The world we live in can be a harsh and unforgiving place. Those who are regarded as winners and successful are celebrated and held high, while those who fail or are struggling can be discarded as losers.
Thankfully, God’s Kingdom is the opposite of this world. In Luke 15, two of the three parables Jesus told in response to the religious leader’s accusation that he ‘welcomed sinners and ate with them’, were about the rescue and restoration of two individuals who had strayed far from where they should have been. One was a sheep that had gone its own way and was sought and found by its shepherd. The other was the famous story of the Prodigal Son who wasted his inheritance and then returned home empty and ashamed to the unexpected welcome and embrace of his father.
Our verse for today encourages all of us that we can play a part in reaching out to fellow believers who are beginning to struggle or fail. I have always been impacted by the words of a song by Christian singer Chuck Girard...
It’s easy to love the people who are standing hard and fast,
Pressing on to meet that higher calling,
But the ones who might be struggling, we tend to judge too harshly
And refuse to try and catch them when they’re falling ...
That doesn’t mean we turn our heads when we see a brother sin
And pretend that what he’s doing is all right.
We must help him see his error, we must lead him to repent.
Cry with those who cry, but bring their deeds into the light
Don’t shoot the wounded, they need us more than ever.
They need our love, no matter what it is they’ve done.
Sometimes we just condemn them, don’t take time to hear their story.
Don’t shoot the wounded, someday you might be one.
Maybe as you read this devotional you know a fellow Christian who is struggling or even straying from the Lord. Perhaps they say they’re fine when you ask them how they are, but you know that’s not true. I encourage you to pray for them and see if you could be that brother or sister who the Lord uses to help and restore them.
It could be though that you yourself are someone who is struggling in your walk with Jesus. I encourage you not to give up, not to stop meeting with other Christians and to ask the Lord to lead you to someone you can trust and share your struggles with.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You are the Shepherd that looks for the lost sheep, and Father, thank You that it is Your arms that welcome the prodigals home. Amen.
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship. Provided full acknowledgement is made to Seeds of the Kingdom as the source, you are also welcome to use it in a non-commercial way and reproduce it in magazines or other Christian websites. The copyright for any commercial use of the material remains with Ellel Ministries International.