God Loves Sinners
A remarkable, but true fact is -- God loves sinners. He loves you, too, no matter what you have
ROMANS 5:6-8 NKJ
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For scarcely
for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
8 But God demonstrates His
own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God gave a demonstration to prove He loves you at Calvary -- where Jesus died a cruel death on a cross. He died, in your
place, to set you free. Christ died for the ungodly. He took your place, suffering punishment you deserved.
By dying for you, God proved He loved you supremely. There is no way He could have loved you more. Jesus proved that He
loves you more than He loves Himself.
JOHN 15:13 NKJ
13 "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
Jesus gave His life. What more could He do?
1 JOHN 3:16a NKJ
16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.
Many people have had a distorted view of God. The true picture of God's nature is that He loves all the people of the world
so much, He was willing to suffer for their freedom.
Jesus Is The Savior
JOHN 3:16-18 NKJ
16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should
not perish but have everlasting life.
17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the
world through Him might be saved.
18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned
already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
God loved you so much He went into action to set you free. God does not condemn you.
JOHN 12:46-48 NKJ
46 "I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.
47 "And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to
save the world.
48 "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him -- the word that I have
spoken will judge him in the last day.
Jesus came to deliver you, not to judge you or condemn you. He loves you and desires the best for you.
Do not reject Jesus Christ. If you do, you are rejecting God's only provision for you to have eternal life.
1 JOHN 4:9-10 NKJ
9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into
the world, that we might live through Him.
10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His
Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
God loved you and sent His only Son to die for you, so you may live -- not because you loved Him -- or even asked Him to.
He suffered for you because He loved you.
He has not changed. God still loves you now.
When Jesus Was On Earth
MATTHEW 11:19 NKJ
19 "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, `Look, a gluttonous man and a winebibber,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'. . . .
Jesus had trouble with the religious leaders when He walked the earth, because He was a friend of sinners. Jesus is the
same today. He never changes. Jesus is your friend.
LUKE 19:7 NKJ
7 But when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, "He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner."
Religious people could not understand how Jesus could love and care for a sinner -- they certainly did not. But Jesus did,
and He still does.
JOHN 8:11 NKJ
11 She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."
Jesus does not condemn you for your sin. He understands. He came to earth and lived in a human body just as you do. He
knows the pressure. He knows the pain. And Jesus cares. He cares enough to help you be free of the sin; because He knows that
sin will destroy you. Sin may give a temporary pleasure, but in the end sin always destroys. Jesus loves you too much to want
you to be destroyed.
You Can Be Saved
1 TIMOTHY 1:15 NKJ
15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world
to save sinners . . . .
There would be no need to help perfect people. Jesus came to help sinners. The only ones He does not help are those who
think they can make it on their own, and therefore ask no help from Him.
JOHN 1:12 NKJ
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who
believe in His name:
No matter how terrible a person may be, they have the right to receive Jesus and become a true child of Almighty
You Can Have A New Start
2 CORINTHIANS 5:17-21 NKJ
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new.
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ,
and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,
19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself,
not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 Therefore we are ambassadors
for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.
21 For He
made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
By receiving Jesus you get a fresh start. You become a new creation. You can have another chance.
Sins you have committed will not be held against you. Jesus took your place, suffering the punishment you deserved for
your sins, so you could be right with God.
God is pleading with you right now to be reconciled with Him. He loves you and desires the best for your life.
Call On Jesus Now
ROMANS 10:12-13 NKJ
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all
who call upon Him.
13 For "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Any person who will call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be heard. Jesus will help you if you turn to Him.
1 TIMOTHY 2:4 NKJ
4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
God excludes no one. He loves all people so much that He desires them to be in His family, living with Him for all eternity.
Love To Last Forever
1 JOHN 3:1 NKJ
1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!
. . . .
God does not just forgive us, then leave us out in the cold. He makes us part of His very own family.
