Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Being Under Law (Revisited)

(Note: This is a follow up to the previous post's last entry)

Being under law very likely means you may become a Pharisee towards the very people you yourself used to be. It’s not that we don’t hunger and thirst after righteousness, it’s that we don’t shut out (or try to shut out) returning prodigal sons and daughters from the love of God. Which really indicates ones own selfishness or unwillingness to receive it or likely see their own need for it. For when an individual believer or church congregation does so, they are not following the Lord Jesus Christ who ate and drank with sinners in the hope of their repentance. Consider what Jesus said to the Pharisees when they criticized Him for eating with Matthew the tax collector and Matthew’s tax collector and sinner friends after Matthew’s conversion, and Matthew invited Jesus to come to his house for dinner and Jesus heard the Pharisees criticizing Him for doing so: 12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Matt. 9:12-13 Where is your heart towards sinners? Is it contempt, indifference, judgment? Or is it like Jesus a heart that says: “I have come to seek and save that which is lost?” Luke 19:10

It’s so easy to drift into conformity of those in the faith who themselves have maybe long forgotten what it means or feels like to be separated from God. But Jesus never forgot. From the time He stepped into our broken world, until His last dying breath on the cross. Jesus’ never forgot. And that is why He sought out sinful people to restore what sin and Satan had separated from God. Every encounter Jesus had was not only intentional, it was merciful. Not sentimental. But tactful in hope of planting faith in people's lives. Yet Jesus never failed to speak the truth into people’s lives, but when He did He did it with a heart of love. Love that could both embrace the broken with tears and rebuke the religious proud for their hard heartedness. Where are you at as a Christian or a church? If you’ve drifted from the love of God maybe it’s time for a course correction. For it’s not just sinners that are in need of God’s grace, it’s us as well.

Scripture Quotations:
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

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