Theresa Harvard Johnson

Copyright 2014 Theresa Harvard Johnson
2 Timothy 2:26 CJB, "Also he should be gentle as he corrects his opponents. For God may perhaps grant them the opportunity to turn from their sins, acquire full knowledge of the truth, COME TO THEIR SENSES and ESCAPE THE TRAP OF THE ADVERSARY, after having been captured alive by him to do his will."
Have we overlooked this command in the midst of our faith?

Have we cast it aside for the sake of self-righteousness, judgement and dogma?
As people of God, it can be easy to focus on the teachings of the condition of people and forget the “compassion-of-Christ” component that burns through it. I am not speaking of humanity's kind of compassion which changes like the wind, but the kind of compassion that our Father has shown forth in pursuit of us throughout of eternity. A compassion rooted in His great love!  We must remember that the primary purpose of sharing the truth of the Gospel rests in the hope of reconciliation. It is the blazing foundation of every administration of ministry in Christ – that if a man hears the Gospel, he will turn his heart toward the Lord. Period. When we fail to grasp this truth, the scripture above infers that we should be catalysts for causing people to gain GOOD SENSE.
To be senseless literally means to lack a conscious reality of CHRIST. The passage also moves us to understand this reality: That it is God's heart that NO MAN should perish if at all possible (2 Peter 3:9 ). But we - people of God - should never become the problem or a hindrance to this process. In truth, we are the SOLUTION to the problem men face.

This morning, I heard the Spirit of the Lord say to me: “Prophet, immerse my people in this truth. Tell all those who walk with you or encounter this ministry that I have not changed. Let them know that I love HARD and DEEP, and that my goal is not to enact CRUELTY upon anyone. All my efforts are for the restoration of my eternal family. If they get this, they will pass from death to life."
In context with 2 Timothy 2 , the Apostle Paul reminds us that we are new creations. He admonishes the people of God to remember WHY they have been called into service in the Kingdom and how to conduct themselves with integrity and to be accountable for their actions, behavior – even in the midst of their opponents. Opponents in this instance refers to anyone who seeks to hinder the Gospel message.

2 Timothy 2:14-15 CJB, "Keep reminding people of this, and charge them solemnly before the Lord not to engage in word-battles. They accomplish nothing useful and are a catastrophe for the hearers! Do all you can to present yourself to God as someone worthy of his approval, as a worker with no need to be ashamed, because he deals straightforwardly with the Word of the Truth."
WOW! My God! I do not want to become a CATASTROPHE to someone else's walk with the Lord! I pray we LOVE GOD ENOUGH to receive this WORD!
The hope and trust of walking in this kind of love and RESTRAINT is remembering that it is the work of Holy Spirit to convict men of sin and draw them to the Lord. When we forget this, we err. We become the irritant instead of the truthful voice of the Lord that convinces men of His great love. Every son should carry Christ's cry in their heart which says, "God, more than anything I want to see every captive come into the knowledge of their freedom. I want them to know your love. What can I do, even in the midst of sharing your hope, that will reveal that great love?”
For some believers it is very difficult reconciling the love of God with His firm correction. I know because it was very difficult for me for years. The Old Covenant had been preached so deeply into my ear that I could NOT understand its relationship with the grace, mercy and the sacrifice of Christ. (I have some previous blog posts that prove this!) I have met others who say the same thing. It is as simple as growing to understand that God will move any mountain necessary to clear a path to love us, to love you. We have the honor of being an intricate part of that process – first as He does it in our own hearts and then by His power in the lives of others. We should long for others to experience the freedom we have in Christ – especially our opponents, those who are lost to the Gospel.
Even as Jesus endured crucifixion he declared, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” He did not say, "GOD KILL THEM!" Our passion for God fuels a longing to see others come to their senses and escape the trap of the adversary. That phrase “come to your senses” literally means to emerge from deception and to be immersed in Father’s truth. Yes... it is for us the believer.
Escape refers to breaking free of the webs, chains, blocks, etc. of God’s enemy, our enemy. People of God, especially those who are equipping leaders, we must keep this reality constantly before us, and pray: “Father, release in me the kind of passion for people that you have for me and all those who are yours. I want to be a catalyst for your awakening. I want the fullness of the greatest command you have given us… and that is to love.”
Matthew 22:36-40 CJB, “Rabbi, which of the mitzvot in the Torah is the most important? He told him, You are to love ADONAI your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.' This is the greatest and most important mitzvah. And a second is similar to it, You are to love your neighbor as yourself.' All of the Torah and the Prophets are dependent on these two mitzvot."

LOVE does not mean passivity.
It does not mean TO LET WRONG DOING SLIDE.
It does not mean CORRECTION is not necessary.
It does not means WE DO NOT CONFRONT SIN.
But it does mean this: "How we do it MATTERS!"
I know there are special circumstances for certain things. As a result, we must keep discernment at the forefront. However, blatant, consistent dishonor and disrespect of the condition of another soul is never okay. Not one time in the scriptures do we see Christ deal with anyone with OVERT HARSHNESS AND CRUELTY. He was direct. He was firm and left them "to themselves" after releasing truth.
It is my prayer today, that the body of believers have compassion for their adversaries... that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the adversary. It is my prayer that WE DO NOT become catastrophes to another person's faith. Let us ASK HOLY SPIRIT to clarify these things in us and TEACH us the way of the Lord. I declare that RELIGIOUS STRONGHOLDS WILL COME DOWN IN JESUS NAME!

We do not have to be MEAN, CRUEL and heartless when delivering the Word of God.  People who teach otherwise have completely missed who Christ is in us.

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