“Grace is the Fuel”
Pastor David Moore
Old Testament reading: Jeremiah 1:4-10
The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
We were sinners, yet Christ died for us.
Today’s message is about understanding grace, how Jesus models grace to us in the interaction with the tax collector (Matthew). And the depression tension in the blame of truth and forgiveness as He interacts with people in this world.
As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and ‘sinners’ came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”
On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Jesus did not come to shame sinners. Jesus came to save sinners. ~Reinhard Bonnke
“A person rests in the forgiveness of sins when one’s thoughts of God does not remind one of one’s past sins but rather of the fact that they have been forgiven, so that what has happened in the past is now not a remembrance of how badly one did then but of how much one was forgiven.” ~Soren Kierkegaard
Jesus sees the (a)_____________ in people we think are evil, and He clearly sees the (b)_____________ and lack of caring in people who orient their lives around rules rather than God.
(c)_____________ calls for an act of will and for separation from others, but (d)_____________ is an act of the heart and seeks identification with others.
It is hard to balance truth and forgiveness. By proclaiming only forgiveness, we cheapen the Gospel, we cheapen Jesus death for our sins. However, by only claiming truth, we turn away those who struggle to hear that God loves them, no matter what their past looks like. Remember forgiveness is the fuel, the gasoline that drives each of us forward in God’s love every day. This grace allows us to proclaim God’s forgiveness and love available to all who hear it. ~D. Moore
Truth shines light in the darkest valleys. Forgiveness frees the heart to soar.
This week: Meditate on the complexity of grace and the balance between forgiveness and truth as we share our story with others in our life path.
God bless, have a good week.
Answers: (a) good (b) judgement (c) Sacrifice (d) mercy