This week is truly an unusual week. The Holy Spirit has been speaking to me in a number of ways. Today is no different. I have already blogged this week and I put a special video on facebook I felt the strong leading of the Holy Spirit to shoot from Fort DeSoto and now today I can’t shake this message.
I awoke with this thought in my heart and mind. Be careful what you giveaway. While driving home from the gym the thought just kept coming back stronger and stronger. I thought back over the past eighteen months. I thought of all of the precious people God has placed in my life as grace gifts. I thought about how at times I had been urged to pull back from or distance myself from certain people that I know full well God has placed in my life for a reason. I thought how blessed I am to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit rather than the words of then and women. The thought came into my heart and mind, be careful what you giveaway. If I would have listened to others I may have given away the influence I have been blessed by God to have in people’s lives for the sake of appearances. I tweeted today, “Be careful not to give up your influence in a life because of what others might say if they see you hanging out. Got to go with Jesus on this one.” Now I say this cautiously I am not talking about not living above reproach I am talking about giving away a relationship or fellowship with someone God has placed in your life because of what others might say. I am not saying approve of sinful behavior. We love the sinner and hate the sin. Hey we have to love sinners because we are one:) Sinners saved by grace that is;)
I thought to myself what if Jesus would have listened to the Pharisees where would that leave me? The answer in a world of trouble! I strongly encourage everyone to be careful what you giveaway at the urging of others. We must follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Nobody hears from God for you better than you! (now that is retweetable) We must be careful what we give away. The souls of precious men and women hang in the balance. Don’t avoid “those kind of people”! I was and sometimes still am “those kind of people”. Treat each opportunity to be in fellowship with others as a grace gift. Look for God’s eternal purpose for linking you together. You don’t even have to agree! But if these people know that you love them they will love you back and your influence will grow. If you cut them off your influence ends. Folks we can’t afford to cut anyone off for the sake of appearances. I got to go with Jesus on this one.
Luke 7:36-47 (NIV) 36 Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38 and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is that she is a sinner.” 40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. 41 “Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. 44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”
Look at how Jesus dealt with each person. Some would argue Jesus shouldn’t be hanging with Pharisees. What was the result? Jesus influenced him and taught him a valuable life lesson about the love of God. Some would argue, including the Pharisee, that Jesus shouldn’t be hanging out with the sinful woman. What was the result? Jesus’ love won her heart and she was forgiven of her sins. It was a win win for Jesus and it is a win win for us! Be careful what you give away. God may have put that person in your life to bring about His eternal purpose. We will never know if we give away the influence that we have. We will never know if we listen to the promptings of others and ignore the promptings of God. We will never know if we give away our relationship or fellowship. Notice Jesus didn’t disagree that she was a sinner. He just recognized she was a sinner in need of a Savior. I got to go with Jesus on this one. Look around who has God placed in your life? Why are they there? Be careful what you give away. Be encouraged!