Jesus, Friend of Sinners

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This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. – Romans 3:22-24

The number-one question people asked Jesus about himself was “Why do you eat and drink with sinners? Why do you hang out with people like that?” One group even called him “a friend of sinners.” And they didn’t mean it as a compliment.

As a Christian and follower of Jesus Christ, I believe that faith in Him has the power to bring us into an intimate relationship with God. That means anyone and everyone, whoever comes – the sick, wounded, and hurt included. As God’s Church, we must open up the doors, and invite them in, let them know, “You are welcome here!” It might get a little messy, but God can handle that – and so can we.

Jesus knew that, in God’s eyes, one sin is no worse than any other. All sin, great and small, separates us from God. When we come to Him with open hearts, He won’t turn us away. He will love us, forgive us, and help us find the healing we need.

Prayer

Thank You, Father, for receiving me when I was unworthy of Your attention. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Excerpted with permission from Celebrate Recovery Daily Devotional by John Baker, copyright Zondervan, 2013.

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Your Turn

Do you ever feel as if you cannot approach God or cannot go to church until you first clean yourself up, get yourself together, quit some bad behaviors, and make progress back towards holiness? That’s not what Jesus modeled in His life here on earth. He approached people right where they were – in shame, in disbelief, in addiction, in fear, in sickness – and He was a Friend of sinners. And He receives you today, too! Right where you are! Your sin is not to great for Him. He will not turn away if you call out to Him! Come join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear your thoughts about Jesus, the Friend of sinners. ~ Devotionals Daily

John Baker is a nationally known author, speaker, and founder of Celebrate Recovery, a ministry born out of the heart of Saddleback Church in 1991. He is currently serving there as pastor of Celebrate Recovery and is one of the church’s five elders. Over the last 23 years, nearly 27,000 individuals have gone through this Christ-centered recovery program at Saddleback Church. The program is now being used in thousands of churches nationwide. Over two and half million individuals have completed the program.

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