Sunday, December 13, 2009

Turnarounds

“My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.” James 5:19-20

Not being an airplane traveller, as many of you know, when my family visit’s the States we always drive. Our trips to Florida provide hours and hours of fun, family fellowship. We love seeing sights that we miss living North of the border.

I’ll never forget the first time I saw a runaway truck ramp. This traffic device enables vehicles that are struggling to brake, an opportunity of escape to safely stop. They are long, steep, inclines designed to accommodate trucks. They can help avert an accident and potentially save lives. I’m thinking the church could use some “runaway ramps” to prevent peril and salvage souls.

The verse above speaks of wanderers. Fellow travellers who have strayed from the trail. They are wandering spiritually. Trials and temptations have pushed a new pace in a different direction. Meandering through emotions of guilt and pain, they turn from God and feel unaccepted in the church, where failures too often aren’t accepted and second chances aren’t given.

James encourages that they be “brought back”. The hand of God’s grace needs to be extended, not to attack but receive. Don’t show them the door, but offer to help restore. Let’s care and not condemn. Often the hurting heart longs to return, but sees no example in the church. There is an implication here that the wanderer accepts and acknowledges their sin. There isn't denial, but disclosure and desire to admit error.

Is there a wanderer you need to welcome home? Let’s be agents of restoration. Let’s never give up on restoring grace. Let’s share God’s heart for search and rescue. Let’s build escape routes and emergency exits for a weary, wounded traveller’s turnaround.



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2 comments:

Leah said...

Hello my friend,

You have no runaway ramps north of the border? Next time you head south toward Florida you let me know. You travel within 2 hours of my home as you journey south through Georgia and I'd love to meet you and share a cup of coffee.

What a wonderful idea! There are so many people who need to be welcomed back into the fold...without fear of condemnation!!

Leah

~Grace and Peace said...

I have never heard of runaway ramps. Must be a sight to behold.

I know of a runaway. She is my sister-in-law and instrumental in my conversion. It breaks my heart that she doesn't go to church and serve anymore. She is spending her weekends working. She wants to get out of the hole created by debt. I have been encouraging her to lay it all down at His feet and do what He says. That is she puts Him first, He will take care of the rest. She said she will do so but no action taken. I suppose God will bring her back in His time.