God keeps his promises. Who knew?
So, a congregation member posted a sin – rather proudly – on Facebook. I knew I had to deal with this individual; after all, it was a public sin, and one that would give major offense. (In fact, later that day I encountered a congregation member in a public area that basically exploded at me: “How could [this person] do that?!”)
However, that person contacted… my wife. And was confused why so many people were upset. And could my wife just supply some Bible verses that spoke to the situation?
And that person accepted the Bible verses. And when I visited that person two days later, I found out that God’s Word had done the work. It had convicted the person of their sin. They had repented. They expressed sorrow over their sin and taken steps to get away from that sin. I’ve got a follow-up appointment later this week to see if those steps continued to be taken, but at least as of two days after the posting… things were better.
And it’s so ridiculous. I thought it was on me to deliver Law and pronounce the weight of the sin. Sure, I rely on God’s Word for that – I had verses at the ready! – but this person didn’t need me to deliver it.
God’s Word, all by itself, was enough.
Like I said: God keeps his promises. His Word is powerful and effective. When he sends it out, it doesn’t come back to him until it’s accomplished its purpose. He doesn’t say: “God’s Word doesn’t come back until it passes through Pastor’s mouth and then does what it’s supposed to do.”
Duh, pastor. You should know this.
One thing that hadn’t happened yet, though, and one thing that I was thrilled to do: This person, when I met, was repentant. They sorrowed over their sin.
They needed forgiveness.
Oh, how awesome that was: all geared up to have to deliver Law (by far my least favorite part of the call), and instead God delivers me a person who desperately needed the Gospel. So, yes, I forgave the person of their sins.
I needed the reminder: God’s Word does the work. Not “God’s Word through Pastor’s mouth.” Sure, I get used all the time to deliver God’s messages, but it’s not me.
God’s Word does it.