Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 30, 2017
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 the tax collectors and ‘sinners?’ ” 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.” Mark 2:16-17
Sick sinners need a Savior; those sinners are perishing all around us. Some are sick and don’t realize their spiritually terminal state. One of Satan’s schemes is to keep the healthy saints from the sick sinners. Those dying in darkness do not know any difference, and they are content to languish outside the light. However, we who are children of the light know better. If not for the grace of God penetrating our hard hearts, we would still be severely sick in our sins. Followers of Jesus have seen the light, and it has illumined our souls and healed our sick hearts. We have been saved from sin and from ourselves. Yes, there will be those who deny their sinful condition. They will avoid a spiritual doctor like the plague.
Yet, we who are healthy cannot be deterred or discouraged, because our part is not to force our faith on others. This is an individual decision between them and God. But with grace, humility, and prayer we can pursue them and pray for them in their sick spiritual state. Some physical illnesses cannot be cured, but sin’s sickness can be cured in Christ. Perhaps you need to recalibrate your calendar to include time with sick sinners because the sterile saints are consuming most of your time. Take a risk and provide a sanatorium for sinners. People are fighting the onslaught of sin’s disease and their souls are emasculated by sin’s torrid influence. They are dying by the droves and entering into eternity without Christ. Sick sinners need a Savior.
Care for them where you work and live. Convert your business into a platform of prayer for those who need Christ. Yes, use discretion, respect, and good taste, but be bold. Time is short, and people need a Savior. They need a Savior for eternity and for now. They will become better citizens and better employees if they have Jesus in their lives. There is nothing quite as compelling as someone “working as unto the Lord.” Use your home as a haven for sick sinners. You can become their heavenly hospice, and watch God raise them up from their sin-sick bed. The harvest is white and in need of laborers. You may not feel qualified to practice spiritual medicine, but by God’s grace, you can be a soul caregiver.
An aspirin of John 3:16 provides relief and hope for a sick soul; so do not underestimate the potency of Scripture, especially texts you consider elementary. Moreover, your own story of righteous recovery provides hope to the sickly sinner. Others gain hope that God can do the same for them. Your testimony may be the faith stretcher that carries them to Jesus. Your story and Scripture shared in a timely fashion are healing, so seek out sick sinners and love on them. Laugh and cry together. Some of the proud and insecure religious people will criticize you, but Jesus will smile. You have the cure, so live authentically and engagingly among sick sinners. Once they see your human side, they can appreciate your Christ side.
The Bible says, “Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience” (2 Corinthians 5:11).
PrayerHeavenly Father, give me compassion to care for the spiritually sick and courage to share the gospel with humility and grace, in Jesus’ name, amen.
ApplicationWho needs my intentional investment of time, money and discipleship?
Related ReadingIsaiah 53:4-6, 61:1; Romans 3:23-24; Titus 3:4-7 Today’s reading is taken from Boyd’s most popular book: Seeking Daily the Heart of God, a 365 day devotional.
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