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John the Baptists birth was a miracle. His mother was an old woman and barren when she was told she would have a child. His father became mute until his birth. He leaped in his mothers womb when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, walked into the room. John ate locusts...that's commitment right there. He baptized Jesus and saw the Holy Spirit descend on Him and heard God's voice declare that Jesus is His beloved Son. He declared the truth to Herod, despite the obvious danger in doing so.

His entire purpose in life was to prepare the way of The Lord. His whole life is wrapped up in Jesus.

And yet, at one point he sends his disciples to Jesus to ask if He is The One.

That is mind blowing to me.

He was human. He had moments of uncertainty.

Sometimes I think of people like John the Baptist as super human. If God chose them they must have been a lot better than me. And I'm sure he was/is...but I think it's kind of important to remember that the people that God chose were human.

Moses didn't get to enter Canaan but he got to hang out with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Jacob was a jerk but he was the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. Judah was apparently a flaky womanizer who didn't keep his commitments and whose daughter in law knew would hire a prostitute.

What if you knew a man who had slept with prostitutes? Would you trust him with ANYTHING?

Nowadays it seems like we only deem people who are seemingly perfect as fit for Kingdom work. But guess what?! Nobody is perfect. Those guys you think are perfect could very well be mired in some secret sin...or pride. Pride is not any less a sin than sleeping with prostitutes. And since it's less quantifiable, it can fly under the radar...which is dangerous.

We preach sermons about these men and learn lessons from their lives...but if someone just like them showed up in our midst how would I treat them? Would I get angry if they lead a public prayer or gave a lesson or lead a song? Or did any actual, real Kingdom work?

In a lot of my experience, not always, but a lot, when a man commits adultery and then repents, it's like he has a mark on his back the rest of his life. We never forget. We never trust him again.

But a man who committed adultery and then murdered someone to cover it up is called "a man after God's own heart". Not because he did those things, but he repented and loved God.

All I'm saying is, these men who we respect and hold up as examples were not perfect. They had doubts. They needed reassurance and sometimes outright rebuke.

Give these men another name and imagine them walking into a church service. How would we treat them?

One of the things that I love about Celebrate Recovery is that it's a safe place to confess sin and deal with it. It's not just a place of wishy washy people where we all sin and ignore it for the sake of acceptance. We confess sin, we point it out and we help each other overcome it. It's not a gossip fest or critical atmosphere. It's an open, honest and transparent atmosphere. We learn to be safe people. But safe people aren't passive people, safe people confront sin when necessary, but they do it for the sake of the sinner...not to make themselves feel better or superior.

The whole church should be that way. We shouldn't need Celebrate Recovery. We should all be safe people who help each other overcome sin.

Let's stop judging and holding grudges and love each other enough to take care of ourselves so we can help others. Let's be like Jesus.


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