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Thoughts / Love and Acceptance

Love and Acceptance

The following excerpt is from the 1 Oct 2005 issue of Mark Lowry's e-newsletter ReMarks. You never know when or how God will speak to you, but it's always a good idea to be listening for it and pay heed when it happens…

The only way I can make sense of the Old Testament is to view it through the lens of Jesus. Jesus not only loved sinners; they felt comfortable in His presence. They felt loved and accepted.

The woman at the well, the woman caught in the ‘act of adultery’. Nicodemus. No one who ever came to Him was ever turned away. The more of their scars they showed Jesus, the more He wanted to hang with them. Heal them. Love them.

Sinners never felt condemned in His presence. And, you know, I haven’t either.

Now I have felt condemned in the presence of some of His people. Have you ever seen that bumper sticker that says, “Jesus, please save me from your followers”? Have you ever wanted to put one on your car?

When I am alone with God (which is usually in the shower) and I’m praying and really feel His presence, I never feel condemned. I have felt convicted. But, never condemned. Never shame. I don’t think God ever makes His children feel ‘shame’. I could be wrong. But I know I’ve never felt ashamed in God’s presence. I have felt loved, covered, encased, secure, safe, ‘at home’ but never shame.

Russ Taff said to me one time, “If your God is a condemning God, you need to fire Him; you have the wrong one.”

And the Bible backs that up (John 3:16): “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” And the next verse (John 3:17) says, “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.”

So, if Jesus didn’t condemn people, I’m not gonna do it. He told us to be fishers of men, He didn’t say a thing about cleaning them.

Do you see a paradox between this entry and the previous two (On "Being" and Just As I Am)?

Yes?

Then you have missed my point. Jesus loved and accepted sinners, but he did not approve sin. His message was always “I don’t condemn you” and “go and sin no more”.

Jesus never participated in sin. He often went where sinners were, but he never did the sin that those sinners did. Nor did he ever shy from calling it sin.

He knew how to confront sin with love; not just confront sin in a loving manner. The ultimate deep-rooted motivation for everything Jesus did was LOVE and HOLINESS.

awc 2005-10-01 13:07

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