At this time last week I would have never expected I’d be writing this post today. It just didn’t seem possible. There appeared to be too much sin and too much hardness of heart. It looked as though someone I dearly love would remain entrenched and would go the way of many others. It was sad, it was heavy, it was heart wrenching…there appeared to be very little, if any hope.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. – Ephesians 3:20-21
Amen! Let it be so!
God can sew in the hardest of ground and I saw a man stand before the assembly broken over his sin. He repented and he confessed his sin. He was afraid of the terror of the Lord, because he saw what sin does in the hearts of men.
We live on this earth for such a very short time and for the majority of the people they never consider their sin. There is no fear of the Lord! He’s a Sunday school story they heard and forgot long ago, He’s a by-product of some ignorant sheep herders, just something written by man thousands of years ago, certainly not relevant today.
Or worse yet, the practice of church discipline’s for the fanatics. It’s for the legalistic that only desire to go around pointing out others sin. “I’m okay, you’re okay”, is what they think. As long as we are here on Sunday, or Saturday night, everything is cool.
He’s rich in mercy and abundantly ready to forgive, yet that hard and stony ground must be plowed over and churned up, there’s difficult work that needs to be done. That hard and leathery heart must be pierced with the needle of the law so the gospel can enter in, and without the law breaking a mans heart there is no hope.  There must be conviction; there must be an adherence to God’s Word. It must be dealt with biblically, or it’s only man’s wisdom. Not the power of the Almighty Himself.
Bones must be broken…or there will be no healing.
For I acknowledge my
And my sin is always before me.
Against You, You only, have I
sinned, and done this evil in Your
That You may be found just when
And blameless when You judge. – Psalm 51:3-4
Sin must be dealt with and the only way to deal with it properly is to first acknowledge the sin. Sin will blind us. Sin will harden us. Sin will deceive us and cause us to think all kinds of “good” things about ourselves. Only by God’s truth can we be set free, because sin also enslaves us.
We need God’s church and we need God’s Spirit to convict us, to call us to repentance and then to gently and lovingly restore us. I’m sure it didn’t feel very loving for quite a long time, because this battle has raged for what seems like a very long time. The enemy was well fortified, but God’s power is far greater and the victory has already been won at the cross.
But from our perspective we must remain engaged and fight. We don’t know if the soil is good or not. We must do our part and the Scriptures are clear, although mostly ignored by the “church” today.
Today the hard work really begins for this brother. He has a mess to clean up. Time will tell if the confession is real or not. It was really awesome to have him back, to see a completely different countenance than I’ve seen for almost a year. But when reality sinks in, and the pressures of life resume, outside the walls of the safety of the assembly, what will happen? Only God knows and time will tell.
The Lord Jesus Christ deserves His witness to proclaim His name. To seek forgiveness for the wrong that has been done, to acknowledge Him where He has been denied, to call sinners to repentance and preach the gospel of peace.
Outside of Him there is no peace and those that have been around this man need to know that. They need to hear a broken confession and humble acknowledgement of sin. It’s going to be a narrow and difficult path for sure if it’s a true testimony and I trust that it is. I trust he won’t fail the test, but the trials will be difficult most certainly.
Today I am hopeful, I’m joyful and I’m humbled. I feel a sense of peace that I’ve not felt in a while over this situation. I’ve seen it go the opposite way too many times. I’ve seen the hardheartedness of men too often turn away and go somewhere that isn’t quite as difficult. They might fool themselves, they might fool others but God will never be mocked and I hope it is well with their souls. The Christian life is full of trials, it’s full of difficulty and not every day is Friday. In fact most days are Mondays if we are truly in the faith.
Create in me a clean heart, O
And renew a steadfast spirit
Do not cast me away from Your
And do not take Your Holy Spirit
Restore to me the joy of Your
And uphold me by Your generous
Spirit. – Psalm 51:10-12
 This thought from Behold Your God Page 164 – “The needle of the law must puncture the hard leathery heart before the thread of the gospel can pass through.”