For years I divided my life into before and after. Before I met Christ and after I met Christ.
I used to be part of a church that outreached a lot; they preached fire and brimstone, hell and death, sin and sickness on the streets as a way of reaching out to the unchurched. Recently the Lord started to show me how He loves. There is no before and after with the Lord. He loves sinners as they are now and He still loves us after we give our lives to Him. Even though my old church did use the word ‘Love’ in some of the outreaches, like ‘Jesus died for your sins because he loves you’, a lot of emphasis was placed on judgment, sin and death. Jesus told us to preach the good news and not the bad news. The bad news is that sin destroys. The good news is that love saves from that destruction and God is love.
My friend recently shared with me how God has been leading her to pray for complete strangers. Mostly those who don’t know the Lord. In most cases it hasn’t been to pray for them to get saved either. In one situation she felt led to pray with a distressed young lady on the train. She had been crying because she needed a job and was in a bad place emotionally and financially. Helen prayed with her to get a job and the next day she got a call to start work. If that isn’t the love of God I don’t know what is.
I had been under the impression that God’s only way of getting people into the kingdom was for them first to say the sinners prayer, and then He became open to receiving other prayers. But when you think about it Jesus healed the sick first, then asked them to repent and sin no more.
We are the light of the world. We are meant to lead sinners to Christ, not bully them and make them feel worthless.
John 3:18 says anyone who doesn’t believe has already been judged. So our help and expertise is not needed.
Moreover His love transcends judgment. Mercy triumphs over judgment. This means that mercy is more potent, has a more powerful effect than judgement. The world needs and cries out for love; people are not drawn to condemnation- they get enough of that daily. People need love.
This has led me to understand that God loved me, ordered my steps and protected me before I met Him. He did not start to do that after I became born again. It was His love that kept me protected from the moment I was conceived in my mother’s womb. His love kept me from dying, His love led me to where I am today. I recently heard a Christian song that said ”I hate who I was then.‘ I struggle to come to terms with the lyrics of that song because even God did not hate who we were then, we are not different just because we now walk with God, we are still sinners but we are saved by His grace.
With God there is no before and after, He loved you then, He loves you now. For God so loved The world. The world, the entire world.
Have a truly blessed day!!!