Carey Lewis Devotions
Friday, June 15th, 2012
Sinners v. Self-Righteous Christians (Part 2, Conclusion)
When Jesus heard that, He said to them, 'Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.'
Matthew 9:12-13 (NKJV)
In the worldly battle of sinners versus self-righteous Christians, I call it a draw. Both drive big cars and live in nice houses. In the spiritual battle of sinners versus self-righteous Christians, sinners may win. Why? Because Jesus said so.

'Jesus said to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the Kingdom of God before you' ' (Matthew 21:31). Sinners may be closer to the King they do not know than are hypocrites to the King they do not follow.

Why? Because the veil of religious hypocrisy is blinding. Those under it 'Have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith... {and are} blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!' (Matthew 23:23-24).

What gnat? The dirty one--while we strainers are filthy (see Isaiah 64:6) without Jesus. He said, 'Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned' (Luke 6:37).

What camel? The camel of condemnation--the one we eat bite by bite, until our means of crossing the desert is gone. We end up stuck in a wilderness of sin too bloated to move beyond it.

Actors, models, and talent for Christ: you are the communication task force sent into the world to clear up God's message. You know better than to call yourself holy and others evil, because your job is to act like Jesus. And He gave you His action plan:

'The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound' (Isaiah 61:1).

You follow 'Jesus Christ the Righteous' (1 John 2:1), Who never set Himself in opposition to sinners. He opened His Arms to them. So shall you.

P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Sinners v. Self-Righteous Christians series.

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"I labored, yet not I. By the grace of God, I am what I am, and do what I do' (paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 15:10). I love God's Word. As a late-in-life committed Christian with no Bible training prior to age 51, some people wonder how I'm qualified to write devotions. I wonder that, too. But God loves children and fools for Him. I am both. Ghost Writer? God.

Carey Lewis

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