Tuesday, September 29, 2020
He shall not cast away
“Indeed if the leprosy has covered all his body, he shall pronounce him clean who has the sore.” Leviticus 13:13 NKJV This particular rule appears strange to us, yet there was wisdom in it, for when the body pushed out the disease, it proved that the constitution was sound. This morning it is good for us to see the symbolic teaching of such an unusual rule. We too are lepers, and we can read the law of the leper as applicable to ourselves. When people see themselves as altogether lost and ruined, completely covered with the defilement of sin, in no way free from pollution; when we disavow all righteousness of our own and plead guilty before the Lord, then we are clean through the blood of Jesus and the grace of God. Hidden, unnoticed, and unconfessed iniquity is the true leprosy—but when sin is seen and felt it has received its death blow, and the Lord looks with merciful eyes on the afflicted soul. Nothing is more deadly than self-righteousness; nothing is more hopeful than remorse. We must confess that we are “nothing but sin,” for no confession short of this will be the whole truth. If the Holy Spirit is working within us, convincing us of sin, we will have no difficulty in making such an acknowledgment—it will spring spontaneously from our lips. What a comfort today’s Scripture affords to those under a deep sense of sin! Sin that is mourned and confessed, however dark and foul, will never keep a person from the Lord Jesus. Whoever comes to Him, Jesus says, “I will never drive away” (John 6:37). Though we are dishonest as the thief, as immoral as the sinful woman, as fierce as Saul of Tarsus, as cruel as Manasseh, as rebellious as the prodigal—the great heart of love will look on those of us who feel ourselves to have nothing but sickness inside, and will pronounce us clean when we trust in Jesus crucified. Come to Him, then, you poor burdened sinner: Come needy, and guilty, come loathsome and bare; You can’t come too filthy—come just as you are. “Fountain Opened for Sinners,” Joseph Hart (18th century) - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
The end of what Spurgeon writes stuck out to me this early morning.
"Whoever comes to Him, Jesus says, “I will never drive away” (John 6:37). Though we are dishonest as the thief, as immoral as the sinful woman, as fierce as Saul of Tarsus, as cruel as Manasseh, as rebellious as the prodigal—the great heart of love will look on those of us who feel ourselves to have nothing but sickness inside, and will pronounce us clean when we trust in Jesus crucified."
People today in the Church and outside of it, give up on a person based upon their deeds. Oh they indeed may be the vilest of evildoers...but guess what? They weren't worse than Judas. Jesus fed Judas. Jesus prayed over Judas. Jesus washed his feet. Jesus. He spent 3 1/2 years with Judas. He tried to build a relationship with the man He knew who would eventually betray Him. He knew. Yet He didn't give up on him until Judas himself chose the path in front of him to betray Christ.
Consider what Jesus said of Judas. Yes, even in light of all the people since or before him, Judas was the worst of the worst. Worse than Hitler. Worse than the leaders of any group or nation in history. He was considered worse than any criminal in their atrocities against mankind in any time in history.
He betrayed Christ.
No buts...no but what about this person or that person in history.
Regardless of how anyone is today, Jesus stands before them with open arms.
But they brutalized children! Read what Manasseh did. He did it and he was Jewish. Judas was worse than him.
Regardless of the person, there is hope in Christ if they are still breathing. Those in Hell have no hope. Their sentence was carried out upon their death.
Guess what else? There are forgiven, sealed by the blood of Jesus through repentance, thieves, and other former criminals in Heaven.
But that's not what the Bible says! It says that those like that would not inherit the Kingdom of God! Yes...unrepentant...unforgiven criminals would not inherit the Kingdom of God. Do you so quickly forget who was promised to be with Jesus in Paradise? The forgiven thief was with Jesus. The unrepentant criminal on Jesus's other side went to Hades or what we know to be Hell.
It's easy to look down on people because of their deeds. Yet when you stop looking at people based on our scale of good and evil, Christ's forgiveness goes the distance. We all like sheep have gone astray. Sheep turn on each other. Sheep aren't that brilliant. People look down on others in order to not feel so bad about their own state before God. Hmm. Sounds exactly like the Pharisee! At least I am not like...
You have before you choices to make today. You choose to condemn or you choose to pray for...if you are a believer. If you are not, you have before you hope in the form of a Savior, Jesus Christ, who waits with open arms to take away your sin. Believers who stand in condemnation of others based upon their looks or deeds are no better than Pharisees or Sadducees of Jesus's day. If someone is still physically alive there is hope. There does come a time when Jesus says enough is enough. When a person's rebellion against God hits a point of no return. It would be then that He takes them from this world.
Today you have before you choices of condemning people or praying for them. You may be the person holding back the Rapture of the Church because you won't be Jesus to someone He put in your life.
Today, my friend, if you haven't chosen to come to Christ, why not? Feel dirty? He will cleanse you. Feel unworthy? So is everyone before you. Feel like you have done too much, said too much? Read this devotional again. If you even have that question, you are ready to come to Christ. He is waiting for you.