James 5:19-20 NIV
My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
James 5:19-20 – Message
My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God’s truth, don’t write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God.
We all know people who have once followed God and have walked away from Him. Don’t give up on them. God still wants to bring them home. Through intercession and action fight for them. Their story is not finished. Be a part of their story being completed as one who has been forgiven and redeemed. See things the way that God does, recognize that as you walk with them and they turn back to God, that you have literally saved them from death and covered over their many offences.
I find this passage challenging. I can immediately think of people that I know that did know God and have abandoned their faith. It is so easy to go along life and forget how desperately they need him. When I look at how far they have wandered it can be overwhelming and I can somehow accept that they may not want God. However, this is simply not the truth. I am called to pray and make intercession for the lost. I am to be walking with these very people and breathing life and hope into their hearts. I think sometimes I buy into the lie that we are on a cruise ship journey rather than a rescue mission. Yet, the word is very clear that this is a rescue mission. The lost need to be found. If I see life in the context of play I will live and not care, but if I see life in the context of a rescue mission then I will be prepared to do whatever I need to in order to see someone rescued.
How can I apply this to my life? I might need to start by spending more time with the wanderer. Salt can only make impact when in close proximity.