Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. (Jude 22:-23)
As we have worked our way through the book of Romans this year I trust you have been enriched as I have. There have been a few occasions when God truly broke through and touched my life. How grateful I am for those special times.
One that I clearly remember was during a time of studying while on a mission trip to the CzechRepublic. As I reflected on Paul’s pointed words in Romans 1 about the fate of those who suppress the truth they have about God, I was convicted on two accounts.
I was amazed at how I could analytically dissect this passage and expound on it and its devastating conclusion without being broken over the fate of those who go their own sinful way. It was as though I callously felt that those who choose such a response deserve the consequences. Though this is true, should I not have compassion for them?
And then it hit me. Was I, like them, suppressing this truth, with pride? Was I distancing myself from them when I should be concerned enough to risk my reputation by seeking to rescue them as Jude 22-23 instructs us to. The more I thought about it the more tender my heart became. I realized that but for the grace of God their condition could be describing me. Prayer and effort by others rescued me.
Now as I walk among those who are suppressing the truth, rationalizing their lifestyles by developing their own rules for life, and ignoring the bitter consequences of such rebellion, my prayer is that God would fill my heart with love and compassion.
My prayer is, “Give me a heart like that of Christ, who wept over Jerusalem.”