I find a common trend in the church world of people looking down on the sins others struggle with that they don’t. If the gossiping church goer isn’t gay they may constantly condemn homosexuals. Or if the fornicating minister isn’t a thief then they’ll constantly look down on those that steal. Modern day church goers are no different than the Pharisees of years ago.
Luke 18:9-14 recalls Jesus telling a Parable about two men who went up to the temple to pray. The Pharisee prayed that he was so thankful he was not like other people (robbers, evildoers, adulterers or even the tax collector). He fasted twice a week and gave a tenth of all he gets. But the tax collector couldn’t even look up to heaven and said have mercy on me, a sinner. Jesus said the tax collector went home justified before God. Jesus said all who exalt themselves will be humbled and all who humble themselves will be exalted.
The Pharisee was full of pride. He thought he was better than others because of the decisions he made “outwardly.” The Pharisee deemed himself to be healthy since he declared he wasn’t like evildoers and the like. But what can Jesus do with someone who doesn’t need Him? The only way by which we can be saved is by Jesus. The Pharisees and Sadducees in Jesus day couldn’t believe in Jesus even though they walked with Him. They saw His miracles, heard His sermons and yet they chose not to believe. Jesus did not have the appearance of a Messiah and they missed their only opportunity to believe in the only Messiah who has and will ever be. Since Jesus didn’t come for the healthy (like the Pharisees and Sadducees) the Bible records several instances of Jesus healing the sick: the adulterous woman, the tax collector, the blind men, the lepers, the centurion’s paralyzed servant, the woman with the issue of blood and the invalid man. Jesus is still healing the sick today (physically and spiritually).
Jesus is incredible. His healing power, His goodness, His grace and His mercy is unmatched. There is none like Him. He’s available to anyone who calls on Him. Oftentimes we think we have to get ourselves right before we come to God. But that’s the wrong order. We come to God and then He will get us right. He offers deliverance, freedom, purity and wholeness. His Word is true and it has the power to transform our entire lives. Jesus saves the sick, makes them well and can save your soul from eternal hell!
The world and all it offers can be alluring. Parties, premarital sex, gambling, mansions, yachts and anything else associated with lavish lifestyles is the goal of many. They all offer temporary gain and they have the potential to lead you down a road of eternal pain.
I see why Jesus said “…the gate to narrow life is small and few find it.” Matthew 7:13. This world is the devil’s domain and he is doing everything he can to gain followers. I will be very transparent and admit that I have done many things listed above (minus the mansions and yachts). I know firsthand how tantalizing sin can be. I’ve entertained darkness way longer than I should have which is why I know that it’s a tangled web that must be broken by the blood of Christ. He can break every chain and set the captives free.
The world offers the excitement of engaging in activities that the world deems acceptable but God does not. Even though societal standards changed, God’s Word does not. Breaking our fellowship with Christ over temporary thrills are not worth it. The closer I get to God, the greater I want to please Him. My desires for doing unholy things lessened over time and I am very content living the life I live, regardless of how “boring” it may appear.
Jesus died on the cross for ALL our sins (past, present and future). His grace does not mean that it is acceptable to sin. (Romans 6:15) The closer we get to Him (by reading His Word, prayer, our experiences with Him) the more we want to obey Him. Jesus said “if we love Him we will keep His commands.” (John 14:15) When we choose obedience to Him over slavery to sin then we will reap eternal gain (in Heaven with Christ).
There is no greater satisfaction in life than being a child of the King. There’s no amount of money, jewelry, cars, clothes, fame, or even family that can compare to the love of God. I’ve walked with God long enough to know He’s real, He’s good, and He’s always on time.
I used to wonder when I would ever get a better job. It seemed as if my peers had no problems getting nice jobs with even nicer salaries yet somehow I jumped from one low-paying, stressful job to the next. I was rejected from so many jobs I wondered why I even bothered continuing my job search. As hard as it was to keep looking for different jobs I never gave up and in time I learned that God hadn’t given up on me either. Several years went by and finally God placed me at a job with low stress that I enjoy. If I hadn’t did all of the other less desirable jobs I wouldn’t have appreciated the one I have now. I learned that my job situation wasn’t the only lesson I was going to learn in God’s timing.
I’ve been in church all my life but I’ve struggled with sexual immorality for over 20 years. I didn’t think I would ever get delivered. But the more I walked with God, the more I read His Word, the more I believed Psalm 34:17 “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” Christ, whose spirit lives in me is righteous and even though I cannot overcome my temptations in my own strength Christ can. I learned that I have t0 kill sexual sin everyday and to guard who I’m around, what I watch, and what I listen to. I’m so grateful that God is faithful and forgiving who “will never leave me or forsake me. ” (Deuteronomy 31:6) My deliverance out of sexual immorality took a very long time but better late (being delivered) than not being delivered at all. Better late to come to salvation, than not be saved at all.