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; For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matthew 9:12-13 NKJV
There are good reasons to hate sin and love sinners. God commands it. We all sin.
The only difference between Christians and sinners is the forgiveness offered through faith in Jesus Christ. The redeemed of the Lord are not slaves to sin. We are no longer identified by our sins. That does not mean we never sin!
As the world spirals farther and farther from God’s will it is going to be even more important to hate sin and love sinners. We may not all agree on exactly what hating sin and loving sinners means. That is not a problem for the Lord!
Loving people who are ensnared by sin and hating the sin that leads to bondage will mean different things at different times. Relationships and people are unique.
How can we know we love the person and hate the sin? The heartache and pain we feel for people who are caught up in sin is the evidence of our love for them!
I know the heartache and pain of watching people I love walk into bondage. I know the gut-wrenching pain, loss of appetite and sleeplessness of loving someone who is living in sin. I have watched and waited for a prodigal to return only to see him leave again.
If I needed experiential evidence Jesus came to save sinners I need only look back to my life before I met Jesus. If I needed a miracle to prove Jesus can heal restore and transform a life I only need to look in a mirror!
Jesus wept when He looked out over the city. He saw hardness in the hearts of His people. His heart was broken by their sin. His heart aches when He sees sin in our lives!
If the great multitude living in bondage breaks your heart it is because Jesus is forming His heart in you. Loving sinners and hating sin is painful. If you have any doubt ask Jesus.
There will be a time to set boundaries. There will be a time to end relationships. There will never be a time to turn our backs on people who are enslaved by sin!
Jesus wants us to stand with the people He loves today. Jesus wants us to stand with them in prayer. Jesus wants us to wait in faith for people just as He waited for us to turn from our sin. Jesus wants us to love His people as much as He does!
The Great Physician is healing, restoring and transforming lives today. He can perform lifesaving heart surgery on any person anywhere at any time. Jesus can even soften the hearts of people who are religious, self-righteous and judgmental!
Ask Jesus to perform heart surgery on you today!
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. Matthew 9:9 NKJV
Jesus is calling us to follow Him today!
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? Matthew 9:10-11 NKJV
If Jesus was living among us today He would eat with alcoholics, drug addicts, gang members and dishonest businessmen. Would we wonder why? Would we realize we are all sinners? Some of us just happen to be saved!
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. Matthew 9:12-13 NKJV
Jesus came to bring healing to the sick and lame. He came to restore people who were lost. God expects us to show the same mercy to the sick of spirit and eternally lost today.
Jesus is not calling us to sit in the pews of our churches and preach to each other. He is calling us to lead people to salvation through our witness of His mercy. Jesus is calling us to be people of tolerance and acceptance!
The words tolerance and acceptance have become distorted and misunderstood. Satan uses these buzz words to separate people from Jesus. He uses them to isolate Christians from people who have been deceived. He uses them to marginalize our witness.
The people of God should be the most accepting and tolerant of all people.
We can be a witness of God’s mercy if we are accepting of the lost the lonely and the brokenhearted. Accepting people means loving them as worthy of honor and respect.
Tolerance does not require that we compromise truth. It means loving people regardless of what they believe or how they live.
Love requires that we speak the truth of God’s Word. We must ask Him to help us speak the truth in love without judgment or condemnation. God loves sinners. He loves us!
The Lord is calling us to share the message of Salvation with people regardless of the sin that so easily besets all of us. Jesus is calling us to continue His ministry of reconciliation today!
Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour. Matthew 8:13 NKJV
A Roman Centurion pleaded with Jesus saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” The Centurion answered and said, “Lord I am not worthy that you should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.” “For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, “Go,” and he goes; and to another “Come,” and he comes; and to my servant, “Do this, and he does it.” When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, even in Israel!”
This story is about a Roman officer who believed Jesus had power to heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons. He was a leader in the most powerful army in the world.
What would his superiors say if they knew he turned to a Jew and showed mercy to a slave? The Centurion had to turn his back on all he was trained and taught to believe. He had to turn from the arm of flesh to faith in Jesus Christ!
Jesus saw in the Centurion the faith to believe in a Kingdom he could not see with his eyes. The officer did not ask for himself. He put his trust in an unseen God who calls us to serve other people regardless of their social status, race or color.
