Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone turns him back, he should know that the one who turns a sinner back from his wandering path will save that person’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. James 5.19-20
We are not islands in the midst of a sea of people. When Christ established the church, he designed it to be a body of people, 1 Corinthians 12.12. Just as a body has many members, the church has many members. Each member has their own function in the body with some being more visible than others. Yet, each is important to the proper functioning of the body.
Many times one of the first signs that there is a problem with someone is the absence from the assembly whether it be on Sunday or a study during the week. Perhaps the person was discouraged and did not want to make the effort to attend. Or, at times the shame of a hidden sin becomes too much to bear in the presence of other Christians. And so, the distancing begins. Wandering from the truth begins to have an impact in that person’s life.
Do you notice when someone is not present from the assembly of the saints? If you are part of a large congregation, you might have two assemblies. This makes keeping up with who is present more of a challenge. But, if you are part of a small congregation, do you notice? Do you make an effort to contact that person during the week to see if they are needing something? Do you pray for that person and encourage them?
James writes that we should be concerned with those who wander from the truth. Paul writes in Galatians 6.1 that we should restore a person who is discovered in some sin with gentleness. If the person continues down the wandering path, he is headed for spiritual death. Let us be those who search for the one that has wandered from the truth and work to bring them back.