Adultry, Cast the First Stone, Church, Goodness of God, Judgement, Sinner

WELCOME TO THE JUDGEMENT FREE ZONE

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WELCOME TO THE JUDGEMENT FREE ZONE

I joined a gym last week. It’s not a big secret I’ve gained a few dozen pounds ok!

But as I entered the gym, I noticed in bright neon, a sign that read, WELCOME TO THE JUDGEMENT FREE ZONE. Ok, let’s not all act saintified and pretend we haven’t ever passed judgement on an over/under weighted person! It’s so easy to look at someone and say, “Glad  I ain’t that big!” or “Dang!! She needs to eat a hamburger and put some meat on those bones!

It got me to thinking. The very one place where you are probably judged on your height and weight the most is the gym! Larger people looking at the fit people in disgust wishing they looked that good and the fit people looking at the larger people thinking, “yeah, ya’ll need to be here!” But just seeing that sign is inviting. It gives you a sense of, “I fit in here! No-one judging me here- We are all here for the same reason- WE NEED HELP!”

So, what if the church had a “WELCOME TO THE JUDGEMENT FREE ZONE” sign.

What if sinners from all walks of life felt welcome to walk through the doors of any church and not be judged by their appearance- and by appearance, I am not just talking about how they look. It goes deeper than that. People are hurting and looking for something to fill the emptiness in their life. They try to mask the pain with the newest fashion, the hottest guy, the hottest girl, the strongest drink or the wildest life.  When in reality, all they need, (and unknowingly want) is for God to come into their hearts and heal them. But unfortunately, the church has become real good at welcoming people in but judging them from a distance. And that is why a lot of people look down on the church. They work with us, go to school with us, shop with us, and see us on a daily basis. They hear us talking about how rude the girl at Starbucks was this morning, they hear us gossip about our friends and relatives. They see us being underhanded in life to get away with the smallest of things. They see us coveting, judging, and lying- but they need to see us loving, sharing, caring and giving grace!

Let’s look at Jesus’ life for a moment. He loved sinners! He loves the broken, the sick, the weary, the murderer and the holier than thou’s.

One of my very favorite examples of Jesus’ love for the sinner is the woman caught in the act of adultery. (having sex with someone else when you are already married) John 8:1-11

The Scribes and the Pharisees didn’t like Jesus. They wanted to get rid of him! They liked to think they were perfect and didn’t need Jesus because they “kept the law”. So they brought this woman who was caught with another man and basically tested Jesus to see if they could make Jesus look bad. He had two choices in their eyes, stone the woman because of the law and obliterate everything He had ever spoken about God’s goodness and grace and forgiveness or let the woman go free and Jesus would then be guilty of not keeping the law Himself.

But in Jesus’ eyes, there was only one thing to do, redeem the woman from her sin and set her free. He didn’t judge her, condemn her, tell her how sorry she was, point out her sins or stone her. He gave the men who brought her to Him permission to stone her. He said, “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.” But Jesus’ already knew they wouldn’t be able to stone the woman. He let them examine and judge themselves and each one had to walk away. (Notice He didn’t even judge the men) He didn’t have to. Jesus redeemed the woman by forgiving her. We don’t hear about this woman anymore, but I bet after meeting Jesus and receiving a love like no other from Him, she found it easy to live a sin free life.

When people are brought to us, come to us, or we just run into them, we need to be ready to show them the love of Jesus. Lay aside our judgemental thoughts, because hurting people already know they’re doing something they’re not supposed to, and love them! When we show people kindess we show them Jesus.

Rom 2:1-4 (message) Tells us we cannot hide our sins by judging others! When we judge others we are just as guilty as they are!

No amount of judgement is going to make people want to be good. It will have the opposite effect on them. V4 says- It is the goodness of God that will cause them to change.

Be Jesus this week. Be His light and His love! Love someone deemed unloveable! Give grace to someone who doesn’t deserve it.

