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