GET TOGETHER- He Loves Too Much to Leave Us As We Are.
Mt 9:9 -13 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 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.”
I will never forget the night that three men from a church in the town that I lived the first half of my life in knocked on my door and came to see me. I was sitting at home at my altar. My altar was my coffee table. On my altar there were lines of cocaine, a bong pipe and to the best of my memory a Michelob in the can.
I am sure that these three men came to see me out of love for God and for a concern for where I would spend eternity. I am sure that they prayed for me before they came. It must have taken them a lot of courage to do that. I was very rude to them that night, but I praise God that the seed that they sowed others would water, and someone would get the harvest. It would be ten years later before I got saved, but still their visit had an impact.
I am glad that they loved me enough to come and see me and to voice their concern about my spiritual condition. People often like to make reference to the fact that Jesus ate and drank with sinners. I am so glad that He did. I am so glad that He was not like the Pharisees and felt like sinners were unredeemable.
With that said I am even more glad that He does not want to leave sinners in the condition that He found us in. He loves us too much to do that. He loves us too much to affirm our sin. I heard a good message yesterday on the radio. The Preacher made this statement in his message. He said that truth without love is harsh. On the other hand, he said that love without truth is soft. Meaning that it is just flimsy. Jesus was full of love. He was also full of truth. The Bible says it like this Joh 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
We can thank God that while we were living in sin, or if you are living in sin currently that Jesus loves us. He loves us in such a way that like in the account from Matthew He is willing to seek us out. He is willing to take risks and come to us no matter where we are. On the other hand, He loves us to much to leave us in the condition that He found us in. Notice He said that He came to call sinners to repentance. The Greek term for repentance in the original language of the Bible is metanoia, met-an’-oy-ah. It means a change of mind and a change of heart. The sinner who repents will no longer think, or believe as they have in the past.
I am so thankful that the three men that came to see me that night did not come there to affirm my sin. I am so glad that they loved me enough to speak the truth. As I said earlier I sure was rude to them. We live in a culture that is trying to convince us that things that the Bible speaks plainly against are outdated. As a Christian we have to love people enough to tell the truth. As a Christian we need the grace to speak lovingly the truth to those that we love. Where people spend eternity will depend upon it. My roots are in a stream in the Body of Christ that taught that there was grace before we got saved that kept us from getting so far away from God that we perished. There was that grace that brought us into relationship with God through a born-again relationship with Jesus Christ. And then there was the grace that was at work in our lives rooting out sin and perfecting the image of Jesús Christ in us. We can’t affirm sin and allow that grace to work in our lives.
That day Matthew got up and followed Jesus. He left a lifestyle as a Tax Collector. Tax Collectors were known for extorting from their own people. It would one day cost him his life. But I am sure over two thousand years later that he would tell you that it sure was worth leaving his lifestyle of sin with all of the financial perks that were involved in it. When we leave our lives of sin it is worth it as well.
Let Us pray
Lord today we thank You that You seek out sinners. Lord we thank you that You change the lives of sinners. We pray for that read this today that we will walk and follow you in such a way that the world will no longer define us. In a way that the devil has no sway over us. And that we will go from glory to glory being remade in your image.
In Jesús Name
Love all of you very much!