To any organization, the attending crowd is very important because ‘like’ attracts ‘like’. The right crowd of patrons attracts more of the right people. Take a walk down the poshest part of your city and you will know what I mean. Stores know this. Cafes know this. Even churches know this. So, much effort is made to keep the ‘right’ crowd coming back and the ‘wrong’ crowd from even coming through the doors.

Unfortunately, Christians have also become a ‘crowd’. Some people like us, some others do not. And while I’m not one to lose sleep over my personal popularity, it does become a concern when people outside the faith judge our Father by our actions, get turned off and turn away. So today, I’d like to take this opportunity to address both believers and pre-believers alike. If you have ever been disappointed by Christians, hey, that’s perfectly fine; because for that very reason, you will not be disappointed with our Christ.

When He was walking the earth, Jesus too had a crowd. These were the people who naturally gravitated to Him.

“Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them.” Matthew 15:30

“Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him.” Luke 15:1

Yes, the lame, the blind, the mute, the maimed, the sinners and those society did not like. Not a great crowd, was it?

But you see, that’s just it. That is just how much Jesus loves us, that He would come to not only receive us and eat with us, as the Pharisees said (Luke 15:2), He came to die for us, so that we might be saved from ourselves. Indeed, His words were true.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17

So “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Mark 2:17

So, us Christians, we who have been called and have believed, guess what? We were just like that; not able to walk straight, couldn’t keep from stumbling over, hadn’t the faintest idea which way we were headed and which way was up, barely able to feed ourselves, and headed for eternal damnation. We imperfect ones are exactly the ones He came to call. So is it a wonder then that even though we have been saved, there are still some traces of imperfections left in us?

I mean, think about it. If we Christians could be perfect, then Jesus needn’t have come, Jesus needn’t have died for us, Jesus needn’t have suffered all that pain just to save us from ourselves, and we needn’t be having this conversation. But the truth is, we couldn’t be perfect, and that is why Jesus needed to come look for us, Jesus needed to bear the punishment that was ours to bear, Jesus needed to die for us so that by His death, we could be set free from sin’s bonds; and by His rising we would be eternally righteous before God our Father.

Now, what you make of Christians after hearing that, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is what you make of God’s love for us; for that really is the point. Because even though we were sinners, even though we were lame, blind and maimed in some part of our lives, even though we were so lost, we did not even know that we were lost,

“But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.” Romans 5:8 [AMPC]
I don’t care what you think of Christians. I only care what you think of Christ.

A friend of mine once told me that the only places where a sordid past is of any value is in front of the blackboard and behind the pulpit. Teachers connect better with students when they reveal that they were once imperfect too, and preachers are more convincing when they use their lives as a living testimony to His grace and mercy. And perhaps that is why I have been called to both stations.

And that’s the point really, isn’t it? That even though we were yet wicked sinners, Christ died for us. ‘For us’ beloved, not ‘because of’ us. We did not frustrate Him so much that it drove Him to suicide; He loved us so much that His love drove Him to sacrifice.

So my friend, when you look at a Christian; beloved, when you see your flaws in the mirror; you are looking at a work in progress. Because, like Paul,

“…I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.” Philippians 1:6 [AMPC]

Sure we stink. But we are smelling better every day. Because it is not about how good we are or how good we can be, but about how good Jesus is and how good He can make us become. And beloved, if you think that Jesus is at the end of His tether, if you think that Jesus cannot possibly change that part of you that you, yes even you, have given up on, then hey, you just forgotten that

“For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37

Missed that? Then let Matthew tell you again.

“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Now, whether you are a Christian who has been let down by your brethren, or a pre-believer who has never turned to Jesus because Christians have turned you off; forget the Christian. We are fallible, imperfect beings. In fact, the Psalmist said it best,

“For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:14

Look instead to Jesus. See Him revealed in the Bible. Talk with Him and see Him work in your life. He is more real and loving than the Christian who let you down is imperfect.

So, you don’t like Christians? Great! That means you know just how great a God we have. Come and know Him more.

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