EPHESIANS 2:4-10 NKJ
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6 and raised us up
together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 that in the ages to come He might show the
exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
10 For we are His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
God is rich in mercy to sinners. Not only will He save you -- He plans to continue blessing you exceedingly, by His grace,
throughout the ages to come.
|God Loves You |
||"If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We
will come to him, and make Our abode (home) with him." (Jesus quoted by John 14:23) |
"He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and
I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him." (Jesus quoted by John 14:21)
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but
have eternal life." (Jesus quoted by John 3:16)
"Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love." (Jesus quoted by John 15:9)
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them
out of My hand." (Jesus quoted by John 10:27)
© Copyright 2000-05 Jesus Institute. www.Jesus-Institute.org
Love the Lord Jesus!
by Thomas Shepard
He has from before all worlds loved thee, when [there appeared to be] no reason for it. Jer. xxxi. 1-3. Thou hast neglected
to love him long, all thy youth, nay, it may be all thy life; O, you beloved of the Lord, begin to do it now, when there is
all reason for it, when heaven calls for it, earth calls for it, ordinances plead for it, Spirit saith come, and calls for
it too. It may be thy life is not long. What, not yet?
How Shall I Love Him?
Question: But how shall I come to do this, thus to love the Lord?
Answer: The Lord only can plant, can water this grace; yet because the Lord does it by means, I will give you some now.
#1 Learn to Taste the Truth
I. Labor to find out the true sweetness, and to taste the bitterness of the deceitful sweetness of all creatures: for this
is a rule in reason, a man's affections, like streams, must run some way; and it is a rule in theology, stop the affections
from running to the creature, and in a sincere heart it will run unto Christ, (Hos. ii. 6, 7,) if it be from all creatures.
Now, then, the affection is turned from the creature, when it finds the bitterness of the deceiving sweetness of it; and,
secondly, finds out the real sweetness of it; for make it as a rule, when a man's heart can not love Christ, (unless it be
when it is benumbed,) it is because he has somewhat else to joy his heart now, let the creature yield you no more joy, and
Christ has your love; indeed, you may and must joy in the real sweetness of it, and this will increase, and not diminish your
But these other things taste so sweet!
Question: What is the real sweetness of the creature?
Answer: Christ's love. O, see this! If Christ should not love thee, would not thy life be death, thy salvation from many
dangers be damnation, thy friends miserable comforters, thy joys sorrows? What good would any thing do thee if thou hadst
these thoughts-- all these I have, but wrath with them? What comfort can a man take in his feast, if news were then brought
that after it is done, you must go to the stake to be burnt? You that joy in your pastimes, one frown of Christ would blast
all. O, see this! Psalm lxiii. "Thy loving kindness is better than life; in thy favor is life." Now, joy for this, and this
will knit your heart nearer to him. For Jesus' sake, ponder this point.
Are these other things really so tasty?
2. Taste the bitterness of the sweetness remaining now it is distilled; and Satan shows a threefold sweetness, before,
in, and after the enjoying of it.
Before, remember how they have drawn a ray and held thy heart from God, done thee more hurt than all afflictions; many
a sweet smile hadst thou had from God, but for them.
In the enjoying of it, it is sweet; but when it is sweet to thee, it is then most bitter to the heart of God; when thy
joy is kindled, the Lord's sorrow is stirred up and provoked.
After; 1. It will draw thy heart from God; and, 2. It will be bitter in thy belly at last. Whatever sweetness draws thee
from the love of Christ, O, it will be bitter. Rom. vi. 21. Chew upon this, and see if any thing here be worthy of your joy,
and if not, then return to your first husband.
#2 Be Satisfied with Christ's Love
II. Taste the all-sufficiency of the love of Christ. A woman that is not content with her husband's love, she will not
love him as it is fit. So when other things make love to us, and the Lord's love is not enough, (Cant. i. 4,) "More than wine."
Hence "the upright love thee." Do but sit down and think what this is: if once he loves thee, whatever he can he will do for
thee; he will order all thy life, not one thing shall hurt thee; every thing in providence shall work for thy glory, sins,
sorrows, etc., so as thou shalt say his denials are better than his gifts, his blows better than smiles, his withdrawings
better than his presence, these evils better than joys, and when once he loves me, he will never leave me; that come life,
come death, I am safe. O, taste this!
