DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-07-27
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS
SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 5:30-32
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)
BIBLE TEXT: 30 … “Why would you defile yourselves by eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners? Doesn’t Jesus know it’s wrong to do that?”
31 Jesus overheard their complaining and said, “Who goes to the doctor for a cure? Those who are well or those who are sick? 32 I have not come to call the ‘righteous,’ but to call those who know they are sinners and bring them to repentance.”
APPLICATION: Part of the great divide between Christians and unbelievers might be caused by the cliques that are created, often unknowingly. Christians are taught to, and often feel most comfortable to, hang out with those of like faith. Sure, I believe that scenario will create great accountability partners, and there will probably be less room for argument, as we will seldom challenge each other on what we believe, or what we do. I see little difference in this practice when looking at the unsaved, for they tend to hang out in like groups and places. Because of this exclusivity, it seems like each group tends to look at the other group as pretenders and thinking of themselves as better than the other. To a certain extent, this may be true, especially if one fails to associate with member of the opposite group. But Jesus may have introduced us to a very unique thought in the Scriptures today. It we truly want to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and do the will of the Father, wouldn’t we want to spend some time around the people we are trying to share the Gospel with? After all, how many Christians will we aim to ‘save’, again? Sure, iron sharpens iron, and we need the strength, encouragement and love from our Christian brothers and sisters, but if we refuse to mix with non-Christians and understand their needs, how will we ever discern the difference that Jesus might make in their lives? Additionally, how else will your unsaved friends know Jesus’ way of living and treating one another if you don’t give them opportunity to spend time with you? I believe that one of the most interesting changes we must consider, is that instead of feeling compelled to stay away from unbelievers in fear of adopting their bad habits, we must instead desire to be around them and ask God to let them grow in Him by seeing God at work in us. Friends, people need the Lord – those are the unbelievers. Unless we spend time around them and teach them God’s ways, how else will they see God and come to know Him personally?
BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus hung out with sinners, because He wanted to bring them to repentance. We should do the same!
PRAYER: Lord, please teach us to live like You demonstrated to us in Your Word. We have picked up too many earthly practices to often be of any heavenly good to our neighbors. Please help us to stay centered on Your Word and practice all that You have taught us. Much of this will be quite different for us in contrast to what we have practiced so far, so please give us strength, give us wisdom, give us boldness and most of all, give us a heart like yours. Let others experience Your awesome love and goodness through our encounters with them, and convince them of their need for a Savior. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!