Sunday, November 10, 2019

Tough Love

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Many State and Local Prisons had a program known as “Scared Straight.” It combined the efforts of Social Services, Faith-based Ministries, and each State’s Department of Corrections. Young men and women who had several low level arrests were “recruited” into a prison, where Inmates and Corrections Officers would present a very real experience of what it’s like to live behind bars. 

The testimonies of inmates in particular were frightening as they related their own experiences of mental, physical, and sexual abuse from different prison factions to the “recruits.” Scared Straight was a program designed to deter individuals from a life of crime. 

The judgments and punishments for violating God’s Law are clearly stated in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, and they were meant to deter God’s Chosen from breaking His Law, for it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an all-powerful God! While God’s mercy and grace are limitless, and His love extends to all, His methods change when dealing with stubborn children. Tough Love is enacted, and He allows us to get a taste of what lays ahead for us if we continue in sin. 

In Genesis 9:1-6, in the days after the flood of Noah, new rules came into effect. After mankind rejected God’s authority, He blesses Noah and his family, and authorizes human government under which they were to live. Refusing to live righteously, man’s ability to reason and know right from wrong was now the guiding light of their eternal destination. God has given them these tools! 

The Apostles questioned Jesus about where He was going prior to departing from them. In John 14:5, “Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?" It was then that Jesus responded, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father but by me.” 

The phrase “Follow me” is found no less than 72 times in 28 verses of the New Testament (KJV). It would appear to be an important and vital directive! Is any lost? Follow Jesus. Are any confused about how to live in truth? Jesus is the only truth. Do any not know their reason for being alive. Following Jesus provides us with a life that is full of purpose and direction. 






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