Friend of Sinners

Earlier this month we went on a road trip to Williamsburg Virginia to see Colonial Williamsburg as well as Jamestown and the battle fields at Yorktown. It was a long trip, just about 3,000 miles round trip as well as the driving while at our destination. Along for the ride were my wife Gail and my mom. Along the way we listened to a number of CDs as music helps me while driving. One song got me to thinking. It was “Jesus friend of Sinners by Casting Crowns. It fit well with the post I was writing about Luke 17:1-4 where Jesus admonishes us not to cause others to sin. The first verse and chorus are:

Jesus, friend of sinners, we have strayed so far away

We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing

Jesus, friend of sinners, the truth’s become so hard to see

The world is on their way to You but they’re tripping over me

Always looking around but never looking up I’m so double minded

A plank eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided

 

Oh Jesus, friend of sinners

Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers

Let our hearts be led by mercy

Help us reach with open hearts and open doors

Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours. Yeah…

 

I believe one of the main obstacles to people coming to Jesus is how Christians act. We are quick to point out the sins we see in others but too slow to show these same sinners the love of Jesus. As I slowly make my way through the Gospel of Luke one thing is very noticeable, Jesus hung around sinners. He ate with them. Almost the entire middle of Luke is the telling of what Jesus said to the Pharisees while dining with them.

One of Jesus’ disciples, Matthew, was a tax collector. In the first century being a tax collector was tantamount to being a thief. One of the arguments of the Pharisees was that Jesus associated with sinners. Yes Jesus judged their sins but Jesus also loved them and forgave them. Today we tend more to the judgmental than the forgiving.

What can we do? First and foremost is to be accepting of the person. Jesus called out the sinners and ministered to them. He did not dwell on their sins but on their salvation. He did not give up on sinners. Read how often He talked with the Pharisees. Second we need to make our churches open to sinners and welcome people into our churches. Make them feel at home. Remember that the new comer is just as we were once. If we spend more time loving others rather than pointing fingers, God’s church will grow. If we spend time pointing fingers then our churches will wither. Third we need to be out in the world proclaiming the love of Jesus. Jesus’ final command was for us to go to all the world proclaiming the Good News and baptizing all in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

One final thought not really connected with today’s message. On our trip to Williamsburg Gail and I were blessed to get to meet one of my fellow bloggers, John Paine with Veracity. John and his wife hosted a small dinner party for us and we spent a delightful evening of good food and good fellowship. Other than my friend Glenn, John is the first fellow blogger I have had the privilege to meat in the flesh. Once again, thanks John for a great evening.

Have a blessed day,

David

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About dwwork

The name of this blog is taken from 1 Peter 3:13 - “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience. This verse became special to me over ten years ago when I was asked to teach an adult Sunday school class on Christian apologetics. This interest grew over the years to the point that I took some graduate level classes in apologetics. I think the best way to be prepared to give and answer to everyone who asks is to know scripture. It is my hope that through these short devotionals the reader will become more familiar with each verse. I have tried when possible to make them personal hoping in some small way to show that God’s word written over two thousand years ago is still relevant today. In the writing of these short devotionals I have been able to better understand how God’s word impacts my life. It is my hope that you too will come closer to our Lord Jesus and develop a closer relationship with Him. Finally, if the reader finds anything in conflict with scripture please let me know. God’s word is the final authority always overrules anything I might write. David
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2 Responses to Friend of Sinners

  1. John Paine says:

    Our pleasure David. So glad you had a great trip to Williamsburg. We did indeed have to leave town early for the arrival of our grandson. Glad it all worked out. By the way, Glenn spoke at the Charlotte conference, and l introduced myself at the end of his session. Small world, go figure.

  2. John 9:30-32 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth His will, him He heareth. (KJV)

    John 8:34-36 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who Sins is a slave to Sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

    1 John 3:9 No one who is Born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been Born of God.

    1 Peter 1:21-23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

    Romans 6 : 1 – 2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

    Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting Holiness in the fear of God.

    John 8: 10-11 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and Sin no more.

    1 John 3: 6-8 whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.

    1 John 2:4-6 He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His Commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the Love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.

    Romans 6:22-23 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    1John 3 No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous.

    Romans 6:18-20 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

    1John 4:16-17 And we have known and believed the Love that God hath to us. God is Love; and he that dwelleth in Love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our Love made Perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.

    1 John 5:18-20 We know that no one who is Born of God Sins; but He who was Born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

    Christian Love – Anne.

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