Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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From a sermon by Preacher Clark, late 1969
Taken from Gary’s CD #20, Track 5
We are called to be light in a world of darkness, to be living examples of the goodness, wisdom, and power of God. Sometimes, without realizing it, God’s people try to be more than that to others. They try to do what only God can do for others, and sometimes, only by painful experience do they learn that only God can change a heart. We can live a holy life; we can testify; we can plead; and we can pray; but we cannot change a heart. And every time that we take it on ourselves to turn a loved one’s heart toward holiness, we hurt ourselves and them. Preacher Clark asked this question in the prayer meeting that Sunday afternoon: “If God can’t move them, and if God can’t save them, then what are we going to do with them?”
It may be that in some cases, saints continue to struggle to change loved ones because they don’t want to have to deal with the pain that always comes when we “let go”. But the truth that is missing in that equation is that when we “let go”, we are actually, finally, getting out of God’s way. It is tempting to “play God” toward those we love and to try to be their hero, but doing so is not godly. We are simply to be lights, to be living examples, to humbly offer our testimonies of God’s amazing grace. When we go beyond that, we are in waters too deep for us to cross.