Posted by: bshelley | July 25, 2008

Seeking God’s Heart- by Bryan Shelley

Today’s Verse: Luke 18:9 And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: NASB

There is an attitude prevalent among those who have been forgiven, that is cleansed from the stain of sin, that they avoid those who are still living lives in rebellion to God. It is as if we are afraid to get some of it on us, being squeaky clean and all. Jesus exemplified the opposite in His walk among us. The Pharisees and religious leaders were constantly grousing at Him and His practice of being found with sinners. His mission was simply stated, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)

We taught an older singles group that met for a Bible class one time in the Austin, TX area and a young woman came and visited one Sunday morning. Our prim and proper Christian order of things was harshly disrupted. That appeared to be her design, but nonetheless she had bravely stepped foot inside a meeting of Christians which can be scary to someone not familiar with what goes on “in there”. She was not shy and blurted right out some rather perverse views of Jesus, the Bible and religion in general. She also smelled strongly of cigarettes. We changed the focus of the lesson to attempt to share the gospel and express love towards her as a group, but I have to admit that her shocking presence was like an electrical shock for the class. It was easy to observe body language that visibly leaned back away from her. She got up and left before the end of the class after having shared whatever she wanted and whoosh, she was gone. I simply said to the class, “Well, she certainly smelled like the world didn’t she?” We ended up having a fairly good debrief of what everyone’s reaction was and how we might do better. We did try to follow up, but with no success. It is such a wonder and blessing that rather than recoil from us when we smelled like the sin of the world that Jesus chose to approach us and embrace us? We too are to be in the world, yet not of it. We have a perfect example of how that is to be done in Christ Jesus.

Lord, help our hearts to have an unquenched desire to reach out to those who still smell like the world, remembering that this is exactly what love does. Amen.

Audio Version: seeking-gods-heart-luke-18_9


  1. We are commanded to imitate Christ, even to have “the mind of Christ.” We all fall short, but need to at least make this our goal. Ghandi criticized Christianity by saying he liked our Christ, but not our Christians, adding “Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

    The world will naturally assume that however Christians act IS Christlike. To them, we represent Christ, whether the portrayal is accurate or not.

    Good post Brayan.

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