“Jesus said to him, ‘Shall I come and heal him?’” (Matthew 8:7).

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Audrey Hepburn in the role of Natasha and Mel Ferrer as Prince Andrei: War and Peace (1956).

When God led me to start blogging, I NEVER dreamed how much of myself I would share, because I am a VERY private person, so much so, I am even private about boring and mundane aspects of my life. Despite my tendency to keep things to myself, I have written about everything from spiritual encounters, to struggling with anxiety and depression, to addiction and promiscuity, and opening up about my sexuality. “Jesus said to him, ‘Shall I come and heal him?’” (Matthew 8:7). But from all that which the enemy intended for destruction, God has delivered me.

I see Jesus’ teaching in John 3 unfolding in 1 Corinthians. Paul’s instruction, concerning the wandering brother in chapter 5, was an act of love, both for the brother and the church. Although the apostle’s direction would have called for a public announcement, before the assembly, Paul’s intent was never to crush the poor man, but rather, that he might be led to restoration. The announcement would have been an occasion filled with genuine sorrow and humiliation, not one of pride and boasting as was remarked in verse two, and the brother’s departure would have been followed by continual prayer for his spiritual restoration. Bad company corrupts (1 Corinthians 15:33), and as was made evident by their boasting, yeast, good or bad, works its way through the batch of dough (1 Corinthians 5:7). Excommunication should never be used as an end itself, but rather, a means toward an end. The discipline of believers is ALWAYS intended to bring about RESTORATION to fellowship with the Lord. Therefore even in a case as extreme as this one, we can rejoice in the truth, because only in the truth are we able to rejoice in God’s abundant grace and provision! No wonder the enemy desires that we be deceived otherwise; a love shortsighted, sadly.

“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God” (John 3:20-21). Why would those who live by the truth willingly come into the light and reveal past misdeeds? Just try… you won’t be able to stop a child of God from proclaiming the grace that has been showered upon them. See, Jesus isn’t being punitive here, nor do I believe God’s intent is a good shaming. Quite the opposite, in fact! It’s impossible for us to wrap our heads around this awesome mystery of God’s grace without help from the Holy Spirit. Those who live by the truth rejoice in the whole truth!

When I approve, I realize I must do so in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him, and when I disapprove, I realize I must do so in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17), neither of which I can do without the Holy Spirit. The love of the world is fallen and counterfeit. Praise be to God that I am no longer of this world, for the real war against sin begins at salvation. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15-16).

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