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Day Eighteen // For the Love

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Chapters 25: Dear Christians, Stop Being Lame โ€“ Pages 189-197

Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: โ€œTwo men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: โ€˜I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I donโ€™t cheat, I donโ€™t sin, and I donโ€™t commit adultery. I am certainly not like this tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.โ€™

But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayer. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, โ€˜O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.โ€™ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God.  -Luke 18:9-12

I am a Pharisee and a tax collector.

There are times when I can stick my nose up in the air; my clothes and hands โ€œcleanโ€ from the dirtiness of life. But more importantly, I desperately want to โ€œget it rightโ€, especially the first time.

There are other times when I take a good look at who I am and all the countless ways I need Christ. Times when the tears flow and my heart is incredibly tender to the sweet gift of salvation.

I think there are a lot of Godโ€™s people who wade between these two ways: hypocrite and humble, sanctimonious and sacred. And the problem is that the world gets a clear view:

We are losing influence in our culture, and it isnโ€™t even a mystery as to why. Folks are explaining plainly why they are leaving faith or are too afraid to come near it. One of the chief reasons is this: Christians. {For the Love}

So many times, weโ€™re afraid of who is looking at us, we forget who is looking at us: a dying world in need of the good news. From the very beginning, Godโ€™s people gotten a โ€œbad wrapโ€ for who they were: murderers, cheaters, liars, thieves. Even the people of Nazareth couldnโ€™t believe that Jesus was the Son of God because He was a just a carpenter.  Yet, God used these people in awesome ways. He created a nation through Abraham, delivered a nation through Moses, redeemed humanity through Jesus, His Son.

We seek the order of regimented lives because we donโ€™t think we can help the Syrian refugees in Europe, or rebuild homes flooded in Texas, or fly to countries in southern Asia devastated by earthquakes.

The truth is what mattered most isnโ€™t who we areโ€ฆit was Whose we belong to. When we know this, the reverential fear of God far outweighs the judgmental fear of man. When we can throw back our heads in laughter, when we can go to a Christian family member in confession, weโ€™re giving each other what the world craves: vulnerability and the promise of redemption.

We can be vulnerable and say that we donโ€™t have it all together but know that our lives are held perfectly in His hands.

We can confess that weโ€™re far from being perfect but instead need a perfect God.

We can share that we don’t always love well but know of a Love that is patient, kind, and takes no record of wrongs.

We also profess a risen Christ who took away our sins and our fear.  Rather than being the judge over the unbelievers in our lives, we can share in the pardon we received. Without vulnerability and professing redemption, weโ€™ll continue to lose our influence, our salt, and our light. So fellow Christian, we no longer have to be lameโ€ฆletโ€™s be messengers pointing the way to our soon and coming King through the love He so freely gave us.

What are some of the reasons you hold back from speaking to others about Christ?

[divider] [row-start] [three-fourths]Liv Migenes is the founder and writer of Single Daughter Serving, a website for single women waiting on God. She desires they know they are lavishly loved by God and truly complete in Christ.

You can connect with her on Instagram or Pinterest.[/three-fourths] [one-fourth][/one-fourth] [row-end]

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