“Jesus mingled with people” was the title of our Sabbath School lesson 6 with memory text Luke 15:1, 2 “Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them”. I was sitting in the church on Sabbath, reading my Sabbath School study & getting ready for church. I actually laughed out loud, as I know this is God chasing me down, once again, to put me on the right track. You see, I started this post a while ago and this post was the whole reason why I started writing again. I’ve been putting it off with various excuses & when God nudged me again on Sabbath, I said to Him, ok, I’ll finish it on Sunday. Sunday came and went & I spent the entire day doing things like; working out in gym, and practicing ballet to Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” song & stretching & cuddling with my cats. Monday came, I said well got work & gym. Tuesday I knew I can’t as I had dinner plans but God said “enough”. So my plans fell through & here I’m working on this. I’m planning to go & work out tonight, but I think I’ll finish this first LOL
In spite of how I appear to others, I’m a very secretive person, & I’ve very few friends and even fewer best-friends, well one currently, apart from my cats. Jack is my best friend. I tell him everything. He is an atheist and he is also gay and he is “married” to another man. And I love him. We are an unusual pair and opposite in everything including political affiliations. We workout together whenever we can and he taught me many things and he was a competitive skier from Austria, and he trained ballet dancers and of course, naturally he became my unofficial “trainer”. And because he questioned God, my faith strengthened.
Couple of days after my personal & very traumatic loss, I was at the gym on the treadmill and running very hard towards oblivion but apparently I wasn’t going anywhere; he approaches me and says “you have very sad eyes and you shouldn’t”. Jack is a psychologist and treats post traumatic disorders. My first thought was “go away. Why are you bothering me”. But I was polite and talked to him and I don’t know how, but we went into God subject. It took me three months to talk to him about my tragedy and it took him three months to tell me that he was married to another man. You see, I knew he was married but well, I assumed he was married to a woman as he has two children as well.
Jack says I’m an eccedentesiast. He was there for me when my family wasn’t and I praise God for placing Jack in my life. Because of him, I searched through scriptures to answer his questions; he set me straight in my facts (we argue a lot and cover every topic while working out); supportive of all my stupid ideas; helped me cope with idiotic people; trained me into shape; nurtured me when I was broken hearted. I see his need for God in his life even if he doesn’t acknowledge it. We are best friends, Jack & I and I love him and he adores me.
Jack knows where I stand on homosexuality as my core values are based on Bible. But he also knows, as I repeatedly try to instill in him that as a Christian also, I love him and that I am trying to reflect Christ’s love and that I’m trying to show him Christ loves him irrelevant of who he is. I am writing about him because he told me something which really upset me and because he is hurting, I am hurt as well. He takes care of his 80+ year old mother and he took her to a church because she wanted to visit and there this priest or pastor was nasty to him and told Jack what a sinner he is and on and on…. I wish I could keep Christians away from my non-Christian friends as they totally distort the character of Jesus Christ with their own interpretations of Bible and bending and twisting the scriptures to suit their needs.
I’ve been simmering for a while now on this topic for a good reason. A few weeks before Jack told me this, I was having a conversation with a “Christian” friend who has been going through marital problems which now fruitioned into a divorce. I have been very supportive of her through these years and I know marriage in itself is a daily commitment to your spouse because we have carnal nature & every day we must crucify this nature to the cross. So even when she was living with her husband, she was estranged from her husband, and she was going on to the online dating sites, or flirting with other men who were showing a bit of attention and all these I understand perfectly. People do fall out of love for reasons, and while our God is a very understanding God, we owe it to ourselves to take these problems to God & let Him help us out and God will help us to sort out our problems. Well in spite of my begging her, she didn’t seek God to help her out with her situation.
I’m telling all these for a reason. It’s not to list out the “sins of others” but because I often find these so called “Christians”, in this self-righteous mode because they are “Christians”. As if, God discounts their sins because they call themselves Christians. Anyway, this friend of mine was telling me about something she found out about gays and she goes “I’m sure God prepares their hell fire 70 times hotter than the rest and they will burn forever”.
This got me so angry and it took all my power to control myself & to “tame” my very sharp tongue & to keep the anger out of my words but I was harsh. I almost screamed “stop right there”.
Sin is sin. God doesn’t discriminate. There is no big sin or little sin. No one sin is greater than another. All sin is offensive to God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) and we’re conceived in sin like David said (Psalms 51:5). We all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). It is only though Jesus Christ, our sacrificial lamb, that we may be saved and escape the consequences of sin.
Jesus Christ hung out with sinners and He came to seek out the lost ones like me. God saw me at my lowest point. My miserable, wallowing worst. I was pitiful, sorrowful, shameful. If a person like Paul says that he’s the chiefest of sinners, I don’t know where I put myself on that scale ! But God still loves me…The God who spoke a word and all that is, came into existence and who knows me inside and out and He still loves me !
What an Amazing Grace !!
If a Christian commits sin, God doesn’t automatically waive it off because of his/her attendance at the church, his/her reading scriptures, etc. I don’t care who you are, but God didn’t give you permission to judge others (Matthew 7:1). You may correct and admonish someone according to the Word of God but you may not judge. No one is sinless.
One may go to church, pray, read Bible and do fasting and may still have his/her heart light years away from God. When we call ourselves Christians we have to be extra careful about how we portray our lifestyle. Our life should speak loudly about Christ’s love & not our Bible knowledge.
I want to be quite clear here. I am not condoning any form of sin. This post is about Christ’s love and our duty as Christians. It’s about putting Christ before our wants and wishes. Denying our nature & picking up the cross daily. Christ is aware of our weaknesses and He will help us if we let Him. It’s about having an open conversation with our Lord God with total honesty and remembering that God knows our hearts. He reads our minds but He wants us to have that honesty with Him and not hide like Adam & Eve did when they ate that forbidden fruit.
God is interested in the tiniest details of our lives as He loves us immensely. He created us in His image and so He wants us to chat with Him, to tell Him our hopes, dreams and bring Him the pain, hurt and our tears. He remembers our hurt and He bottles our tears (Psalms 56:8).
It’s about tethering our minds to the Word of God and having a Christ centered relationship and is staying humble and not being prideful. God doesn’t want to use us if we have a super big ego. It’s about totally submitting ourselves to God and acknowledging that I can’t do this without Him. God works through us to reach someone like Jack or my “Christian” friend. Having a Christ centered life means realizing that Christ’s Grace is NOT a license to sin. Most of the Christians I’ve come to know are very comfortably wallowing in sin because they are under the assumption that they can pray “forgive our sins” without being repentant and they can clear their slate.
I am guilty of this as well. I’ve time & again found myself on slippery ground. I’ve followed the influences of my heart in the past & I’m sure I’ll do this again, if I were not careful. But I’m growing up for sure as now instead of running away from God, I’m turning to Him, for the current problem I find myself in and yes, I’m struggling with a current tug of heart. 🙂
There’s a difference between confessing and repenting. And Christ wants us to acknowledge and understand it thoroughly. We need to have continuous circumcision of our hearts to make the covenant with Christ. We confess and repent and we try our very best to stay sanctified with the help of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We as Christians should be accessible to unbelievers. Mrs. White explains “Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then, He bade them, ‘Follow me’. The Ministry of Healing, p. 143
Sin withered and cracked my soul. I’m a broken and crushed vessel, hastily glued together, and I’m not worthy of anything, but God is making something of me, because He still loves me !