ECHO Devotional: Day 7 – The People Around You

The People Around You

 

“My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”  (James 5:19-20, ESV)

I can think of many people the Lord has used to bring me back when I was wandering.  He has used parents, counselors, coaches, principals, pastors, teachers, teammates and friends. 

I’ve also helped bring back many others who were drifting and even on the verge of totally giving up.  Here are some examples of different people in certain situations wherein the Lord has used me to help bring them back from their wandering:

  • A husband hardened against God and his spouse
  • A young lady who was hurt by her father and several boyfriends, and wasn’t trusting men any more
  • A son hardened against God and his parents
  • A man stuck in agnosticism, unbelief, and drugs
  • A married couple bitter against the church and religion
  • A single mom jaded by life and bitter toward the church
  • A wife who no longer trusted men and burned out on church and Jesus
  • A grandmother hurt by life events and medicating with alcohol and food
  • Parents who did not believe anything could change in their family

Know this—the people around you are either making you or breaking you.  You have to surround yourself with people who can help you on your journey. We all need people who aren’t afraid to speak life into us in times we are hurting or wandering away from our roots and foundation in faith.

TWO RELATIONAL WAYS GOD KEEPS US SECURE IN OUR SALVATION

  1. God Uses People to Bring Back Straying People

Let sink in how powerful Christian community is.  God has ordained that human beings be brought out of sin by other human beings.  Remember, though, that this usually best happens in close relationships of mutual trust and respect, where truth can be lovingly spoken and therefore be received. Feelings of shame and judgement can and do derail this process that God has designed, leaving His loved ones stuck in sin. God wants to use His people as His mouthpiece to speak truth, sovereignly using them to bring others back from straying and rebellion.

2.  God Uses People to Cover a Multitude of Sins

Let sink in how powerful love is in the body of believers. I Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins”. God uses people to cover a massive dose of your personal sins by loving you out of your slump, and back into confession, repentance, and community with Jesus Christ and the body. In essence, this profound love, given freely from Christ’s family, annihilates any negative stronghold sin might weave in an attempt to separate believers from the body. They can then be restored and renewed.

God is faithful . . . He will sustain His children and keep them from falling away.

God keeps his children through the work of His children. 

Why bring them back?  Because we save their souls according to scripture.  We are the voice of God, the echo of what we hear Him saying.

QUESTIONS

Who has God used in your life in times when you were certainly wandering or even on the verge of leaving Jesus and/or the church?

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Why do you think God puts people in your life who care enough to call you out of your slumps with encouragement, love, and even correction?

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What does it say about God’s love for you that He would use people to bring you back, welcome you in, and help you discover His love in a fresh way?

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PRAYER

Father, I can see your hand in my life.  You have used so many people to love me, help me, warn me, correct me, encourage me and even bring me back when I was drifting or lost.  Thank you for the people you have put in my life.  Open my eyes today to the ways you are working in me and show me who you have for me to help in their journey as well.  I love you, Lord.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

NEXT STEPS

  • BAPTISM – if you have never been baptized after receiving salvation, go to myanchorchurch.com/baptism and register for baptism today.
  • GROWTH TRACK – register today for Step 1, 2 or 3 in the Growth Track at www.myanchorchurch.com/growthtrack.  Then tell someone about what is happening in your journey to Know God.
  • GET IN A GROUP – explore the opportunities to connect with other people in an Anchor Group at www.myanchorchurch.com/groups.  You will grow and you will help others grow in their faith.

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