Have You Ever Needed Help Up?

“…Has been removed as Senior Pastor of…” I struggled to process the words I was hearing. This pastor was someone whom I had looked up to, learned from and listen to for years. How could this be possible?

Restoration takes place when we lift someone up.

It didn’t take long for the details to come out. This man had not been vigilant and in his own words, he had made the choice to turn to alcohol instead of Jesus in his struggles. He owned up to his actions and was in full agreement with the decision to remove him as senior pastor.

Many asked, “What will happen to this incredible church?” The media and its critics would make a field day of this situation. With the loss of such a high profile leader would the church survive?

If they built the church on the proper foundation, it will weather this storm.

This event was the greatest teaching opportunity this church had known. Traditionally a failure like this provided an opportunity to do what the church is best known for, killing its own wounded. They needed to put this wretched sinner down never to tarnish the name of Christ again.

But the Bible requires something entirely different of us.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

The goal for this church was restoring their pastor. Not to the pastorate but to a proper relationship with Christ, his family and the church. They were fully aware of this great opportunity to teach – they practiced what they preached!

Many of us have someone in our lives in need of Galatians 6:1. How do we respond when a family member, a co-worker or a friend has fallen?

First we must realize:

I. We Are Not Without Sin

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

No matter how strong we think we are, life crushing sin is just a heartbeat away! The sin that destroyed years of ministry began when a man who let down his guard for a moment. A moment is all it took!

[bctt tweet=”No matter how strong we think we are, life crushing sin is just a heartbeat away!” username=”michaelkduff”]

The starting point in this process is to check our hearts. Is there a weakness we need to confess or bring into the light? Is there an area where we need help or accountability?

We are incapable of bringing restoration in the life of another when our own hearts are not right.

II. Restoration Requires Forgiveness

We must forgive if the offense was personal. God has forgiven the sinning person, but restoration will not if we harbor bitterness or anger toward a person.

Our greatest reason to practice forgiveness is we may one day be the one needing forgiveness.

III. Restoration Requires Patience

While our hearts are anxious to see restoration happen quickly, it is not a quick process. Sometimes restoration requires years not days. Setbacks will occur. Are we ready to show loving kindness and patience as God has with us?

Consequences are difficult to work through and we need use care to show others the patience that God has shown us.

IV. Restoration Requires Grace

When we show grace we make the choice not to kill our own wounded.

[bctt tweet=”Grace makes the choice not to kill our own wounded.” username=”michaelkduff”]

Grace may mean calling the offender to see how they are doing, rather than gossiping about them on Facebook.

We can show grace by sitting next to them in church and not  avoiding them as others do.

Grace may mean protecting them from the self-appointed Christian hit men who feel the need to enforce righteousness.

God has extended His full grace to all of us. No one needs it more than someone who has fallen in that grace. Even pastors!

No one has ever fallen beyond the reach of biblical truth. But for restoration to take place, we all have to do our part.

Who do you need to show – forgiveness, patience and grace to today? What steps do you need to take towards restoring someone who is fallen?

If this post has encouraged you in any way, please leave a comment or share it with your network!


Three Steps To Finding Yourself

“I just lost sight of who I was…” This was the heartbreaking confession of a friend who found himself in a great deal of trouble.

Most of us would be quick to admit that the greatest damage we do in life comes in those times that we forget who we are.

Mark 8:35-36 instructs us to lose ourselves for the sake of Christ. We can be very effective at losing ourselves, but more often than not, we do so for the wrong reasons.


We have probably experienced those moments in life when we forgot who we are. Those times when, we are tempted to forget our values, our character or our purpose in life.

We need to constantly be on guard because life altering sin is only a heartbeat away for any of us.

[bctt tweet=”Life altering sin is only a heartbeat away for any of us.” username=”michaelkduff”]

I Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Satan by deception and lies cause us to forsake the principles and truths God has put in place to protect us.

In the twinkling of an eye we can forget who we are and make choices that can destroy a lifetime of blessings.

It’s easy for us to get lost when we face things like:

  • Broken Emotions

A hurt that is not forgiven will turn into bitterness. Bitterness eventually becomes a lifestyle that results in outbursts of anger. Anger damages our testimony and destroys the relationships we value the most.

Satan loves to exploit broken emotions.

  • Broken Desires

According to James 1:14-15 the starting point for any sin is when we are drawn away from God’s standards by our own lust.

Our broken desires (sin nature) causes us to be selfish beyond our wildest imagination.

Because we are selfish, we are willing to pay any price to satisfy our selfish desires. The difficult part of this is that those desires will never be satisfied.

