Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Am I My Brothers' Keeper?

James 5:16-18
16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.
18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. NKJV

What could have helped Ted Haggard? Confession of our "sins, struggles, and secrets". In his own words, he stopped sharing with others years ago. As Pastor Rod used to say, "our hurts, habits, and hangups." The protestant church threw out confessional completely. While we don't recieve forgivness of sins from people, we missed something here. (No I am not advocating the confessional booth.) Something that is truly Biblical. Confession of our sins to one another.
Why is it that for most Christ-Followers the local church is the last place they would admit their weakness?
Probably because the truth is we value the "fake it until you make it" mantra. Also the competitive nature within the body of Christ. You know we build "kingdoms" and then have to protect them. I dream of christians, a church, the Body of Christ, that is a haven for the sinner. Cause after all we are all just sinners being cleaned up by Jesus. Part of the cleaning or sanctification process comes from sharing your weakness' with one another.
Let us be a people brave enough to share our hurts, habits, & hangups with one another.
Let us be a people safe enough to pray for each other when one is bold enough to share.
Let us be a people who live 1 Corinthians chapter thirteen towards one another.
When James writes on confession he does so in the context of the power of Prayer to bring about healing, transformation, and continued sanctification. Prayer for one another will produce real fruit in our lives. We want to look like and live like Jesus.
He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it. Jesus you finish the "projects" you start. Cause your body to be a people that resemble you in thought and deed. Let us have your heart towards one another. Your love compels us into righteousness. Jesus you instructed us to live holy, now enable your bride to walk in that Holiness.
Give us a hunger for you, a desire to see others grow deeper in you. May we be like the friends that were desperate to bring the lame man before you; so much that the tore a hole in a roof. Jesus give us that same heart towards one another. They did not seek you for themselves but for their friend.


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