(Originally Posted on lilfytr.blogspot.com.)
August 31, 2017
Let me just begin by saying, “I love you,” and it’s based on that truth that I write what I write in what follows. I realize that that phrase has probably been destroyed for you over the years. Perhaps someone told you, “If you do this, then I’ll love you,” and if that’s true, I’m immensely sorry for you. It crushes my heart to know that those kind of things are said and done. When I say, “I love you,” I also don’t mean, “I love what you have to offer.” That’s not love.
Let me explain what true love is. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” And while we’ll probably never meet, my prayer is that you would stumble across this post and be affected by it for better. Loving people is not about what I can get out of it, but how the recipient of the love can benefit. Considering that Jesus was known during His time on earth as a “friend of sinners,” which specifically referred in many instances to being a friend to the sexually deviant, I want you to know that Jesus doesn’t consider Himself too good for you.
And even though your experience with religious people throughout your lifetime may have showcased the exact opposite, and even though you probably now think, “there’s no way for me to escape this life, because who else would hire me so I can make a living?” I need you to know that there is hope for you still. As long as you’re still breathing, Jesus is calling out to you, saying, “I don’t condemn you. Leave your life of sin.”
Perhaps you think, “Why would I want to have anything to do with Jesus? Christians are just a bunch of holier-than-thou, stuck up, prudes.” And I would agree that too often that assessment is true, but I would also say that based on the way Jesus lived, Christians should absolutely not act this way. Jesus embraced with open arms those who were hurting, low, and despised by the “religious people” of His day. Jesus died the death they had all earned—I have earned, you are earning—in order to say, “I love you enough to suffer for you,” because there is no better way to empathize with someone than to suffer in their place.
He died on the cross 2,000 years ago, taking your sin upon himself. When God says, “Do not commit adultery,” which means, “Sexual activity outside marriage is off limits,” and a person engages in sexual activity outside marriage (of which I am not innocent either), that sin alone is enough to earn eternal death because it is against an eternal God. But when Jesus died, He said, “I am willing to die this death in their place, Father. Accept me in their place.” And the proof that God accepted Him was when He was raised again three days later. For this reason, I plead with you: Believe in Jesus, and leave this life you’ve grown used to. It doesn’t have to be this way for you. Jesus offers something better.
If this message affects you for the better, please seek out a church to join. Please don’t stop looking for one until you find a church that teaches Jesus as central and lives like He lived—loving those that are hurting. Praying for you.
Part 2: person watching the screen
Part 4: person behind the camera