The Centurion believed he would be rewarded for his faith in ways he did not understand. He had faith to believe God opposes the proud of heart and gives grace to the humble in spirit.
Jesus said if we have the faith of a mustard seed we could say to a mountain move from here to there and it will move. He is not telling us we can ask for anything we want and it will be given to us if we muster up enough faith.
When we serve Jesus and walk in obedience to His will no obstacle can stand in our way. Only lack of faith can stop God from accomplishing His will for your life today!
Do you have the faith to believe in a Kingdom you cannot see with your eyes? Do you believe God opposes the proud and give grace to the humble? Will you trust God to do great and mighty works in your life today?
Will you live by faith in Jesus and not by what you can touch with the arm of flesh!
Do not look down on anyone. Don’t think too highly of yourself. Those who are first in the eyes of man will be the least in the kingdom of God!
Jesus can use the smallest acts of faith to accomplish the greatest of miracles. Jesus can use you to lift others up out of miry clay of unbelief into the eternal kingdom of Almighty God!
And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, Lord if You are willing, You can make me clean. Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, I am willing; be cleansed. Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Matthew 8:2-3 NKJV
The man with leprosy in this story was given the gift of a horrible disease. God blessed him with an eternal incorruptible blessing!
Leprosy caused people to become disfigured and scarred. People with leprosy were considered unclean. Lepers became outcasts separated from family and community. Leprosy was a disease of hopelessness and despair.
My wife and I served at a Halloween lighthouse. We shared the gospel with children. Three teenage boys stopped by. We asked if they would like to hear the wordless bible presentation.
I was surprised when they sat down. I was blessed and amazed when they gave their hearts to the Lord. None of us has any idea who will and who won’t be saved!
I could send out e-mails until my computer crashes and it would be a waste of time. We cannot talk people into the Kingdom of God. We cannot convince people to trust Jesus and walk by faith. Human effort never saved any one and it never will!
A person who comes to Christ must be drawn to Him by the Holy Spirit. Only God knows who will and will not respond to the gospel.
The man in this story did not enjoy having leprosy. Only another leper knows how horrible his condition was. God knew. He also knew what it would take to bring him to salvation.
Jesus did not have to touch the man with leprosy to demonstrate His compassion and love. Jesus touched him to demonstrate His authority over creation!
Jesus met this man’s need for physical, emotional and spiritual healing. He was cleansed. He was healed. He was made whole in ways we can see with our eyes. He was also made whole in ways we cannot see with our eyes.
The man in this verse was blessed with leprosy because it made him aware of his need for the great physician!
I do not know what your needs are today. I do not know your condition today. I do know Jesus is available today. He wants to heal you in ways you can see with your eyes. Jesus also wants to heal you in ways you cannot see with your eyes.
Jesus wants to touch you today. Jesus wants to cleanse your soul. God wants you to have the faith to believe Jesus can bring healing and restoration into your life!
Jesus is holding out His hand to you today. Are you willing to receive His loving touch?
“Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matthew 7:22-23 NKJV
Why would Jesus cast a person out of His presence who has done great works in His name? When we stand before Jesus He will not judge us by the works we did in His name. Jesus will judge us by the motivation for the things we do in His name.
Jesus said we would know what is in a person’s heart by what their lives produce. The secrets in a person’s heart cannot remain hidden. Everything is eventually exposed.
When we stand in judgment before God our eternal destiny will be decided by one simple fact alone. Did we or did we not live by faith in Jesus Christ!
Jesus is the doorway that leads to relationship with God. He created us to live in loving relationships. The Lord created us to be loved by Him. He created us to love and care for each other. The capacity to give and receive love is one of the ways we resemble God.
God did not create us to go to church on Sunday. He did not create us to read our bibles. The Lord did not create us to pray. Those activities in themselves do not please the Lord.
God is pleased when we stay actively engaged with Him. He is pleased when we allow Him to live out the life of Christ in us and through us. The Lord is pleased when our love for each other is revealed by how we live!
God wants us to know Jesus Christ and make Him known to the world. Do you know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? Does the Lord know you? Take drastic measures to know Jesus and be known by Him today!
