Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Hospital for Sinners

At church Sunday night, we had a wonderful service. The teenagers had just returned from Winter Renewal, and they were on fire! One of the teenagers, Caleb, testified. While he was speaking, he said that we need to reach out for sinners and welcome them into church-after all, isn’t that who needs it most? This reminded me of an Abigail Van Buren quote: “A church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.” We have all been in need of God’s grace at one point or another. Jesus was criticized for eating with tax collectors and sinners. But, in Matthew 9:12-13 NLT he tells his critics, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor-sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” I was reminded of a song by the David Crowder Band called “How He Loves”. One of the verses says, "We are His portion and He is our prize, Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes. If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking." That is immeasurable grace and love. According to an online dictionary, grace is defined as “the free and unmerited favor of God.” How much must God love us to offer such grace! To comprehend God’s love for us, do we not have to love others? And, to serve Christ, we must serve others. David McCasland said it well: "When we reach out to people in need, we are able to extend to others the grace of God-guiding them to His healing touch." What kind of touch do you extend?