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23 September 2023 ‘I have come to call…those who know they are sinners.’ Mark 2:17 NLT

Ever heard the phrase ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’? We can love and be compassionate towards nonbelievers without loving or endorsing the ways they live. Paul said, ‘Find common ground with everyone, doing everything [you] can to save some’ (1 Corinthians 9:22 NLT). To do that, we need to: 1) Be courteous. ‘The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down’ (Colossians 4:6 MSG). 2) Be genuine. ‘Love from the centre of who you are; don’t fake it’ (Romans 12:9 MSG). Because Jesus found common ground with the woman at the well, she made peace with God, then brought her friends and family to meet Jesus (see John 4). You have to spend time around nonbelievers to introduce them to Christ. When Levi invited Jesus and His disciples as dinner guests with tax collectors and other ‘scandalous’ sinners, the Pharisees asked, ‘“Why does he eat with such scum?”…Jesus…told them…“I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners”’ (Mark 2:16-17 NLT). Author Mark Roberts noted that ‘Table fellowship signified deep intimacy. To eat with someone was to share in their life and to allow them into yours…The Pharisees, who were committed to the highest standards of ritual purity…expected Jesus to do as they did, keeping plenty of distance between themselves and questionable types who might compromise Jesus’ holiness.’ Jesus didn’t see people as ‘scum’, and wasn’t concerned about maintaining a religious facade. He ate with sinners because they needed His help and were open to receive it. How about you? Are you more concerned with what people think about you than you are about those who need Christ? Or are you willing to sit down with the people that others look down on, and reach out to them with God’s love? 


Contrary winds (2) Sunday 10 December
Contrary winds (1) Saturday 09 December
Humble yourself Friday 08 December
How to pray when you’re sick Thursday 07 December
Do you know why you’re here? Wednesday 06 December
A father’s blessing Tuesday 05 December
Finding common ground (3) Monday 04 December

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