On the other side of your obedience

Matthew 9:10-13 10And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and  [especially wicked] sinners came and sat (reclined) with Him and His disciples.  11And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, Why does your Master eat with tax collectors and those [preeminently] sinful?   12But when Jesus heard it, He replied, Those who are strong and well (healthy) have no need of a physician, but those who are weak and sick.   13Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy [that is, readiness to help those in trouble] and not sacrifice and sacrificial victims. For I came not to call and invite [to repentance] the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God), but sinners (the erring ones and all those not free from sin)

The Pharisees were sure a grumpy bunch of men weren’t they? They were always going around asking Why is Jesus doing this? And Why is Jesus saying that?  Why did He do it that way? And why didn’t He do it like this? It seems they always found something to complain about, or question where Jesus was concerned. That’s a whole other subject though. On this particular occasion, the Pharisees were wondering why Jesus spent so much time with sinners. I love this because Jesus states clearly His purpose for being on earth,( and our purpose as well). He says, I hang out with sinners because they need me. I don’t need to spend time with those who are righteous. I need to pour myself out to those who are living in sin so I can give them an opportunity to experience freedom.

Do we spend most of our time with other believers? Or are we spending our time with the lost, reaching out to them with the love of Christ? Now I am not saying hanging out with other believers is a bad thing. We need fellowship and times with those of like mind and heart, building each other up, and encouraging one another. However, there comes a time when we also need to look outside of the four walls of our churches and realize that there is an entire world waiting for us. Jesus said those who are strong and healthy have no need of a physician. In Mark 16:15 Jesus said 15And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race]. All the world doesn’t necessarily mean other countries. Where is your world- The grocery store? The daycare where you drop your kids off everyday? Your place of employment? My husband always says, “On the other side of your obedience, there’s a people group waiting for you.” Again, a people group isn’t necessarily another nationality (though it could be), but in actuality your people group might be the moms in your neighborhood, or the guys in your office, or the kids in your classroom, or the couples in your gym. The possibilities are endless. If you will be obedient to spread the Gospel of Jesus wherever you are, you will be able to reach that people group that is waiting just for you, giving them hope, freedom and an opportunity for new life.

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