"Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. -Jude 1:21-25
Living on the edge of mission is going to be more dangerous than living in the center.
You can and more than likely will get burned, if you choose to live close to the fires of hell instead of the comforts of heaven. You will smell of smoke; and many won't like it, in fact they may even mistake you for one in need of being saved. But you will learn to strip away much of what one would normally choose to wear for daily life...because of the mission, you choose to let it go. That includes praise, understanding, sometimes a reputation and often that warm glow of appreciation and approval.
But all of that is forgotten, when you are able to grasp that soul who is clothed in polluted garments in an embrace of redemption. Yes, you hate the vileness that they are stained by, the smell, the sin, the corruption...the flesh; but in all the uncleanness of it; you are overwhelmed not by the stench of falleness...but the object of the Son's love.
Love is often blinded by what personal religion, hardened indifference, numbing, self righteous complacency can so vividly observe with such harsh judgment.
Relgion often shouts; "Unclean!!! Unclean!!!....but Jesus, my savior...says: "I am willing...be clean"
A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”
Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. -Mark 1:40-45
Filled with compassion...oh that is my desperate prayer for myself and our church....so desperate, I am willing to embrace the stigma of leading and journeying down such smoldering paths.