We all sin. Not all of us are sinners. What is the difference? People who live by faith in Jesus Christ are forgiven of sins past, present and future. We are no longer slaves to sin. Sin has no control over us. We are no longer identified by our sin
Years after meeting Jesus I returned to a sin God delivered me from. A Pastor reminded me that I did not need to be set free. I was already free. I dropped that bad habit like a stink bug!
If you have not been forgiven turn to Jesus today. Jesus will wash your sins away. If you know Jesus but have turned back to sin let it go. Jesus set you free so you could walk in freedom today!
When Jesus looks deep into your heart He wants to see love and devotion for Him. Please your Heavenly Father today through faith in Jesus Christ!
“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34 NKJV
Life is hard. God is good!
Jesus does not want us to worry about the trials and hardships tomorrow may or may not bring. Jesus wants us to focus on our relationships with Him and each other today.
My wife had surgery. She developed an infection. She was transferred to a rehab center. Conditions at the facility were deplorable. She came home. I became her caretaker.
My wife needed constant care. I needed to work. I thought I could do both. I could not. I took my vacation and sick days. I tried to meet her needs before work and after. I tried to accomplish more at work in less time. I failed miserably at both.
At home I was thinking about work. At work I thought about my wife. I promised to care for her even if I lost my job. I didn’t think it would come to that. It almost did.
I gave up trying to do both. I focused on my wife’s care. I did the best I could at work. If there was a conflict she came first. I felt guilty. I started to worry. I wondered what tomorrow may bring. Did I do the right thing? Would I do it again?
I am at peace with the decision to put my wife’s care before work even if I do lose my job! A double minded man is unstable in all His ways.
God gives us clear priorities in His word. What are they?
God’s greatest commandment is, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” The second is, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” My wife would not consider herself my neighbor, but no one lives closer to me than she does!
We will suffer tribulation in this life. There will be times when we need to prioritize our time and activities. God wants us to work. It should never be our number one priority. The people we love should be. That starts with Jesus!
Life is complicated. There is much to worry about. It does not help. Worrying makes circumstances worse. It clouds our judgment. It affects our physical, emotional and mental health. It makes us easy prey for the enemy of our souls!
Worry is the opposite of faith! Do not worry about tomorrows trials and troubles. Trust God to lead you and guide through life on planet earth today!
I wrote this message four years ago. The winds of adversity still blow into and out of our lives. Jesus promised our time on earth would be filled with trials and trouble. Jesus also promised to be with us every step of the way as journey through a fallen world.
Jesus overcame the world so that your heart can be full of peace and joy today!
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:33-34
God’s word tells us He will meet the needs of His people. He will protect His people from harm. The Lord is a re-warder of people who diligently seek Him today. He will bless His people today!
God is not offering us a bribe or a reward. He is not telling us if we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness He will meet our needs for the purpose of having His way!
All throughout the scriptures God is trying to convince us of the benefits of living the life He created us to live. Jesus is telling us to seek the greater prize first!
God created us with a void in our souls only He can fill. He tells us to seek Him first because only Jesus can give us the peace and fulfillment He wants us to have. Almighty God completes us!
We have brothers and sisters around the world who do not know what they will eat today. They are not even concerned about tomorrow yet. I lack the wisdom to try and tell you how to deal with this in your own heart. We can turn to God. We can ask Him!
In this country most of do not know what it is like to go to bed at night with our stomachs growling. We have food in the refrigerator. We must decide if we want ranch or Italian dressing on our salad. We are not physically hungry.
There is great spiritual hunger in this country today. People turn to the latest concept of who they think God really is. They have a void in their souls they are not even aware of!
Will you join me in seeking the Kingdom of God today?
I am going to pray God will take me to a deeper level of understanding of His will for my life is. I am going to pray that God will take me to a deeper level in my relationship with Him. I am going to pray for revival in my City. I am going to pray that it starts with me!
You may not live in the same city that I do. Pray for revival in your heart and in your city. Let’s seek the Kingdom of God together today!
God loves you with an everlasting love. Because God loves you He wants you to seek the greater prize first!
What is the greater prize? The greatest prize a person can receive is everlasting life in the kingdom of God where there will be no tears, trials, trouble or tribulation. The darkness of this world will be replaced by the illumination of God’s great love!
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:33-34 NKJV
When the stock market crashed in 1929 people committed suicide. They had amassed great wealth. It dissipated like fog in the noon heat. Had they really lost everything?
