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He Receives Sinners

Daily Reading: Luke 15

Scripture Focus: This man receives sinners and eats with them. (Luke 15.2)

Devotional Thought: When the religious elites made the accusation, “this man receives sinners and eats with them,” Jesus did not deny it. As a matter of fact, he told three stories that confirmed the charge: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son.

In today’s politically correct climate, leaders and celebrities are often called upon to disavow this person or that person who hold questionable or objectionable positions on a variety of issues. If they refuse to do so, then they are charged with holding the same views and attitudes. Recently, Chip and Joanna Gaines - hosts on HGTV’s “Fixer Upper”- were the targets of such an inquisition. “How dare they attend a church that does not support gay marriage!” Pressure mounts against networks and advertisers to distance themselves from such people.

Jesus, however, used the charges of consorting with “the enemy” to show that they were in fact not enemies, certainly not his enemies. Jesus is a friend of sinners! Aren’t you glad? Too many people, however, have the junior high attitude: “If you’re friends with that person, then you can’t be friends with me!” Jesus will not be bullied into rejecting anybody.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that Jesus condones sinful attitudes and behaviors. He died to give us victory over those very things. But, that doesn’t change the fact that he loves the sinner. He sees him or her as worth finding, worth receiving, worth saving.

I am so glad that Jesus searched the hills, swept the house and scanned the horizon for me!

Prayer: "Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night, Jesus, I come! Jesus, I come! Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light, Jesus, I come to Thee! Out of my sickness into Thy health, Out of my want and into Thy wealth, Out of my sin and into Thyself, Jesus, I come to Thee!" Amen. (William Sleeper)

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 140.1-6

1 Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, 2 who plan evil things in their heart and stir up wars continually. 3 They make their tongue sharp as a serpent's, and under their lips is the venom of asps. Selah

4 Guard me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from violent men, who have planned to trip up my feet. 5 The arrogant have hidden a trap for me, and with cords they have spread a net; beside the way they have set snares for me. Selah

6 I say to the Lord, You are my God; give ear to the voice of my pleas for mercy, O Lord!

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