Save others by snatching them from the fire of hell. Show mercy to others, even though you are afraid that you might be stained by their sinful lives. Jude 1:23 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
Sinners unsettled the Jewish elite. Strict adherence to the law triggered a fear of being stained by ungodly people. Self-righteous Pharisees allowed rules to outweigh compassion. They offered little mercy.
Jesus, on the other hand, fraternized with wrongdoers. His grace-filled eyes recognized hearts needing forgiveness. He lived and died to take away the stains of sinners. He yearned for His disciples to follow His merciful example.
I learned these lessons at church. Yet here I sat with the self-righteous heart of a Pharisee while my pastor preached about God’s grace. I blamed the stained gash in the pew cushion beside me.
Ignoring the sermon, I focused on the ugly three-inch split. Sturdy thread held it together, but long stitches exposed padding. The failed attempt to clean stains left an unsightly mess on the church pew. Hideous.
Suddenly God lovingly spoke to my heart. Imperfections surround you. Gaze into your own life and find flaws. This sanctuary, My House, is full of broken people. I came to take away their sins, stains, and scars. In exchange I offer forgiveness, mercy, and grace. A truly remorseful heart cancels out the stains of a wicked heart. Show mercy.
Lesson learned, Lord. I hear you saying, “Go and make disciples. Stop worrying about their stains. Point them to Me, the Savior of the world, and I’ll do the cleaning. Sinners need Me.”
Jesus, I will follow you and bring glory to your name. AMEN.