Like many, we may have given up on people who have walked away from God. They either grew up in church or became a believer in their teens or as a young adult. Maybe it is someone older who came to Jesus later on. No matter something happened they lost their way. We fervently prayed for them and talked with them but as the weeks, months and years passed by, we lost our passion for them and slowly forget to pray. It may not be that we have given up but as a society in general we are result based, wherein we want to see results for our efforts. If that is our mind set why then continue praying for a lost cause? Because Jesus hasn’t given up.
“Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night.”
Psalms 51:1-3 NLT
The one thing that baffles me is those who have either grown up in church or once knew Jesus and have walked away. They rebel against what they once held to be truth and choose to walk in darkness. Some even become so disillusioned that they feel that they can never be good enough to come back home. This causes me much sadness as we all know that this isn’t the case.
The temptation to walk away and “experience” life is a lie, set in motion by the enemy to draw our youth and new believers away. The life he offers is only a road to pain and suffering. He makes things look like rainbows and puppies only until he has you drawn away, then reality will begin to hit, addictions, abuse and other evil things will slowly but surly consume them. Or worse he draws you to a life of normalcy where you feel you just don’t need God.
The amazing news is that Jesus is always there with open arms to receive his children home. Like the father of the prodigal son, he hasn’t stopped expecting their return. He patiently waits with redeeming grace for all those who accept the relationship with him.
We as believer must not give up on those who have walked away from the faith. We must earnestly pray and make ever effort to show them that Jesus still loves them. That they don’t need to get their lives back in order first to meet the Father. Come as they are, dirty, smelly, broken. He will welcome them home no matter their condition. He loves them with everything in his being and desires to have relationship with them.
If you have family or friends who have walked away from Jesus, why not this weekend invite them to church and lunch after. Take them out for a coffee. Show them the love of Jesus through your actions and words. Pray for them, not in general passing breaths, but take the time to intercede for them. Let’s see a revival in our family and friends this upcoming Christmas season.
Jesus, we pray for our family and friends who don’t know you. Some never have and others know but have turned their backs. We pray earnestly for their return to you. We ask you to give us boldness, direction and the words to speak. Give us opportunities even this weekend to remind them that you love them. The matter to you Jesus, so they matter to me. Amen