DayBreaks for 3/13/19: It’s the Truth
From the DayBreaks archive, March 2009:
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.” – Matthew 9:9-13 (NIV)
I recently received an email from a believer in which this person was a bit despairing about their Christ-walk. On the one hand, I find that encouraging. It says that the Spirit is still speaking to them – and that they are listening. It is important that we listen to the Spirit and His take on our walk. But, I have found in my own experience that the enemy can also attempt to convince me that because I’m not walking as close to Christ as I should and because that’s been true of nearly all my life, that I should just give up now and stop trying. After all, if I stop trying, I’ll stop feeling guilty, right? I’ll lose my shame, right? No…those things are emotions that are planted deep within us. We would just be in denial.
Then, I was thinking about this passage in Matthew. I love what Jesus says, For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. Who, after all, would there have been for Jesus to call if he’d come to call the righteous? No one! His expectation for is that this: we are sinners. We will be sinners until the day we die. We will always be sinners as long as we breathe the atmosphere of this world. He knows it, he expects it and isn’t shocked by it. If you are a sinner, Jesus came to call you…and He calls you still, day in and day out through the loving voice of the Spirit. The Spirit will never encourage you to give up your faith walk. Only the enemy will do that. The Spirit will point out to you and to me our need for greater righteousness, but He is a comforter, a friend, who encourages us to walk forward into greater holiness and obedience.
So, if you’re feeling down about your sinfulness and poor Christian walk, determine if you’re hearing from the enemy who wants to defeat you in your walk with Christ because you are a sinner, or the Spirit who wants to encourage you in your walk with Christ even though you are a sinner. There’s a world of difference…and that’s the truth.
Prayer: What a comfort it is to know, Lord, that you know we’re sinners and you came for us and you come to us over and over through your Spirit to encourage us and lead us into greater obedience, love and holiness. Give us the wisdom to discern the voice of the Spirit and to distinguish it from the voice of Satan! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>