In a secular setting a few weeks ago I heard a woman discussing something that had happened in her office that had upset her. She was displeased with a staff member and as she put it, they were going to have a “Come to Jesus” meeting. My first thought was “If only you would.” (insert rolled eyes here) Her come to Jesus meeting had nothing to do with the Lord, and more to do with her yielding authority. The world takes the name of Jesus far too lightly. A real come to Jesus moment has nothing to do with anyone yielding authority, even under chastisement God’s Word is not condemning; convicting… yes. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery “Go and sin no more.” The stone throwers walked away with no entitlement to casting even one. Her “come to Jesus moment” was not the Lord berating her for a mistake, but rather the Lord lifting her up from ground with compassion and the defense of a Father who had just shielded her from being stoned to death. She knew she’d done wrong, He knew she knew. That was enough.
There’s a song lyric from Daystar that says “When I see you standing near me, shining with compassion in your eyes;” that is the image I have when I think of a “come to Jesus” meeting. That’s the meeting I have about every day when I’ve let the Lord down in service and I’m beating myself up and frustrated that I don’t live nearly as close to the foot of the cross as I should, or when I’ve let yet another person down and I’m just waiting for someone to hurl the first rock and then Jesus steps in. It’s actually the same look that we should have in our eyes when someone lets us down, but because we are so often in the flesh, that’s seldom the case.
Acts 15:10-11 says Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
At this time in Acts there were saved Jews adding back in law to the grace of God and confusing the members of the new church. Even though that’s still happening today I’m not speaking of that in this context. We’re not so much adding works to salvation but rather adding works to our conditions of grace. We have expectations of friends, family and coworkers and when they’ve fallen short, our “come to Jesus” moments don’t look anything like Jesus but border more on the Pharisee rock throwing. Where is the compassion? Sometimes the yoke we put upon people has been hand crafted by us with unrealistic expectations or people just flat out fail us. Either way God has expectations of us.
If we expect grace we must give grace, else how will anyone ever have a true “come to Jesus” moment?
Guard your witness today… Satan’s out to get it.