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Love them like Jesus did

How do we love like Jesus loved and not become corrupted by the world?

One thing about Jesus that always sticks out to me is how (some of) the sinners loved Him. Think about that. Many of them wanted to be around Him. He was looked down on by His followers (other Christians to us) because He spent time with these people.

Even today He is accused of sin (DaVinci Code…Last Temptation of Christ…etc) because of His connection with sinners.

Look at this scripture: John 3:16-18 16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. NIV

We know this verse, we skim right through that don’t we…

Look again at the first 6 words…

For God so loved the world.

He loves the world (people), then and now. His love for people in this world did not change once we decided to receive Jesus and forsake the ways of this world. His heart still aches for it. Does mine? Does yours? It should if we are His children and He lives in us.

Look again at verse 17. He did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.

Why do I (I’ll put the microscope on me lest you feel I am pointing a finger…I’m looking in a mirror first) condemn it? That is not His heart.

Will they all love us because we love them? Hardly. John 15:18-20 18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. NIV

Yet, He gave His life willingly for them. Because He loved them.

Mark 2:15-17 15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.

16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the “sinners” and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”

17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” NIV How could Jesus “hang” with these sinners and not become corrupted by them? He could because He stayed in His authority the whole time. He never handed over who He was. He never let the environment control Him. He had a purpose. He was not drawn to their sinful ways, He was drawn to them because of His love for them. THEY were drawn to Him because He showed them mercy not judgment.

Jude 17-23 17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. 20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. 21 Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. 22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear-hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. NIV “Be merciful to those who doubt”…hmmm.

You might be wondering, am I forgetting Romans 1 and that our God is HOLY? Absolutely not. He will not be mocked. He is a righteous God that does not play with sin. He will bring judgment. He will- I don’t have to.

We are not to water-down our faith so we can “fit in”…what I am challenging myself to do is become more like Jesus and really love people. Especially the people who I am not always comfortable around. Show mercy.

If you feel yourself being “drawn to the fire” than by all means- back off! Spend time with your Lord, let Him become your one true desire. I am not advocating that we live LIKE the world so that we can love people.

Separate the sin from the sinner- love the sinner! Accept the sinner not the sin. This ended up being longer than I planned and I still have more to say…so we’ll continue later!

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