Tag Archives: sin

The Doctor Will See You Now

And Levi gave a big reception for Him in his house; and there was a great crowd of tax collectors and other people who were reclining at the table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered and said to them, ” It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
Luke‬ ‭5‬:‭29-32‬ NASB

After Jesus called Levi, Levi threw a big party for Him that was attended by many, including tax collectors. The Pharisees complained that Jesus was hanging out with these unrighteous people. Jesus’ response? “The healthy don’t need a doctor. Only the sick. I didn’t come for the righteous, but to call sinners to repentance.”

Jesus was seeking to heal spiritually, to make whole, to deliver. He was seeking those who knew they needed something. He was seeking those with enough humility to know that they had no righteousness of their own.

He is still seeking these.

We are all sick and in need of a physician, sinners and in need of a savior. But we often act like the Pharisees, depending on our own righteousness and judging those we deem to be unrighteous.

Avoid the example of the Pharisees. Seek God with humility. He WANTS to deliver us from sin.

When we forget this, we judge others’ unrighteousness as greater than our own, or ignore our own altogether. We are proud and self-righteousness, and we incorrectly believe ourselves to be self-sufficient.

We need the Physician to heal us, probably even more when we think we’re righteous.

Only by His grace are we delivered from sin, not by our own “righteousness.” Only by His grace can we have enough humility to recognize our lack of righteousness.

If we allow this truth to impact us, we might truly be delivered from the sins that plague us.

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Obedience Over Ritual

Samuel said, “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the LORD?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.
“For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,
He has also rejected you from being king.”
‭1 Samuel‬ ‭15‬:‭22-23‬ NASB

Obedience is more important to the Lord than following ritual. Disobedience is the same as any other sin, even idolatry. Because Saul rejected God’s word, God rejected Him as king.

God takes obedience seriously. While religious practice may be important, even though directly prescribed by God, it is not as important as obeying His commands. Disobedience is sin.

Those in ministry should be doubly aware: disobedience makes us unfit to serve God’s people in leadership. 

When God tells you to do something, do it. Don’t blame others – especially those under your leadership – for your disobedience. Don’t allow others to influence you to disobey God.

He is Lord and commands obedience. He has ultimate authority. He showed Saul grace – this wasn’t the first time Saul was disobedient.

Like Saul, we often let fear and insecurity dictate our level of obedience.

We must not think that we’re secure in our positions of leadership despite our disobedience. We certainly must not think that our work for the church makes up for our disobedience.

Remember: it is His grace that empowers us to be obedient.

A Game of Fools

Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool,
And so is wisdom to a man of understanding.
(‭Proverbs‬ ‭10‬:‭23‬ NASB)

God views godliness as wisdom and wickedness as foolishness. A fool enjoys doing wickedness, looks at it like a contest – he’s always trying to be more wicked. A man of understanding enjoys acting wisely, being godly, and always seeks to be more wise and godly.

When we sin, we act foolishly. We enjoy sin because we’re fools. If we had understanding, we’d delight in being godly. Find delight in acting wisely.

God expects wisdom. But much of what we enjoy is sinful, wicked, foolish. When we forget what God expects of us, we look on our sin as a good thing.

Pray that God will help you find joy in godliness, in seeking Him, growing in Him. Each of us needs a fundamental heart change – a change in the things that naturally delight us.

Only by the grace of Christ can our hearts be changed so fundamentally.

God Protects His Children

I have become estranged from my brothers
And an alien to my mother’s sons.
For zeal for Your house has consumed me,
And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.
When I wept in my soul with fasting,
It became my reproach.
When I made sackcloth my clothing,
I became a byword to them.
Those who sit in the gate talk about me,
And I am the song of the drunkards.
But as for me, my prayer is to You, O LORD, at an acceptable time;
O God, in the greatness of Your lovingkindness,
Answer me with Your saving truth.
(‭Psalm 69‬:‭8-13‬ NASB)

God protects His children. The obedience He expects is enough to make us the objects of ridicule, reproach, and persecution. If we are His children, if we obey Him, we are under the protection of His great lovingkindness. But we must we willing to trust Him enough to truly be obedient.

Have you ever trusted God enough or been obedient enough to Him to be the object of ridicule, reproach, or persecution. Or have you always been disobedient?

He protects us. We can trust Him.

When we forget this, we become afraid and hopeless when facing ridicule, reproach, or persecution. Or perhaps, if we are not obedient, we feel falsely confident and comfortable. We are called to obedience. We are called to zeal. We are called to faith.

The grace of Jesus is the source of faith, and His lovingkindness is the source of our protection.

Stirring Up Trouble

Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all transgressions.

‭Proverbs‬ ‭10‬:‭12‬ (NASB)

God doesn’t want us to stir up strife, but to love one another, forgiving sins, preserving peace. He wants us to love as He has loved us.

Hatred, pride are our nature. We must be reminded to love rather than hate.

Rather than wanting to expose the sins of others, we should want to love them, forgive their transgressions, and keep peace.

We need love, and we need to give love. Jesus is the example and source of this love.

Everything

Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That both good and ill go forth?
Why should any living mortal, or any man,
Offer complaint in view of his sins?
Let us examine and probe our ways,
And let us return to the LORD.

Lamentations‬ ‭3‬:‭38-40‬

Anything that happens – good or bad – is under God’s control. And when bad things happen, how can we complain in light of our sin? Instead, we must examine our hearts deeply and return to God.

He is sovereign. He is in control of both good and bad things that happen. Our sins separate us from Him, even as His children.

We must examine ourselves, turn from our sin, and return to God. Otherwise, we may have a sense of entitlement, self-centeredness, a complaining spirit.

Then, our lives will be marked by Christlike humility.

Grace Reigns

So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

(‭Romans‬ ‭5‬:‭18-21‬ NASB)

Just as Adam’s sin resulted in sinfulness and condemnation for all, Christ’s act of righteousness on the cross leads to the righteousness and eternal life of many. The Law caused our sin to become greater, but God’s grace is greater still. His grace now reigns, bringing us righteousness and eternal life.

Like all humanity, sin ruled over each of us by death, except for the grace of God that now rules over those who believe by righteousness to eternal life, given by the sacrifice of Christ.

God didn’t write us off because of sin. He made a way, a way of grace that is greater than sin. He doesn’t just free us from the consequences of sin. He frees us from sin, makes us better, righteous.

His grace is greater than our sin and more powerful than I can imagine. We can’t allow it to rule over us. Grace reigns now.