46: 50 Days Freed

We hear of natural disasters that cause buildings to collapse and displaces people from their homes. I cannot fathom what it must be like for the families who cannot locate one of their loved ones. As they figure out one is missing the search fort hem begins with the hope that their loved one will be found. In many cases, buildings are moved and large pieces of rubble are shifted just to find those who are lost. Those imprisoned by this mess when rescued thank their rescuers. They are freed from an almost certain death.

 

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

Luke 19:10

 

Mankind is eager to assist in the times where people are lost and hurt due to natural disasters. They rally around a family of a missing child and form groups to go search and hopefully rescue them. Helping others is built into our being, the ingrained desire that no man woman or child should be lost has driven us since the creator placed us in the garden. Some suppress this desire as they let the sinful nature lead their lives, but in general, we always want to help find someone who is lost. It could come down to the ‘golden rule’; do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. Whatever the reason the fact remains we have the desire to help lost people.

 

Our faith is no different. We are called to reach those who are lost. In our context the lost are those who have yet asked Jesus to forgive them of their sins, repent and begin anew in him. It could be helping those who once had a relationship and walked away come back home. If we are to have the heart of Jesus and want to be like Him then we must have the same mission as Him. He came to seek and save the lost. Bring freedom for those weighed down by sin, covered in rubble. The big difference between seeking a person affected by natural disaster and the mission is that many people will not accept that they need help. They do not see the danger they are in and that the rubble of sin is keeping them from experience life more abundantly. They are satisfied living in sin. It is only when they recognize that the sin has trapped them that they will accept or ask Jesus for help.

 

Maybe today you are feeling trapped by sin. Lost in the rubble of life it is overwhelming and you, no matter how hard you try, cannot climb out. I want to let you know there is hope. There are people out there who want to help you. Even now Jesus wants to help you out of the rubble pile and into a life He has set apart for you. Jesus promised that he would leave the entire herd just to find one lost sheep. This means he is looking for you to help you, to bring you home. Ask Him today why he would do such a thing, do not be surprised when he tells you. What are you going to do about it?

 

Father, I pray for those who want are seeking to help the lost. Give them direction on where to look, words to speak and an unexpected open to what they are sharing. Soften the hearts of family, friends and coworkers to hear about the God who loves them and is actively seeking them to forgive them. If anyone reading this has not accepted you Jesus as their saviour I pray today that they come to accept your grace and they become found and freed from what is holding them down. Thank you for all you do for us. Amen

Day 39: 50 Days All In

Day 39: All In
 
After hearing my pastor preach on this section of Ruth yesterday, it fit right into the all in relationship that we are called to live. Ruth was from a foreign land she was not an Israelite but had married into an Israelite family. When her husband died she could have left like her sister-in-law back to her own people yet she stayed with her mother-in-law Naomi. She was all in committed to her new family.
 
Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Therefore, wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do. And she said to her, “All that you say to me I will do.”
Ruth 3: 1-5
 
Some people may look at this verse about Naomi and Ruth and get the wrong idea, why would Naomi ask Ruth to clean up and go get herself a man? Ruth would have been living and wearing widows clothing, she had been working every day just getting enough food to feed her and Naomi, so she probably didn’t smell that fresh. Naomi understood that Ruth needed a family redeemer (someone in the family who would marry here as per the custom of the Israelites) and Ruth needed to let him know her intentions. This wasn’t some booty call, this was an act of redemption, a chance for Ruth to rise above where her current situation. Ruth took the instructions and lay at his feet as a symbol and custom akin to a marriage proposal.
 
This draws such a parallel to our conversion story. We were once Ruth, lost alone and in need of a redeemer. We didn’t know if we had one nor did we know how to get his attention. Someone, a Naomi, could have been a friend, Pastor or stranger told us about Jesus and provided us with the directions to be redeemed. As believers, we are now called to be Naomi’s. We should be sharing how the Ruth’s out there can find the redeemer. Jesus called us to reach the world with his love showing them the way to him. He is the redeemer and we are to share his love. The awesome difference between us and Ruth is he doesn’t expect us to clean ourselves up nor change our clothes before we can approach him. He meets us right where we are, dirty, torn and broken.
 
If you are Ruth today and need a redeemer today, Jesus is calling for you, he wants to connect with you, throw yourself at his feet, let him know you are sorry for sinning against him ask him to forgive you of your sins. Stand up confident that he has heard you and had redeemed you.
If you are Naomi, go and share who the Redeemer is with other. To truly have an all in relationship with God we must be doing this. To avoid this mission given specifically to each believer is to be disobedient. There are millions if not billions of people who need to be redeemed. What is holding you back?
 
Father, I pray that you work in your people to be sharing the faith. The ball is in our court and we need to be taking action. Just like Naomi, we need to tell others about your redeeming power and faithfulness. For those that need to know and meet you, I pray that when someone tells them they will respond in acceptance. Use us to reach others. Help our all in relationship to flourish and that those around us will see you in us. Amen