“And as he passed by, he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. And as he reclined at the table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.” (Mark 2:14-15)
You are who you hang out with. If you hang around infection you'll be infected. If you hang around affection then you’ll be affectionate. The infected tend to worry about themselves, the affectionate have other’s well-being in mind. When we have Christ in our life we love much because we have been forgiven much. This helps us live around sin without being stained by it.
Jesus was found many times, hanging around the wrong crowd. Here are some thoughts that will help our perspective and help us hang out with the wrong crowd for the right reason. Can we agree that we need Jesus in our lives? That’s the first step. And since we are not Jesus, allow him to work in us and through us. This means being with him… a lot, in his word, in prayer, and in worship. It’s too easy to be dragged away and enticed on our own. Sin exists (In us and in others). Recognizing this will give us a healthy perspective when confronted with it.
What Jesus did in these situations is not out of reach. Read through these passages and pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you in the same way we see Jesus when confronted with sin. He isn't surprised by it (John 8:3-11). Sin doesn't stop him from hanging with the wrong crowd (Luke 19:5-8). But sin doesn't stain him (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus invites others to leave their sin as we see with Levi in our verse for the day and with the woman in John 8:11. Jesus didn't follow the wrong crowd. The wrong crowd followed Him.
Question: What is your MO when in the midst of, or invited into sinful behavior?
Challenge: Pray that you may lead the wrong crowd to follow our King.
Prayer: Father, only you can give me the love and strength to be in the world and not of it. Help me lead others to you.
Steve Sisco -- BC Staff