Strayers and Stayers – Part Two

Luke 22: 25 – 30

Jesus warned “In this world you shall have tribulation.” (John 16:33)

Paul also reminded us of this truth when he wrote: “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (II Timothy 3:12)

If you really care about Jesus, you will stay not stray. 

Paul gave us an example of the kind of care that is so filled with love for persons and truth that it risks the loss of friendship in order to defend the truth and once the relationship is broken reaches out to work for its renewal.

Because of sin in the church at Corinth, he wrote them a letter exhorting, admonishing, and encouraging them. The admonition, that is warning of the consequence of their sin, temporarily broke their relationship with him. He then wrote them a second letter and in it gave insight regarding three caring pieces of evidence that restore relationships. They are:

*Show appreciation. “…you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.  Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf…Now I rejoice …that your sorrow led to repentance.” (II Cor. 7: 3 & 9)

Psychologist/philosopher, Will James, wrote a classical work entitled “Principles of Psychology.”  It is still a primary reference work in the field.  He later admitted “an immense omission” in the pioneer work. He wrote, “The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” His regret was that he had not dealt with it at all in his book.  Let’s not fail to deal with it in all of life.  Make people feel appreciated. Show appreciation.

*Practice separation. “..let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God…godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation, not to be regretted.” (II Corinthians 7:1)

As Christians, our impact for Christ would be more effective if we realized that by virtue of being children of the King of Kings, we don’t follow styles; we set them.  “Come ye out from among them…”

Do you care enough about your friends not to try to lead them into temptation?  Do you care enough about them to try to lovingly retrieve them from sinful acts?

Encourage reconciliation. “Open your hearts to us…you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.”  (II Corinthians 7: 2 & 3)

Have you ever had anyone stand by you in your trials? Have you been willing to stand by anyone in their trials?

We must come out of our hot, tight little circle of friends and show others we care. Jesus said, “I am among you as one that serves.”  That kind of servant attitude could have come only out of a fountain of love.

When people care, they share.