I just love Casting Crowns songs. Their lyrics are so rich in meaning and convicting to the core. I heard this song recently on the radio and loved everything about it.
I cannot even begin to describe how angry and saddened the messages on the left image make me. To see individuals who claim to be followers of Christ, bashing other people, daring to say "God hates you" and condemning other sinners just like them is just embarrassing and shameful. It saddens me that Christians in general have been labeled as "hateful" people because a few truly exemplify hate. The Gospel is not about hate people. The Gospel of Christ is entirely based on LOVE. The word LOVE is mentioned roughly 600 times in the Bible. You'd think it's important huh? The Bible even says that "God is LOVE. Whoever lives in love, lives in God and God in Him." (1 John 4:16) How beautiful is that? Jesus himself is the epitome of love. He beckons us to follow Him! Should we not love one another?
The images on the right fill my heart with hope and happiness. Jesus was a friend of sinners. He didn't hang out with the Pharisees--those who thought they knew it all. He hung out with those who needed it most--the prostitutes, the thieves, the ones who needed anger management, plain and simple, the lost. This Jesus I have fallen in love with, loved and continues to love people with an outrageous love that I will never fully comprehend. With his own words he told me to "love [my] neighbor as myself." (Matthew 12:31) Furthermore, 1 Timothy 2:3-4 says, "God wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth." I saw a quote yesterday that struck me and it said, "After all, if you really think about the ultimate fate of this world, what else really matters other than the salvation of the lost?" Is this not true? What good does picketing, protesting, bashing, judging, condemning, and isolating do if on judgment day, all those people never came to know the truth of Jesus because WE, Christians entrusted to be the hands and feet of Jesus, were too busy making a point about the same Jesus who wants all men to be saved and come to know Him?
I needed a reminder in this song. "Help us to remember we are all the least of these, let the memory of Your mercy bring Your people to their knees." Yes! Jesus has been so merciful with us, how can we deny mercy to another human being whom Jesus died for? I hope that Christians, myself included will take the Bible seriously and make Jesus famous for His LOVE for humanity. To a person who has not met Christ, we may be the only "Jesus" they
ever meet. I pray I can be a good representation of Jesus as He's called me to be.
"Jesus, friend of sinners, we have strayed so far away
We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus, friend of sinners, the truth's become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You but they're tripping over me
Always looking around but never looking up I'm so double minded
A plank eyed saint with dirt hands and a heart divided
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break out hearts for what breaks yours
Jesus, friend of sinners, the one who's writing in the sand
Made the righteous turn away and the stones fall from their hands
Help us to remember we are all the least of these
Let the memory of Your mercy bring Your people to their knees
Nobody knows what w'ere for only what we're against when we judge the wounded
What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and loved like You did.
You love e very lost cause; you reach for the outcast
For the leper and the lame; they're the reason that You came
Lord I was the lost cause and I was the outcast
But you died for sinners just like me, a grateful leper at Your feet."
"Friend of Sinners" by Casting Crowns from Come to the Well Album
Listen to the song here!