#3 See Jesus as He Is.
III. See the Lord Jesus now as he is, and in truth this were enough to make any profane heart love him, much more a saint
espoused to him; but the Lord has hid himself from their eyes. Shall he be so, is he so from yours? 1 Pet. i. 8, "When seeing
not with bodily eyes, but with faith ye love him." 1 John iii. 1-3, "We shall see him as he is." Why, suppose the day of doom
was come, Christ in the clouds and all creatures before him, all angels ministering to him, in all the glory of his Father;
O, then, the love of Christ; O, one smile, one word of Christ would be precious! Lord, that men should be in a dream! See
Christ a little higher set in his throne, a place more glorious, though less seen, in all the glory of his Father, all mighty
angels ministering to him, all the world put into his hand, doing what he will, and all he will; why will you not love him
now? Is the gospel a fable? Say so if it be, then love him not if you can. When Simeon and the wise men saw him, though but
in his abasement, they honored him; much more now if they see him in glory. It is a question whether the beams of the sun
are fire. Some demonstrate it thus: Take a glass and gather together the beams, it burns. Therefore so, if you would see so
as to be affected, gather together the beams of his glory and love; thus you see the means to get fit love; and if it be lost,
O, now get it again, lest the Lord strain for it, else you are not fit; and if it be not any love that suffices, much less
no love, as in many of you; but consider, (1 Cor. xvi. 22,) "He that loves not Christ, let him be accursed."
O that this might be won from you! O, little love goes out to Christ; who sees it not? Ordinances of Christ, men are weary
of them; the truths of Christ, despise them; the servants of Christ, they quarrel with them. Now, recover your love; the Lord
help you so to do.
To God, You Are Special
God?s smile is upon you. You light up his face
as much as anyone has ever lit up a lover?s face.
Most of us imagine that in God?s eyes we are just one of millions.
We know most people
don?t think we are important and so we assume
God thinks of us in a similar way. But then, again, God is not like
people.? We feel that God has favorites and we think we?re a fair
way down the list, but we are about to see this is one
way where feelings
do not correspond to reality. To God, you are special.
Four reasons why God favors no one over you
1. God?s Son shed his last drop of blood for you. God loves
you with his whole heart. He loves you with every speck of his enormous love. That means no matter how much he loves others,
he couldn?t possibly love anyone else more than he loves you.
A woman wrote about the above paragraph:
I had wanted to say, ?God loves me with his whole heart? Come off it! It?s a wonder he loves me at all! Grantley, you exaggerate
too much!? But the Lord silenced me with John 17:23:
I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and
have loved them even as you have loved me.
I can?t get round it; I can?t burrow under it or climb over
it. So the only thing I can do is go through it, absorbing it as I go. Christ is in me ? and God loves me as much as he loves
Christ. And no way can God?s love for Christ be half-hearted. I went to sleep snuggling into that verse last night.
Scripture makes no promise that you will always feel loved, nor that circumstances will always make it obvious
that you are loved. God simply promises that you are loved. No suffering or tragedy will ever separate you from God?s
love (Romans 8:35-39). A snap-shot in time proves nothing. Only eternity?s movies can adequately portray the infinitude of
God?s love for you.
The more you love someone the more important that person is to you. So the fact that God loves you with his whole heart
means you are more important to God than you could ever imagine.
2. Before God forgave us we were all spiritually dead. Scripture
affirms that every person on this planet was dead in their sin. You can?t get any deader than dead. God couldn?t say, I prefer
her because she?s a little less dead than him.
But through Christ we can be forgiven. When God looks at a forgiven person, he can?t find one sin. When you are forgiven,
God can?t find a person on the entire planet, more forgiven than you.
So without Christ we were all equally dead in our sin and in Christ we are all equally forgiven.
