or a brother in Christ:
“For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.” Philemon 1:7
Philemon had a grace and ability to refresh the saints of God with his words.
WHEN WE SEE a picture of a lighthouse, we see a structure that is standing on the edge of the ocean, wide open, not hidden from sight. It stands tall, for one purpose, to make sure its light shines bright for ships who are trying to make it safe into the harbor. The bright light shines for miles out into the ocean not just straight ahead, but scans the horizon of the ocean searching and being a beam of light to help ships who could be lost out at sea. How about us? How about those who have been saved from this world of sin. Jesus tells us:
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
The perfect law of liberty is the word of God. A mirror gives you an exact picture of what you look like. A mirror tells the truth. Sometimes, we can see the truth in a picture also. The bible gives us that also. One of the most important things to build into our Christian life is reading the bible on a regular basis. It is good to read it early in the morning with a prayerful thought of what would God have for us. In the evening, do the same thing. It is good to have prayer that God would help us to see his will. And it is so important to be a doer of what He shows you.
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” James 1:22-25
“For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.” 1 Corintians 9:19-23
The apostle Paul was talking about other people and other cultures and even those he was so much the opposite of. He was dealing with people who were different than himself. People generally stay in a rut of being with people who are like themselves. They relate with what they are familiar with. Paul was one who we could look to as an example of someone who reached out beyond the familiar. He was one who could reach out to souls from many backgrounds. Paul learned how to gain the confidence of ones outside his culture and status.
How do we express God’s love to souls? There is not anything more important in this life than seeking the lost. The reason Jesus came to earth is to seek and save lost souls. We had a lot of good thoughts brought to us in The 5 Love Languages series. Life is too short to waste any time. We need to know how to reach the lost. Too many souls don’t have a love towards God. Any time we are losing an effect on souls, we are losing.
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34