i am attempting to spend a few months just reading and re-reading through the Gospels, hoping to hear from the Father for some direction. i must be honest, there are so many times that i think that i am on the wrong path, with all my focus on grace and forgiveness. yes, i feel accepted by the Father and embraced by His love but as I look at other believers around me, they are working so hard to curry God’s favor…maybe i am missing something?
anyway…this is what i have read just last night, it was powerful and sort of affirmed in me that maybe i am not wrong on this journey.
this is from the Message, Jesus has just called Matthew, the tax collector.
“Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew’s house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. When the Pharisees saw Him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit and lit into Jesus’ followers. ‘ What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riff raff?’
Jesus overhearing, shot back, ‘Who needs a doctor, the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘ I’m after mercy, not religion.’ ‘I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.”
So many times in the church i attend and in other churches all over this country legalists are coddled. they are then “labeled” the weaker brother/sister that have to be nurtured and taught the right way.
Yet, they are not taught about grace, and mercy and they continue on their mini witch hunts seeking to discredit and destroy anyone that does not embrace their form of legalistic religion. Oh, they may claim that they really do love those that disagree with them but their actions betray their words, and because they are “good tithers” or involved in a specific ministry, they are never ever brought to task for their hateful attitudes and poison laced words.
There are so many people in the world looking for truth, for love, for acceptance, but it seems that many times the church is too busy keeping the pharisees happy to notice. and day after day the door to this amazing gospel is slammed shut to those who need it most by legalists that don’t even notice that they have locked themselves out of the Kingdom as well.
May God intervene in this travesty.