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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Love them like Jesus did

How do we love like Jesus loved and not become corrupted by the world?

One thing about Jesus that always sticks out to me is how (some of) the sinners loved Him.
Think about that.
Many of them wanted to be around Him.
He was looked down on by His followers (other Christians to us) because He spent time with these people.

Even today He is accused of sin (DaVinci Code…Last Temptation of Christ…etc) because of His connection with sinners.

Look at this scripture:
John 3:16-18
16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

We know this verse, we skim right through that don’t we…

Look again at the first 6 words…

For God so loved the world.

He loves the world (people), then and now. His love for people in this world did not change once we decided to receive Jesus and forsake the ways of this world. His heart still aches for it.
Does mine?
Does yours?
It should if we are His children and He lives in us.

Look again at verse 17.
He did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.

Why do I (I’ll put the microscope on me lest you feel I am pointing a finger…I’m looking in a mirror first) condemn it? That is not His heart.

Will they all love us because we love them? Hardly.
John 15:18-20
18 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.
19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.
As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.
That is why the world hates you.

Yet, He gave His life willingly for them.
Because He loved them.

Mark 2:15-17
15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.

16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the "sinners" and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"

17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.

I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

How could Jesus “hang” with these sinners and not become corrupted by them?
He could because He stayed in His authority the whole time.
He never handed over who He was.
He never let the environment control Him.
He had a purpose.
He was not drawn to their sinful ways,
He was drawn to them because of His love for them.
THEY were drawn to Him because He showed them mercy not judgment.
Jude 17-23
17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold.
18 They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers
who will follow their own ungodly desires."
19 These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts
and do not have the Spirit.
20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith
and pray in the Holy Spirit.
21 Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our
Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
22 Be merciful to those who doubt;
23 snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy,
mixed with fear-hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

“Be merciful to those who doubt”…hmmm.

You might be wondering, am I forgetting Romans 1 and that our God is HOLY? Absolutely not.
He will not be mocked.
He is a righteous God that does not play with sin.
He will bring judgment.
He will- I don’t have to.

We are not to water-down our faith so we can “fit in”…what I am challenging myself to do is become more like Jesus and really love people. Especially the people who I am not always comfortable around. Show mercy.

If you feel yourself being “drawn to the fire” than by all means- back off!
Spend time with your Lord, let Him become your one true desire.
I am not advocating that we live LIKE the world so that we can love people.

Separate the sin from the sinner- love the sinner!
Accept the sinner not the sin.

This ended up being longer than I planned and I still have more to say…so we’ll continue later!


Susan said...

Our pastors message last night was this very thing. The church has got to get past being the LAST place that unbelievers want to come to because of the judgement they feel. They must feel literally DRAWN by the Love of Christ that they see demonstrated in the lives of Christians (church members in this instance).

The Church must reflect Christ!!!! not traditions.

Ashley said...

I absolutely love coming here. Thank you for speaking biblical truths in the bloggin' world!

Sharon Brumfield said...

Something about this statement hit my heart this morning.
"One thing about Jesus that always sticks out to me is how (some of) the sinners loved Him."
Sometimes I spend more time asking God to give me a love for believers that it becomes easy to forget about the unbeliever.
The thought that the unbeliever could want to be around me because the love of God is radiating out of me--that excites me.
When I do ask for that love--He gives it freely. To the cashier, or the gas station attendant--He will give the words of love if I ask for them. He will give me the desires of my heart.
Thank you girl!

Susan Skitt said...

So true, we must learn to speak the truth in love, both in our words and actions :) Yes, even when standing in the grocery line that's a mile long. Great post!

Pen of Jen said...

Ooh this is similar to what I have felt pressing on my heart. Wow!

I am so glad that you stopped by to my blog as now I have found yours!:)

Great post

Unknown said...

Very true. The key thing you said was the Jesus didn't change who He was, people were drawn to Him.

I see such a danger in the church today when we try to change the church to make it more "appealing" to the unbeliever, when if we just became more like Jesus, that would be all that would be needed to draw people. If we, as believers, focused on becoming Holy people, God would do the rest.

I guess the truth is also that many hated Him, and so we will be hated too. If we just focus on the Word, and being holy, then wether we are loved or hated...we will be focused on Jesus.

Unknown said...

Oh, yes...and thank you for stopping by my blog! I always enjoy my visit to your "space"!!!
God Bless!!

Jackie said...

AMEN...good words today!!

Heather C said...

Amen and Amen!!

I want to be approachable, authentic, and so passionate about Jesus that others are drawn to it, and to Him.

Break my heart with the things that break Your heart, Lord.

Middle-Aged Moi said...

That really applies to me today, Sue. Thanks for posting that. It was like a breath of fresh air.

Unknown said...

Hi, Sue at Praise and Coffee! I was just checking out blogs again today, and stopped by to read the comments! I hope and pray that what I wrote to you today was not offensive in any way. It was not meant to be argumentative, just some thoughts. I just wanted to mention that!!! Please forgive me if I was offensive!!!

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

YES! I am so guilty of that particular brand of self-satisfaction that Christians tend to exhibit. I'm going to church, I'm reading my bible, I have a healthy prayer life...I'm not as bad as them.

We are all as bad as them, because we are them! Jesus loved even me, and now I am called to love in His name. Thank you for your has given me yet another thing to pray about and meditate on.

Heather said...

*GREAT* stuff. I just want to shine with His love and Grace..not my own....God is so good.

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Amen Sue! CAn't wait to read the rest of your thoughts. I always think about Acts and the early church - they were growing so rapidly. People were drawn to the love they had and the God they followed. Something is truly missing these days. Sinners were drawn to Him and they should be drawn to us!

Praise and Coffee said...

I loved your comments! I agree whole-heartedly.

Thanks for commenting!


sharon brobst said...

Sue, Excellent post. I always am challenged and blessed when I visit you.


Beckyb said...

You said it well - and that is the whole dilemma we are in as Believers IN the world!!! Well said - thanks for the reminder!

Cahleen @ The Alt Story said...

Great post! I like this line:

"If you feel yourself being 'drawn to the fire' than by all means- back off! Spend time with your Lord, let Him become your one true desire."

How true! It's always good to remember that while it's good to love sinners and spend time with them in order to show God's mercy, we need to take care of ourselves too. If we don't "retreat" once in awhile to be refreshed by the Word of God, we run the risk of being more vulnerable to temptation.

concerned parent said...

You always make me think. Thank you for your honestly and Godly wisdom you are a vessel of the Lord Sue.

Amrita said...

thank you for the encouraging post sue. i need prayers as i feel i have hit rock bottom

Grafted Branch said...

Wonderful thoughts here, Sue! John 3:*17* is my very favorite verse. It says *so* much, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

I completely agree and yet I still needed this reminder. I wish I didn't always take two steps forward and one back on things of this nature.

You know that love that we have in our hearts for our children, that patient, unceasing love, no matter what they've done? The love that thinks the best of them and continues to hope for their salvation regardless of their attitudes and decisions? I want that kind of love for other sinners.

Roo said...

IN the world
but not being LIKE the world.

it's ok to be different. it is infact necessary.

Jill said...

Wonderful words Sue. God has thrust our family into a new group of people that I would not naturally be drawn to, but here we are. Thanks for the reminder to be a loving light.

holy chaos said...

our youth pastor in one of his sermons called Jesus a "come as you are" type of guy.

i just love that!

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