Who is the greatest trumpet player ever? The names of Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis, and Dizzy Gillespie might come to mind. Louis Armstrong, however, tops most lists. He is arguably the best trumpet player in modern times. He left a lasting impact on music. God is calling us all to play the trumpet too. Now it is our turn to leave a lasting impact. Find out how. Please read more.
In Ezekiel 33:1-9, the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel and told him that as a watchman he was to blow the trumpet and warn the people of their wicked ways. Ezekiel 33:8 states, If “you do not speak up to warn the wicked about their ways, they shall die in their sins, but I will hold you responsible for their blood.” And Ezekiel 33:9 states “If, however, you warn the wicked to turn from their ways, but they do not, then they shall die in their sins, but you shall save your life.”
Galatians 6:1 tells us essentially the same thing with these words, “Brothers, even if a person is caught in some transgression, you who are spiritual should correct that one in a gentle spirit, looking to yourself, so that you also may not be tempted.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says it this way, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” And, finally, James 5:19-20 gives us these words, “My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”
It is an indisputable truth, that God calls each of us as Christians, to rebuke and reprove our brothers and sister who are living in ways contrary to His teaching. Said differently, playing the trumpet is not an option for those who are followers of Jesus Christ. So why don’t we?
The first, and most obvious reason, is that most of us prefer to avoid conflict. We also know that we have our own faults and sins, therefore we are reluctant to point out the sins of others. Maybe we have set down our trumpet because of what is written in Mathew 7:1-5. It tells us, “Stop judging, that you may not be judged,” and “remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”
To truly understand what we as Christians are supposed to do, we need to better understand the difference between reproving someone and judging someone. We are called to do the former not the later. It is possible to reprove without judging. We should reprove or admonish someone living in sin, because we care enough to guide them back towards the path to salvation. Judging as referred to in Mathew 7:1, is reserved for God alone.
So how do we reprove without coming across as judgmental? We begin with the realization we are not the band leader, God is! We are called to play His tunes with His melodies. What do I mean by this? We must always remember to talk to God about man before talking to man about God. We must pray before we speak, and when we speak, we must do so with love.
It is wrong to judge, but it is equally wrong not to call people away from their sinful practices. Love is willing the good of another. We must pray for God’s guidance, and we must approach everyone in the spirit of love.
There is an old phrase, “Make a friend, be a friend and bring that friend to Christ.” One approach to reproving someone starts by telling the other person about our own struggles to follow God’s teaching. In doing this, our words won’t seem filled with condemnation. Matthew 18:15 tells us, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.” Reproving is not easy, but it must be done. Our modern culture tells us to let others do their own thing. God, however, relentlessly calls people out of their sin, and He wants us to care enough to do the same.
The country music group Alabama sang a song called, If You’re Gonna Play in Texas. The song contained these lyrics, “If you’re gonna play in Texas, You gotta have a fiddle in the band.” I will conclude today with my modified version of that line. “If you’re gonna to be a Christian, you gotta play the trumpet in God’s band.”
Heavenly Father, it is never easy to confront someone with their sins, when I have so many of my own. Give me courage to share your Gospel with humility and truth. Give me words that bring peace and not division. Guide me with compassion, not confrontation. Help me to love like you do. Amen!
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