Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Will You Love Joe?

Imported from our Harvest Church Blogs
Original Blog Date: 04-21-2005

"Will You Love Joe?"By Don Reeves
Ref: Romans 8:35 - 39

Joe's up early Sunday morning. It's 5:00 in the morning and he's feeling it's just another miserable day in his life. I'm nearly broke financially and spiritually, he thinks. My family is under attack. My wife is unhappy. I just can't please her and she's constantly nagging. She says I just have to make more money. The bills just keep coming in and the kids need more and more. I work hard at my job. Most of the time I'm putting in 50 to 60 hours a week. I'm hardly at home when the kids are. My boss says I could move up in my job and increase sales if I would just socialize with my clients more, but that would mean more hours away and I would have to compromise my morals. That's something I could never do. I hardly know my children anymore and they're so rebellious. They insist that they're old enough to make decisions on their own and they seem to be slipping further and further from any good influence. I feel totally defeated. I'm not able to sleep. I guess that's why my blood pressure is so high and I'm having chronic chest pains but I'm afraid to go to the doctor. What if I'm too sick to work?

Joe puts these thoughts aside for the time being and gets ready to go to church because he always has. He puts on his best clothes and covers his problems with false pride. As he sits among his fellow church-goers he wonders if anyone is really capable of the love the preacher is preaching about. Looking around the church, he sees people he knows, most of which shake his hand each Sunday and half heartedly ask, How are things going Man, they don't really care, he thinks. How come noone ever calls through the week when he occasionally misses church? Then, how about that Mrs. Jones? She almost broke up a marriage with unfounded rumors about an alleged affair of some of our members. I certainly don't feel any love for any of them. After all, what have any of them done for me?

Joe hopes the preacher will just let him out in time for lunch. Maybe the ball game on T.V. would give him some relief from his thoughts of despair. After the ball game his thoughts turn once more to all the things that are wrong in his life. He goes to bed early only to get up at 2 a.m. thinking it's no use. The attack is just too much. There's only one solution. Maybe he should just end it all. He calls out to God because after all, wasn't he a Christian? When he was just a kid, hadn't he accepted Christ? How come he didn't feel it was real now? Where is God? How come He didn't care about all his problems?

At this time a brother in the church was awakened at 2 a.m. unable to sleep. Why was he thinking about brother Joe? "I really don't even like the guy", he thought. He thinks he's better than me. He dresses better, drives a better car and he always has that frown on his face. He barely speaks in church and rushes out as soon as church is over. Why am I thinking of him? Oh well, the Lord seems to be asking me to pray for him so I guess I'll do that. Half-heartedly he asks God to bless him. "What is this God?", he asks. "You want me to do what? Man, I can't go to his house at 2 a.m. in the morning. Ok, ok, I'll go but what if he's asleep? What will he think? I can't rest, so you go with me and tell me what to do and say".

Arriving at the house, the lights are out except what appears to be a dim light in the front room. Once again he asks the Lord, "Are you sure you want me to do this?", and again the Lord's voice sternly says "Do what I say". "Ok, ok, I'll do it", he says. He rings the bell answer. He then reluctantly rings it again.

Inside, Joe sits with a gun in his hand. The first ring shakes him from his thoughts. He hides the gun under the cushion on the couch and wonders who could be at his house at this hour. He goes to the door and there stands brother Bill looking rather sleepy. "What can I do for you Bill", Joe asks? "Joe", Bill says, "a better question is what can I do for you? The Lord Jesus has sent me to you with these words: "Cast your cares on Jesus because he cares for you. He loves you and wants to show his power through you. He wants to heal you spiritually, to heal your family, to heal you physically and financially. To be an instrument of love through your testimony of His faithfulness in trouble and all areas of your life. He requires you to equip yourself with the truth and power of His word and to put your faith to work. You take the word and defeat the devil and his demons. He has given you everything you need to be more than a conqueror. He also says to you, that I'm to stand in agreement with you and to be a partner in the warfare with you. Joe, that's the word God has for you".

Joe stands at the door, tears now flowing freely and sobbing in an uncontrollable manner. Between sobs Joe says, "Thank you Jesus for sending Bill when you did. I know you love me and I know others care and love me. Let me repent. I ask your forgiveness. Let me, from this moment on, reflect your love to others."

Jesus replies, "Son, your sins are forgiven. I remember them no more. Take up your cross and follow me."

Just two questions: Will you be sensitive enough to hear God's voice and will you leave your comfort zone to answer God's call?

No comments :