The flesh will always want more of what God has forbidden and satisfying that desire will always cost us more than we expected!

  • Broken Relationships

John Piper shared an incredible truth when he wrote, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

The opposite of that is true as well, we are never more satisfied as humans, than we are when we bring glory to God. If our relationship with God is broken or damaged, if we forget who we are in Him, we open ourselves up to damage in our other God ordained relationships.

So how do we get back to where we are supposed to be? How do we remember who we are?

  1. Remind Yourself Of Who You Are In Christ

Here are three things that will help you to see and understand who you are in Christ – read Psalms, read Psalms and finally, read Psalms.

David is one of the greatest examples in Scripture of someone who forgot who he was.

David called, “A man after God’s own heart,” committed adultery, plotted and then executed the murder of a trusted friend. Yet God’s love and care for him flows through much of this great book.

Check it out for yourself. Open your Bible to the Book of Psalms and get started today!

  1. Find A Mentor

We are not talking about a counselor at this point, although a mentor certainly can counsel. What is needed here is someone to do coffee with.Lost1

A mentor is someone who will not tell you how to get back on the right path, a mentor will walk back to the path with you and make sure you are headed the right direction.

Do you have a mentor? If not who can you find that will be one to you? Call them as soon as possible!

  1. Fellowship / Church

Hebrews 10:25 is not just a suggestion that God wanted to make. Church is something God knows we need. Especially when we forget who we are.

Yes, church it has flaws and hypocrites. The reason for that is it’s filled with other people just like you who have lost their way.

The testimony and struggles of others, may just be the strength and encouragement you need to help remember who you are!

This step is simple – go to church this weekend!

If this blog has been helpful or encouraging to you, please share it with your network!

The Case For Organized Religion

In recent years it has become a popular thing to declare one’s freedom from organized religion.


While some declare they have proudly walked away from the church, others declare they are no longer Christians, but Christ followers. You get the general idea.

What is interesting about all of this independence, is that the Christ they claim to be following away from organized religion, worked just fine within the confines of organized religion.

  • He kept the Passover.
  • He celebrated the feasts and special days.
  • He followed the Jewish Law.
  • He honored the Sabbath.

We never find Jesus resisting organized religion. What He did resist was the abuse of organized religion by arrogant, prideful, abusive religions leaders.

It’s fair to say that many times when someone proudly walks away from organized religion, it is not religion itself that is the problem.

More often than not, the problem is two selfish sinners (a church member & a religious leader) who choose not to take care of business the way the Bible instructs them too.

In other words, two sinners who are not getting their own way.

The danger in stepping outside the boundaries of organized religion, is that it opens us up to error, isolation, lack of accountability and false teaching.

Every church is going to have struggles and flaws because it’s a divinely decreed organization trying to operate in a cursed and fallen world. But it’s positives far outweigh its faults!

Organized religion provides us with:

I. Solid Doctrine

We define doctrine as a body of knowledge about a certain topic or belief.

While Christ sealed our eternal destiny, the Apostle Paul tells us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12)

He is telling us that our growth as Christians is our own responsibility.

Our spiritual growth is one reason it is so important that we avail ourselves of the solid doctrine presented through Bible believing churches.

When we step away from the organized church, we open ourselves up to doctrinal error and cultism.

II.  Accountability

We can’t just walk away from 2,000 years of Christian values and tradition!

For many, organized religion is automatically equated with legalism. Could I go so far as to say that in some instances legalism is of great value?


When I first became a Christian, I needed the structure and accountability of organized religion to help me overcome some of the personal struggles that I was facing as I tried to break free of my past.

Recent studies show that millennials are beginning to return to organized religion because of the structure and discipline it offers. They are looking to old mainline denominational churches that offer traditional services and values.

[bctt tweet=”Potentially, every person can benefit from what organized religion has to offer.” username=”michaelkduff”]

III. Biblical Teaching

When someone walks away from a Bible believing church, they step away from Biblical teaching. Often they begin to interpret the Bible according to their own desires and needs.

One of the greatest benefits of Biblical preaching and teaching is that it brings us face to face with ourselves! It challenges our thinking and causes us to check our thoughts and actions.

God has commanded the preaching and teaching of the Bible to protect us from sin and error in this life. Biblical teaching will warn us and make us aware of the pitfalls in life. It is as Proverbs says, A lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path! (Psalm 119:105)

I hope you are not quite ready to give up on organized religion. Potentially, every person can benefit from what organized religion has to offer.

How different would our world be if instead of walking away from organized religion, we asked, “How can we allow it to have a greater impact on future generations?”


What value do you find in organized religion?