Though in my drinking days long ago before God set me free from alcoholism I was in and out of bars with no problem despite all the cigarette smoke, and though I have never been a smoker, unfortunately I have developed an extreme sensitivity to smoke whereby I can be congested in minutes and be sick for weeks if I am not careful. My life on the road for Jesus full-time with my sweet special needs ministry dogs is filled with hotels with countless smokers most of whom break the non-smoking hotel rules and smoke just outside their rooms, hanging over the balconies, right by common areas. Everywhere they are not supposed to smoke. Most of the time, when I explain my situation and ask nicely for them not to smoke near my room, they are kind and move. I don’t think I will ever forget how one man responded who told me he was a Christian and that of course he would move away from where he was smoking to respect my request. But something happened that shocked me.
Soon enough, he was right back where he had begun smoking. And for a few MONTHS straight, he refused to budge. Well, truth is a hotel worker told him to move or she would have to change his room. He refused. So she made him change rooms. He then went behind her back when she was not working one day and moved himself back to his old room. And proceeded to smoke off the balcony above me several rooms over night after night.
What is so sad about this story? To me, the lack of love, the lack of kindness, the obstinacy, the breaking of rules, the dishonor of hotel rules and staff, the lack of compassion and care, but most of all that all of this came with a man who was proud to call himself a Christian.
Friend, I have my own history of calling myself a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and not acting like one. I still fall short and have to repent along the way. God is transforming me over time, and He lovingly leads me to repentance when I need to repent. But for any of us calling ourselves a Jesus follower and not acting like one and refusing to repent but behaving like those who don’t believe in God, my heart’s cry is they would turn from their sins, believe in Jesus as Lord and in His death and resurrection, be forgiven by God, be promised everlasting life with Him, be indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and be truly and totally devoted to living for God according to His ways for the glory of Christ, AMEN!
I forgive that man with the love and mercy of God, and I pray in Jesus’ name that God would lead him to repentance, save him, and teach him how to walk in His ways as we are all called to do.
If the Lord is bringing conviction to you through this message about your own heart and life, please turn to the Lord with your whole heart and live utterly and forever FOR HIM. Hallelujah, AMEN!
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2 NKJV