As a Christian, I have become accustomed to living in a Godly home, doing Godly activities, striving for Godly things, being around Godly people…you get the picture. I am blessed to have a wonderful life! But it has not always been this way. Paul was talking about me when he said in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (NIV throughout).
Many times in my life, I have looked for answers to life’s problems. I’ve looked in special daily devotional books, been part of recovery groups, went to different churches, depended on people for these answers. But what I have discovered is that God’s word contains all of the answers to ALL of life’s problems (2 Peter 1:3).
Years ago, I met a dear friend who was a Christian, but had married a man who had a problem with alcohol. She told about times in her early marriage that her marriage was in a shambles, her husband was a drunk and she needed help. Of course she turned to the church, asking for help to deal with her troubles. On more than one occasion, she was told that they didn’t really help with things like that and she was referred to somewhere else that did.
When I heard her story, I was so saddened by the fact that when my friend needed God and His people the most, they were unable to help her. But as I sit and think about the wonderful life that I have now and I look around and see others that have long ago left their sinful lives, I wonder…Can our friends and neighbors come to us for God’s answers or do we make it seem like we’ve never known sin? Are we unapproachable? Do we lack the confidence in God’s word to share it with others?
2 Corinthians 5:16-21 tells us, “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Have you heard the saying that we need to take people from where they are to where they need to be? As a Christian, we have been taken from where we were and to where we needed to be. We had an old, sinful life, but God has given us a new life, a new hope, a new home.
Can others see that in us? Can they look to us for an example of “the pattern?” Can we be that ambassador that leads the way back to God? There are so many people in our lives that are hurting, that are living lives like we once had. We like to say that God’s word has the answers to ALL of life’s problems, but are we living our lives like that or are we looking to solutions from the world? When people in our lives have worldly struggles are we willing to offer them the solutions found in God’s word? Do we really believe that ALL of the answers are found in the Bible? What actions are we taking to prove that?
Philippians 4:4-9 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
By Heidi Sprouse
Heidi and her husband, Steve, have served with the Rocky Ford church of Christ in Rocky Ford, CO for almost seven years. Steve is the pulpit minister. Heidi is currently a secretary for the school district and is going back to school to get her teaching license. They have two children, Hannah, 10, and Caleb, 7.