April 3

Written by Bill Grandi on April 3rd, 2024

I have said on a number of occasions that “you cannot take people where you yourself have not been.”

Part of the vision of the church I pastor is Pursuing Jesus Passionately. We cannot lead or teach people to pursue Jesus if we ourselves are not doing so.

We recently visited the Grand Canyon. It is an amazing display of God’s creative genius. As we stood safely behind walls of stone taking pictures, we could see paths where people could hike to see more. I know there was more to see than I was able to see. So much more. And the best way to see that was with a guide who knew his/her way around. One who knew the trails. One who knew what to look for. A newbie is not what I would have wanted.

When Ezra came in the second wave of people returning to Jerusalem after having been in exile in Babylon, he was dismayed to see that the people had not fostered a love for God and His Temple. They had neglected the Scriptures and their influence in their lives. Enter Ezra, the priest. He saw it as his mission to lead (guide) them to the Scriptures, to call them back to the source. He knew that it was the Word of God that changed lives. What will turn this country around will not be a political party or candidate, legislation to change this or that; outlawing certain practices’; or legislating morality. If hearts are not changed, then we will just find another way to disobey God.

No. Ezra knew: change the heart with the Word of God and you change society. That’s good advice for the country. But it is especially good advice for the church. Study the Word, put it into practice, teach it to others, then the church changes. You can’t demand or legislate change. Only God’s Word can have a permanent impact.


9 Comments so far ↓

  1. Diane Ronzino says:

    Amen and Amen!

  2. Exactly, Bill. Christians need to immerse themselves in God’s Word in order to aptly lead others to Him.

  3. Ryan S. says:

    I think you are on target in regards to legislating morality vs Christians living as Christians. I am not saying that Christians won’t fail, won’t mess up, won’t fall away… What I am saying is when those who call themselves Christians simply turn a blind eye to the moral decay in our own lives vs calling it out to what it is… sin, we also take away the opportunity for grace to be applied. Grace is foundational to my understanding of who God is. We are called, however, to protect the innocent. I see absolutely NO problem in standing our ground as it pertains to abortion and the protection of those who are vulnerable. To take a quote from a book I am currently reading… “The people in our neighborhood, at your school, at your workplace should be safer because you’re there. Even if they don’t know it” As a man, and as the designated “Keeper of the Garden”, it is my responsibility.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I totally agree Ryan. WE must take a stand. But my point, as you know, is that we can’t legislate morality and expect that to do the trick. We have turned a blind eye way to often and for far too long.

  4. gail says:

    Absolutely agree with you Bill, Amen Only God can change people’s heart, we definitely cannot change the moral compass of the world without God, no matter what laws are put into action, laws only have limited power. I agree with Ryan, I would like to think that all of us christians would be proud to be “keeper of the garden” and to stand proud for the word of God. We need to remember that if we stand up for God, in all the right ways, God will use that stand to do something way beyond our own power and real change will happen in the hearts of people.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I hope Ryan comes back to see your agreement. 🙂 But as you say, only God can change people.

    • Ryan S. says:

      Thanks Gail, I took completely agree with our inability to change hearts through legislation, where I may differ about us that as Keepers of the Garden, we as Christians are still responsible to act. Keeping a Garden takes work. All it takes for evil to prevail is for those who follow God to do nothing. I have know problem with pushing for legislation to make a abortion illegal. I have know problem with promoting legislation that prevents the indoctrination of our children in schools that teaching gender is a decision. This in my mind is what it means to be a keeper of the garden. Protecting the innocent and vulnerable. I’m over the complacency and inaction and really over those who call themselves Christ followers promoting agendas that our culturally appeasing but Biblically wrong. Stepping down from my soapbox…