They were devastated because they lost their sense of identity and self-worth. They were so self-absorbed they could not imagine living anything less than a life of leisure and extravagance.
Jesus is telling us to establish healthy priorities. When we seek God first and make a relationship with Jesus our highest priority He meets our needs.
The commands and instructions given to us by God in the bible are not just a list of do’s and don’ts. When we read the Word of God we should always ask how it applies to us today.
Jesus is telling us we have needs only He can meet!
When we become self-absorbed and focused on our needs and desires we become anxious and consumed with worry.
God wants us to let Him meet our greatest needs. Our need for unconditional acceptance. Our need for unconditional forgiveness. Our need for the unconditional love only He can give us!
Our identity can only be revealed to us by God. A true sense of self-worth comes from giving the Lord what is rightfully His, first place in our hearts and lives!
Jesus wants us to view all things with an eternal perspective.
Look at the things around you today. None of them will follow you into eternity. The only things you will take with you when you step into eternity are godly relationships.
Jesus created to live in loving relationships with Him and each other. He wants us to work on our relationships now before we spend eternity together. Jesus wants us to work on our relationship with Him today!
Do not worry about tomorrow. Seek the righteousness of God today. Jesus will meet your true needs!
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV
The bible was written as encouragement, an exhortation and instruction manual for right living so God can bless us.
God reveals Himself to us through His written Word. He reveals His character. God has a personality. He has emotions. There are things the Lord likes and things He does not like.
God is not telling us money is bad. If the Lord has blessed you financially don’t feel guilty or less spiritual. Be blessed and thankful.
If you are struggling financially rejoice. One day you will walk upon streets of Gold. We are eternal beings. We will outlive our current financial status.
God does not want us to be disappointed. If we set our hearts upon the treasure of this world we will be disappointed. Money never satisfies our real needs and desires. It is temporal. You are eternal.
The things this world calls treasure have a way of vanishing into thin air. Even if you managed to build up a fortune and hold onto it you cannot take it with you when you leave planet earth!
You can send your treasure on ahead of you today. You can use your earthly treasure for eternal purposes. Ask God to show you how to use your money in ways that will glorify Him and bless people in eternal ways.
Jesus loves you regardless of how much money you have. Jesus does not want you to be disappointed by meaningless and temporary things that glitter. The Lord wants to bless you with eternal and incorruptible blessings!
Jesus wants you to set your heart upon that which never fails or disappoints and always satisfies, His great love for you!
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, you shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment. But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.”
“You have heard that it was said, you shall not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:21-22 & 27-28
Jesus went up on a mountainside. His disciples came and sat before Him. He taught what we know as the Sermon on the Mount or The Beatitudes. We should recognize it as a Sermon of Blessings!
Jesus did not come to abolish the law and the prophets. He came to fulfill them. He said we must surpass the righteousness of the Pharisees to enter the kingdom of heaven.
People who had ears to hear were told the pride of life the lust of the eyes and sinful pleasures have nothing of eternal value to offer. True rewards await them in heaven!
We are the salt of the earth. If we lose our saltiness we serve no eternal or earthly purpose. We are the light of the earth. Our light should pierce the darkness so other people can find their way to Jesus!
Jesus called His disciples to turn from earthly values to pursue heavenly purposes. It was no longer enough to follow the Ten Commandments. He wanted their minds to reflect His holiness.
Jesus is calling us to abandon earthly values and pursue heavenly purposes today. What does that mean? It is not enough for us to just obey the Ten Commandments. We must take control of our thought life.
Our thoughts drive our behaviors and fuel our attitudes.
If I harbor resentment and un-forgiveness it hardens my heart. The anger builds until it boils over. My witness and ministry suffer. I bring shame to Christ rather than glory to God.
If I lust after other women the desire for my wife diminishes. The sweetness of our intimacy sours. The desire to please and care for her is replaced with selfishness and insensitivity!
God pronounced blessings on people walk in humility seek His ways and set their hearts on the kingdom to come. He warned people who set their hearts desire on the pleasures of this fallen world.
Do not sit in the seat of fools. Don’t join in the counsel of the wicked. Sit at the feet of Jesus today. Take your counsel from the Word of God. Sit atop the mount of blessings all the days of your life!
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