3. God is all-powerful. That means he doesn?t need some people more than
If God could only use young people, or strong people, or rich people, or famous people, or educated people, then God must
be so weak that he needs human strength; so poor that he needs us to give him a few dollars; so foolish that he needs human
4. The Lord loves using small and seemingly unimportant things.
1 Corinthians 1:26 says, ?Look at what you were before God called you. Not many of you were wise by human standards. Not many
of you had great influence. Not many of you came from important families. But God chose the foolish things of the world to
shame the wise, and he chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose what this world thinks is unimportant
and what this world looks down on and thinks is nothing in order to bring to nothing what the world thinks is important. God
did this,? the Bible continues, ?so that no one could boast in his presence.?
In the Bible, the book of Jonah seems small and insignificant. It?s only 2-3 pages long. I often feel like that: small
and insignificant. I have often felt so useless that I would have committed suicide if I wasn?t worried about having to face
God afterwards. But the Bible would be very much poorer without this tiny book. And the Kingdom of God would be much poorer
without you. In this tiny book we see God using a storm, a whale, a heartless, rebellious, moody man, a plant, and a grub.
Are you less gifted than a grub? Then God can do mighty things through you. If God could use a storm and a plant and a grub,
God is smart enough to use you. God is so powerful he can use anything to do his work.
No Christian is too old, too poor, too uneducated, too stupid, too sick to be gloriously used of God. We can?t explore
this in depth here. For just one aspect of this, see Never too old for God.
Do you believe there is nothing God cannot do? Do you believe God could bring a dead person back to life? Do you believe
God could bring a dead person back to life through your prayers? Those words ?through your prayers? don?t suddenly make God
weak. Do you believe God can save thousands of souls? Then you must also believe God can save thousands of souls through you.
Either God can do the impossible through you, or he isn?t God.
Keep telling yourself, ?There is nothing God cannot do through me.?
Heaven stands on tip toe waiting to see the astounding things you will achieve for the glory of God.
No one is more important to God than you are: Bible proofs
In the book of Galatians 2:6-9, Paul speaks of Peter, James and John. If anyone could claim to be have a special place
in God?s heart it was these men. When Jesus walked this planet they seemed his closest friends. Later they were called the
pillars of the church. Without pillars the whole building collapses. Yet Paul wrote of these men, ?whatever they were, it
makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no one.? Paul was speaking about Peter, the man honored by millions
as the first pope. Even his shadow healed people. Paul was speaking about the leaders of the church, the greatest saints,
when divinely inspired to write, ?whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no one.?
Tell yourself, ?The Bible says I am as important to God as Peter, James and John.?
One day the disciples told Jesus that his mother wanted to speak with him. Jesus replied, ?Who is my mother? Anyone who
does God?s will is my mother? (Luke 8:20-21).
So anyone who obeys God has as much right to speak with Jesus, as Mary has. Anyone who does God?s will has the same place
in Jesus? heart as his own mother.
Another time when Jesus was preaching, a woman shouted, ?Blessed is the woman who gave you birth.? Yet instead of agreeing
with her, Jesus said Blessed rather is the person who obeys God (Luke 11:27-28).
Jesus was born only once. So only one woman could have the privilege of giving birth to the Messiah. That was Mary?s unique
blessing. But spiritually, we are all equally blessed. In Ephesians 1:3 the Bible says each of us have been lavished every
spiritual blessing. How could it be otherwise? If Christ died (ie gave his all) for sinners, what would he possibly
withhold from them now that they are cleansed and made God?s precious children? As Scripture points out, since you are so
dear to God that he gave his only Son for you ? the most costly gift in the universe ? there can be nothing he won?t give
you (Romans 8:32, see also 1 Corinthians 3:21-22).
Tell yourself, ?I am as spiritually blessed as anyone.?
You have a special place in God?s heart
From the age of four, I loved helping my grandpa lay cement paths. Almost anyone could do a better job than a little child,
but that was irrelevant. I was irreplaceable. I had a special place in grandpa?s heart.
And you have a special place in God?s heart. To him you are irreplaceable. The Almighty needs the help of no one. Yet the
Father?s joy could never be complete without your contribution.
My grandpa wanted me to share in his work. Not because he needed me, but because I was special to him. And God wants you
to share in his work. Think about that for a minute ? God?s work is the most important work in the universe. God has something
of divine importance; something of eternal significance that he wants you to help him with. Wow! You are important!
