“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 NKJV
God loved me before I loved Him! He chose me, before I chose Him. The fact that He loved me while I was still living in willful sin and rebellion blows me away. It should also help me see others with compassion. It’s easy to become frustrated and lose hope with people who refuse to surrender their lives to God. We must continue to love and intercede for those who reject God. Trust the Holy Spirit to melt their hearts of stone.
As I read Romans 5 today it talked about how it is rare that someone would die for a good man, much less a sinner. As Jesus journeyed life on Earth He was scolded by the religious leaders for associating with sinners. He broke religious rules, yet remained completely righteous. He understood the difficulty of reaching people outside the context of relationship.
He knew something else … He knew those claiming to be righteous were hypocrites! Romans 3:10 tells us, “There is none righteous, no . not . one!” The religious leaders were counting on their position of power to save them. They claimed to “observe all the law” and yet failed to observe the most important law of all – to love God and to love others as yourself.
Without Christ we are powerless against our sin nature. We cannot accept the call of God on our life until we are willing to acknowledge our need for Him. In Luke 5:32, Jesus said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Lord, thank You for loving me while I was (am) still a sinner. Help me to show that same love and compassion towards others who aren’t ready to surrender their lives to you. Let me be a reflection of You rather than a stumbling block to them.
Forgive me if I’ve ever come across like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day. I am not better than anyone. Like Paul I recognize that: I am a chief of sinners. (I Timothy 1:15)
Lead me to those who are “ripe for harvest”. Help me to be a friend of sinners. Lord, here am I, send me!