GET TOGETHER- Jesus Didn’t Dodge Sinners He Loved ThemMt 9:11-13 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
“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.”
This past week the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart very plainly about something. That something was that Jesus really loved all those people that He healed, delivered, and performed miracles either for, or in their life in some way.
The Holy Spirit has put a lot of people on my heart to pray for. Some are people on drugs. Some are people living sexual lifestyles that are in opposition to the Bible, some are people that I have seen make professions of faith, but don’t appear to be serving the Lord in a congregation. Others are some very “good people”, but to my knowledge they have not made a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ. One thing that the Holy Spirit impressed upon me was that when I pray for these people I really must pray out of love for them.
I can remember well Christians who treated me like I was a human being before I met Christ and the love that they showed to me. I can remember one guy who kept score on a softball team that we played against. Some of us would be doing some things that we did not need to be doing after we had finished a game and while we were waiting on the next game to start. This guy would come around and just talk to us. He wasn’t handing out tracts, or really pointing his finger at us. But I knew that he was a Christian. I also remember some preachers who would buy bar-b-que from me and every once and a while I would ask them a theological question. Usually my question would be do you think that we are getting close to the end. I knew if we had been that I was in trouble.
Sometimes as Christians we like to stay in the safe place. We either avoid the unsaved, or if we do interact with them we often don’t come across as loving. I am certainly not advocating that a person that has had a problem with certain sins in their past go put themselves in a position where they could be tempted to succumb to that lifestyle again. On the other hand, we can be more like Jesus and meet some people who have not come to Christ and let our light shine while we are with them.
Perhaps when you attend a sporting event that is a good time to associate with someone that has not come to Christ. Other opportunities could be on your lunch break at work. I have the blessings of leading a devotional at a plant where a few weeks ago, one of the employees accepted Christ during the devotional time.
Associating with unsaved people isn’t an endorsement of any lifestyle that person may be living. It is an opportunity for them to know that you love them, that you care about them and that they can see something in you that they don’t have.
One of the people that had a strong influence on me was one of our former football coaches in my former hometown. This man lived a holy life without putting on a religious façade. I remember going to a fish fry at his house. I drank diet Pepsi rather than what I had been drinking in the past on occasions such as that. I can say two things about this man. He never judged me, but he never compromised what he believed. Isn’t that just like Jesus? Isn’t that who Jesus is calling us to be in this callous and finger pointing culture that we live in. Jesus said it like this “Mt 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (NKJV)
Remember Jesus didn’t eat and drink with sinners and tax collectors to endorse their sinful lifestyles. He ate with them to call them to repentance. I have found that the Holy Spirit does a lot better job than I do concerning convicting people of their sins. Pray for them, love them, and yes let them hear what God has done for you. But most of all remember that you must love them. Jesus said it like this Mt 22:39 “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ His love is different than the way that the world loves Lu 6:32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
Let’s pray for people, love people, demonstrate love to people, and expect the Holy Spirit to call them to repentance from sin as they receive as we have the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus we thank You for the Christians who loved us, prayed for us and associated with us before we came to know your forgiveness and mercy. Today help us to do the same for those that you have put in our path. We are soo excited about them being our future brothers and sisters in Christ!
In Jesus Name
Please pray for me. I am praying about whether I need to order more of my first two books, or whether it is time to write another one. Please keep me in prayer concerning that.