To God, you are special. I used to think yeah, yeah God loves me, but he loves everyone. To him I?m just one of millions
of Christians. God has his favorites and I?m not one of them. I thought I was being humble thinking this way. But what I was
really doing was accusing God of imperfect love. In fact, I was calling God a liar. God says he loves you. So to believe that
you are unimportant to God is to believe that God is a liar. There is nothing humble about calling the holy Lord a liar! It?s
God is the most important person in the universe. So if you are important to him, you are important! There is nothing humble
about telling the all-wise God that he?s wrong. This is serious.
How dare I go up to the glorious Lord who shed his life?s blood for me and tell him, ?I?m not special to you.? Dare I go
to the cross where I deserved to hang, look into my Savior?s bleeding face, and accuse him of loving others more? He died
for me! What more dare I demand he do before I accept the fact that I?m special to him! I need to feel as bad about that sin
as if I were guilty of murder.
It?s said that a pirate killed a man. He was so horrified by what he had done that he couldn?t sleep properly for weeks.
But he kept killing. He got to the point where he could kill a man, use the corpse as a pillow and sleep soundly all night.
We are like that. We have committed the sin of wrong thinking so often that our consciences have become as hard as concrete.
For other sins our consciences have might still be soft but to the sin of doubt and small thinking, we are hardened.
Lepers lose fingers, toes, sometimes noses. It was always thought the disease did this. But a brilliant medical missionary
began to question this. Dr Paul Brand noticed that lepers would go to bed whole and wake up without a finger. No one could
ever find a trace of the missing finger. He eventually discovered that the fingers were being chewed off and carried away
by rats! However could this happen? It?s because lepers lose feeling. And that?s our problem. We have lost feeling in part
of our conscience. And then the devil ? that fat rat ? begins to chew us and instead of shooing him away, we don?t even realize
what he?s doing. We desperately need God to make our consciences sensitive.
We now come to the most crucial part of this message. This message could give you a boost for a few days, then fade and
ultimately achieve nothing. Or it could be the turning point in your life, making you the powerful force in the kingdom of
God that you were created to be.
It?s frightening to consider how much this world misses out when any Christian thinks he or she is not special to God.
There?s no Christian who cannot be used of God to win thousands of souls, should the Lord so chose. There?s no Christian who
can?t be used to change the course of human history. But while we hold on to the sin of small thinking, it won?t happen. This
is serious ? more serious than any of us can imagine. To rid ourselves of this sin will probably cost us enormously, but for
us to be freed from sin cost Christ far more.
For us to give up the sin of small thinking is as hard as it is for an alcoholic to permanently give up drink. We need
a gigantic miracle in our personal lives. It begins by admitting that we are addicted to the serious sin of not seeing ourselves
and our possibilities as God sees them. We must hate this sin. We must admit that we are such a slave to this sin that the
only way we can be freed is by a divine miracle.
I suggest the following prayer. Pray any part of it that you feel you can agree with.
Lord in your mercy begin to open my mind and my conscience to the seriousness of my sin. I have sinned in thinking you
have favorites. I have sinned by thinking I?m not important to you. I have sinned by thinking you don?t want to use me to
do amazing things of eternal significance for your glory. My addiction to small thinking has hurt you and done enormous damage.
Through Jesus? shed blood, I beg your forgiveness. I ask for total deliverance from my addiction.
I now declare that you want to do mighty things through me. I refuse to tolerate any lesser thought. And I look to you
for divine strength to forever defeat such sinful thinking. Lord, don?t let me ever again commit this sin without feeling
your strong displeasure. No matter what it costs me, be glorified in my life.
Maintaining the victory
For very many years I have been constantly tempted to feel useless. I wrote a book giving all the reasons why every one
of us can achieve great things for God and I had to keep reading that book every day, week after week, year after year. Whenever
I stopped reading it for a few days I would slip back into depression again.