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Goodness of God, homosexuality, Hope for the hurting, Jesus, Love, Nature of Jesus Christ

Why I Love Homosexuals

I love homosexuals.
I also love liars, thieves, murderers, people who have children out of wedlock, people who “shack up” together, cheaters (in card games and on their spouses),  gamblers, drug dealers and users, prostitutes, drunks, child predators (and that’s a hard one for me), porn addicts and the actors inside the flick, Obama, spouse abusers, gossipers, back biters, gluttoners, the list could go on and on and on, but I think you’ve gotten my point. I love sinners.
Now that I have your attention let me say this, I DO NOT CONDONE HOMOSEXUALITY, OR ANY OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED SINS OR PRACTICES.
James 2:8-11
If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
I guess my question is why do we make such a huge deal out of homosexuality but when our teenagers get pregnant it’s easier to look over because, well, “what’s done is done. May as well accept it now.” When someone gossips to us we listen and even participate at times. We will tear the buffet up until we have to unbutton our pants so that we can waddle home and fall out into a food coma for a few hours, we cheat on our taxes to save a few dollars, keep the extra pizza that was accidently given to us, but at the mention of a homosexual, we act as if a diseased leper had walked up to us and wrapped their stinking arms around us and infected us!! We start thrashing around and yelling curses at them, wanting them to change because they are disgusting human beings.  WOW!  And I once was guilty of this. Snarling my nose at their sinful stench. Why do we elevate things like homosexuality and murderers and child molesters above stealing and gossiping? When James 2 said that if we fail in one point we are guilty of all? Isn’t a sin a sin? Doesn’t the stench of fornication smell the same as those “big named sins” ? Or have we sugar coated the sins we are comfortable with so that we can throw our righteous stones at people who sin bigger and differently than us so that the fragrance of our sins would be covered up?
I used to spray febreze on my sins. I didn’t act as badly as some people I knew so it made me feel more righteous than others. But then, I met Jesus. He came to live in me and completely remodeled my brain and my heart! Showing me a love like no other. And when you begin to know the love of the father and begin to realize his nature is in you you begin to look at things differently. I put on a new nature and gained the mind of Christ! (Col 3:10, 1Co 2:16, 2 Cor 2:16, all tell me that I, as a child of God have the mind of Christ.  (We haven’t just had a portion of Christ’s wisdom transferred to us; we have the mind of Christ! We know everything that Jesus knows! #andrewwommack) and my personal favorite I Jn  4:17-21.  Verse 17 says that as He is so are we in this world! Jesus is LOVE and COMPASSION and FORGIVENESS and SELFLESS and SACRIFICING and HOLY and GOOD! How can I knowing all that I am in HIM pass judgement on someone who doesn’t understand who they are in God? And how will they ever know as long as we are passing judgement on them and hating them and condemning them?? Verse 20-21 says, “If anyone says I love God, but hate my brother, he is a liar; and then commands us to LOVE our brother if we love God!”
For a moment reflect on Jesus’ life. He was pretty scandalous in his time! He ate with sinners and prostitutes. He redeemed the woman at the well who had been married numerous times and the man she was with currently wasn’t her husband! He redeemed the woman caught in the very act of adultry! He told her accusers, He who is without sin cast the first stone. And they all turned away because none of them were righteous. They all had faults and sins. The same is true today, If the very ones screaming condemnation at the homesexuals and the sinners were asked, He who is without sin cast the first stone, I have to wonder how many would have to drop their rocks and turn away?
Romans 2:1-4   Verse 4 asks the question, ” are you unaware of his rich kindness, forbearance, and patience, that it is God’s kindness that is leading you to repent?   I can’t help but believe that if we spoke the truth in love (Eph 4:15) and showed the goodness of God to people they would repent of their sins! If we would take as much time to tell people who they are in God and how God wants to redeem them and love them instead of picketing homosexual marriages with signs that read, “REPENT OR BURN IN HELL YOU SINNER”, that we would see a change! When someone knows how much you care about them they would be more willing to receive what you have to say! But when give someone the truth in poison form it’s no wonder they spit it out and avoid Christians at all cost. Its no wonder they avoid churches. They know they’re not accepted into the “Holier than Thou” club. They’re met at the door with you are not welcome here attitude. And while a sinner won’t admit to searching for a bandaid to cover their wounds, they are. And it’s our job to meet them with a first aid kit & kiss their boo-boos!
People are hurting!! They need us to get off our high horse, to quit looking down on them, quit passing judgement on them, quit determining their worth by their actions and LOVE the hell out of them! I am convinced love will keep more people out of hell than hate ever will.  That is why I choose to the love the homosexual. The sinner and the Christian. I don’t want to just pretend to love others. I choose to REALLY love them, hate what is wrong and hold tightly to what is good!  (Rom 12:9)
On a side note, I do realize some people do not want to hear the truth, but when you show them love anyway, you’ve shown them Jesus in a way they might have never seen him, and that could make all the difference.
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