Bound Together

Fear not, be glad and rejoice. For the LORD will do great things.” Joel 2:21 

I don’t know about you, but for me these last several weeks have been hard.  Social media has blown up with opinions on both sides of the "Love Wins" issue, and some harsh words have flown - both from those who support and oppose the decision.  I have at times been very disappointed with the Christian community during all of this.  You see, sometimes it is easy to forget that our enemy isn't flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil.  (Ephesians 6:12)  Sometimes it is easier to take a stand against those who are held captive to sin rather than against the one who holds them captive....after all, those caught in sin are easier to see and confront.

I have been trying to remember this when others talk to me about my opinions on the subject, but honestly it is difficult to answer.  I worry, am I going to say the right things? Am I going to honor God in my actions? Is this what I am supposed to be doing or saying? It can be overwhelming at times.

 Joel prophesied to a nation that hungered for God, even if they didn’t know it. The times were dark and the enemy was near.  Yet Joel reminded them of just how much they needed to say “yes” to Him, that God had not turned His back on them. I feel like we are standing in a similar place. We stand in a world that hungers for all that God offers - love, acceptance, compassion - and yet they often do not understand or even know that it is being offered to them.  They face an enemy that they can not defeat alone and don't realize that they don't have to.

We, as followers of Jesus,  need to remember who is in control.  We need to take to heart the words of Joel.  He tells us that we must return to God with all of our heart (Joel 2:12).  He encourages us to trust in the Lord, because He can and will do great things.  This word “great” in Hebrew is gadal which can also be translated as "to cause to grow". Gesenius’s Lexicon defines it as “to twist together, to bind together.” I find that comforting. The Lord will cause us to grow, bound together with Him. I don’t know about you, but I want to grow bound to Him, and I want to help others to grow that way too!

So perhaps we need to stop lamenting the law and start reaching out and sharing how love really wins, through a relationship with Jesus.  Maybe it is time to stop pointing a finger of condemnation and instead extend our arms in love.  That doesn't mean accept their sin, but it does mean that we realize that God loves them just as much as He loves us - despite ALL of OUR sins.  It is through love that we can lead others to be grafted into God's family.  It is through love that we can grow.  And it is through love that we can be bound together as His people.  THAT is how love truly wins.

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