Called to Return
Chaplain Barbara Embry
Citizens Baptist Medical Center
Oh how good and wonderful is our Lord! When you think of the goodness of Jesus and think of all the things that He has done for us, do we want to shout and tell the world? I am witnessing more and more of that excitement everywhere I go. People are in tune more than ever with the presence and the goodness of God.
Recently the opportunity was afforded for me to witness a young man coming back into fellowship with Christ. A most beautiful sight to behold; a young man reconsidering his relationship with the Lord; how do we receive one such as him? Do we remember all the wrongs or are we so excited that we are willing to overlook what we call faults and sin? Do we stand with, undergird, and help to strengthen the returning brother as we remember our pathway to righteousness?
The Bible teaches us in 1 John 1:19 that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. What a loving God we serve!
As I watched tears stream down the cheeks of this young gentleman and as I watched a countenance of submission and of a contrite spirit, my heart was filled with joy and thanksgiving. I had to consider the path that led me to the feet of Jesus. A great reminder for me is found in Luke 22: 31-32. Jesus already knowing that Peter would soon deny Him called to him by his former name, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you Simon that your faith may not fail.” How many sifting experiencing have we had through this faith walk? Not the walk before we confessed Christ, but during this time of commitment, and restoration? How much faith did it require to confess and return to Christ? Jesus prayed for Peter knowing what his next steps would be.
But Jesus also knew Peter’s weakness and his strengths and that he was a great apostle even in the time of his weakness. I think Jesus’ next statement to Peter (32b) was the one we should allow to sink deep inside us. He said. “When you have turned back strengthen your brothers.” I want to encourage the one who needs faith to return just as the young man I was in church with the other Sunday. Jesus loves beyond our capacity to understand. He knows what Satan wants to do to us and He has prayed for us.
I’m writing this because it is on my heart and for those who need the faith to return, we stand with you as intercessors and as your brothers and sister in the faith. You see, I am aware that going to church does not make you a Christian, but giving over your heart to the command and rule of Jesus Christ makes you His. May God bless you!
Prayer: Father thank You for loving us and for Your tender mercies and loving kindness toward us. We confess to You and ask for forgiveness as we have sinned against You and our brothers and sisters. We believe Jesus is Your son and that He died and is now risen. Thank you Jesus for praying for us; receive us back into Your presence. We ask in Your Name. Amen.