Thugs and Scandalous Women

“Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.”
This comment made by Jesus to the religious minds of his day revealed a devastating truth. When I begin to validate my righteousness or qualifications to be in a relationship with Him on my ability to keep His word, act well, or even look godly, there goes another thug or scandalous woman right past me into the kingdom of Heaven.
It’s so easy to judge in our hearts other people’s qualifications or lack of integrity in their walk with Jesus, but in doing so, we are missing the whole point of salvation by grace. Those in lifestyles of brokenness, according to Jesus, are more qualified to see and receive His kingdom. Those whom “good Christians” for the most part despise, God says, hold the simple key of realizing their depraved nature and relying fully upon him.

Grace has an all-demanding qualification. To enter His kingdom, we must disarm of self-promoting ideas and rest completely in His love. Rather than lifting ourselves up by false comparisons to “less godly” people or touting our years of service to Jesus as some qualification for others to value, we must pull our perception to the reality that we daily must fall on His grace for living. This heart attitude always leads to thankfulness rather than self-exaltation.
The heart that daily sees and draws on Jesus’ love will find it easy to love anyone. The moment we start making a qualification process in our thoughts for those whom we will show love to, we must realize that we are allowing pride to cut off the power of God’s love that desires to work through us.

If you say you want to see the supernatural power of God to work through you, what you truly must pursue is the supernatural love of God. What does this look like? It is manifest in loving the not-so-lovable, the ones who hurt you, or ones who have little to offer. Engaging life with them will pull into your life the very real and practical power of God.

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