So I make no apologies for expecting that you will need to hold on to the truths in this message and read it over and over
for maximum benefit. They are important truths that the devil tries with all his power to make us forget. We must hold on
to them as if our very life depended upon it. In fact, it can be more important than life itself. Other people?s eternal destinies
could depend upon whether we grasp these truths and live them. The Lord wants to make you a powerful force in the kingdom
Your need, however, is too chronic for any self-help technique to deliver you from your addiction. You must daily ask the
Lord to re-sensitize your conscience. The Lord?s prayer ? ?give us this day our daily bread . . . lead us not into temptation?
- proves our need to daily bring to God our need for divine help in conquering temptation. Without this we will be drawn into
a false and dangerous delusion that our dependence upon God is less than absolute. ?Let anyone who thinks he stands,? warns
Scripture, ?take heed lest he fall? (1 Corinthians 10:12). However, your divine Helper, the Holy Spirit, dwells inside you,
wherever you go, 24 hours a day. It?s tragically easy to slip back into old habits and hardly notice it. Daily look to him
to set off the alarm bells whenever you begin to slip back. You then have divine protection.
Negative thoughts will still come but, once exposed, you can repel them with the same disgust as you would a blood-sucking
leech. These filthy invaders from the sewers of hell are not part of you. We can?t think of nothing, nor can we think of two
things at once, so the best way to eject wrong thoughts is to seize the opposite thought, ideally, a statement you know to
be true because it?s in the Word of God. Cling to it like a non-swimmer holding a life rope in swirling waters. Thrash the
devil by using every approach of an invader as a cue to throw a praise party in your mind, exalting in the fact that the truth
(reality) is the exact opposite of the lie trying to invade you. This shines a floodlight on low life that can survive only
in darkness. Resist the devil and he will flee (James 4:7). He?ll try to sneak back later, but as you daily look to the Lord
you will live in victory.
Appendix: why the sin of unbelief is so addictive
This section details some of the reasons why I became addicted to wrong thinking. The cause of your own addiction will
not necessarily be the same, but it is still helpful to be alerted to the dangers.
I used to sometimes put myself down in the hope that whoever I was speaking to would take pity on me and give me an ego
boost. I was oblivious to how pathetic such behavior is until one day I met someone who refused to play my game. Instead of
boosting me, all she would do was rebuke me and accuse me of sin for being negative about myself. I was most annoyed until
I began to see myself more accurately. By making myself dependent upon ego boosts from other people I had made myself frighteningly
vulnerable. I was expecting others to do something that was my responsibility. Moreover, my actions proved that human praise
meant more to me than the divine approval I already had. And every time I got the flattery I was seeking, I was being rewarded
for my put downs, thus increasing my addiction.
If the success of achieving a goal is sweet, to be significantly more successful than I had dared dream is exceedingly
delicious. The simplest way of ensuring a repeat of this highly addictive thrill is to convince myself I will do poorly. The
exhilaration I get when I exceed my low expectations is rich reward for having a low view of my God-given potential. I was
grieving God, defaming his name and committing the sin of unbelief ? deliberately lowering my faith ? in the (sometimes unconscious)
hope of experiencing a high.
And although I knew faith pleases God, I also knew that taking a faith step is scary. It?s easier to take the lazy, cowardly
Making wise-cracks at my own expense was another trap. Every time someone laughed, I got my reward, but every such wise-crack
chiseled negative attitudes a little deeper into my mind. I was baiting my own trap.
Addictions have their momentary pleasures. In the end, however, they are a curse keeping us from the full and exciting
and God-glorifying life we were created for. As we daily look to Jesus, however, the curse will be broken. Would you like to receive prayer?
Jesus Christ Our Lord
Suppers of Jesus
With the Tax Collectors... and at the Home of Lazarus
1- Jesus dines at the house of Levi with all manner of ruffians and tax collectors (Mk.2:15,
Paolo Veronese (1528-88), The Feast at the House of Levi
Accademia, Venice, Italy
2- Dinner at Bethany. This scene shows the arrival of Jesus at their home in Bethany shortly before
Mary of Bethany anoints his feet (Jn.12:1, Mt.26:6, Mk.14:3).
Jacopa Bassano (1500's), Christ
in the House of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus