Churches that are full of sinners… can be a great blessing to you!
Devotional thought of the day….
15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 1 Timothy 1:15-16 (NLT)
What compassion you feel for them!… You would like to cry out to them that they are wasting their time… Why are they so blind, and why can’t they perceive what you—a miserable creature—have seen? Why don’t they go for the best? Pray and humble (original mortify) yourself. Then you have the duty to wake them up, one by one, explaining to them—also one by one—that they, like you, can find a divine way, without leaving the place they occupy in society.
Yes, I know, churches are full of hypocrites and sinners – spectacular and plain. Some of the most obvious are those that are at the microphone – the pastors/priests, the worship directors, the singers, and those guys that make announcements.
Some people have used this as an excuse to not go to church – they don’t want to affiliate with a low life sinner like me. And that is with only partial knowledge. Only God knows exactly how sinful I can get… even I can’t calculate that.
It may sound odd — but the fact that you can recognize me, a pastor, as a sinner is a good thing. Because if you combine that with the fact that God has promised that my sin won’t count against me, that what i’ve done, ans said and thought isn’t beyond forgiveness, that means that your forgiveness is as assured. Look at it this way, the greatest leader of God’s people in the Old Testament was David. An adulterer, a murder, a politiician who used his office to be able to do all these sins- and as God worked in David’s life, David became a man know as a man after God’s own heart. This was God’s work in him. (side note – that we are such doesn’t justify our continuing to sin)
If God can work with that kind of material, God can work with you – and this is God’s desire. It is what God wants. If God can initaite a relationship and wanted to reveal Himself to a murderous pharisee like Paul – He can do the same with you – and desires to do exactly that.
The same thing – if the guy in the pulpit, if the people surrounding you as you sit in the pew are sinners, and we all are, then this is the place where you belong. For if God can call us saints, if He calls us, despite our scars His children. Then you know He will accept you to, that He will adopt you as well. That He will, through word and sacrament, bring healing to your brokenness, and peace to your soul.
A church full of sinners and hypocrites – that’s my kind of place. Come and join us…please?
Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 974-978). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.