A Friend of Sinners

 

Hi I’m Christin Ditchfield and this is Take It To Heart!

You know God isn’t at all shocked or horrified or even disappointed when we fail.

Scripture tells us “He knows everything.” (1 John 3:20) And He has compassion for us. (Psalm 103). He understands our weakness, our frailty. He sees our hearts. He sees us for who we really are — who He created us to be. And He loves us utterly and completely unconditionally.

It’s one thing to feel convicted – to know that we’ve been wrong or done wrong and that we need to make things right. It’s another thing to feel condemned. Hopelessly awaiting the inevitable punishment for our sins.

Romans 8:1 says, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Philip Yancey points out: “The way to get rid of [guilt] is not to get rid of the guilt feelings. It is to get rid of the wrong that you did that caused the guilt feelings.”

How do we do that? Bring it to Jesus. Big things and small things. Obvious, everybody-knows, anyone-can-see-it-things and deepest, darkest secret things.

“If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

You can’t read the Gospels without seeing His love and mercy and grace. His compassion for those caught in sin, bowed down with guilt and shame. He was called “a friend of sinners” because He deliberately sought out those who were lost… society’s outcasts, the undesirables, the untouchables. He went looking for them and He found them. No matter who they were or what they had done, if they were desperate for hope, hungry for truth, longing for help – He welcomed them. He received them with open arms, just as they were. He loved them. He forgave them. He restored them.

This same Jesus invites us to come to Him, too.

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