Thursday, December 6, 2012

Too Sick To Go To The Doctor?

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“But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'  For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matthew 9:13).

The Pharisees were always upset with Jesus for spending time with, “sinners.”  They believed you had to earn your right-standing before God and in the community.  Those who hadn’t earned it didn’t deserve their time.  Jesus answered them,  "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Luke 5:31).

The good news of the Gospel is not just that God saves sinners.  Everyone who had the Old Testament knew that.  The Good News is that God saves sinners even while they are sinners!

Can you imagine waking up sick and deciding that you better try and feel better before going to the doctor.  “I’m just too sick to go to the doctor today.”  What’s even crazier would be hospital staff saying, “Your illness is too life-threatening for this hospital.  Try to get better before you come here!”

The religious often do that.  People need to try to clean up their act before they can enter some churches.  But there are only 2 kinds of people:  Those who think they are righteous and those who know they’re not!  And when those who know they’re not put their faith in Jesus they plug into His righteousness!  If we will continue to worship God, tell the Good News, and love everybody, God will take care of the sin-sick souls.  

We need to tell the Truth, but also trust the process.  The passage I started with says many sinners were eating with Jesus because many followed him.  Followers of Jesus who keep sinning, eventually won’t keep following.  And sinners who keep following Him won’t keep sinning!  

When Jesus said, “I desire mercy,” he was quoting, Hosea 6:6.  The Hebrew word for mercy in that passage is the same word used for faith-love, or kindness in Isaiah 54:10:  Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my steadfast love/my loving kindness/my loyal love/my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

God desires that we reciprocate and love Him back with faithful love.  He also desires and requires that we reach out with that kind of love to others!  Freely you have received - now freely give!

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