Sunday, August 8, 2010

As Is

I cannot tell you how unbelievably grateful I am to say these 
words . . . . I am married to a bargain-hunter!  Because of her influence over the years, I now have a difficult time paying full price for many items.
On many sales racks you may see a two-word phrase…’As Is’.  It may be a secondhand item or possibly damaged goods returned because of a flaw. With these two words, the store has given us fair warning that we’ve just entered an area where something has went wrong with their merchandise. If you buy it, understand there are…NO REFUNDS, EXCHANGES, or RETURNS.

If you’ve ever dealt with another human in your life, you’ve just come to the ‘As Is’ section of this planet. It may be someone you know best and love the most, but if you were honest, you would have to admit…that person is slightly irregular

(This is NORMAL. . . .right?)

Every human wants to be normal. Have you ever thought about who defines normal? And, besides, who says that version is the right one?  
Scripture definitely reminds us that no one is normal.  ALL we like sheep have gone astray.”

(friends in Forest Hill, MD)
John Haddington said, “I have been comforted for more than 20 years by the thought that Jesus welcomes, not only sensible sinners, but stupid ones as well.”

The point is – Jesus was never soft or weak when it came to condemning sin. He consistently told sinners to “Go and sin no more.”  But He was never so blinded by their sin that He couldn’t see the good in them.

Matthew 9:10-13 says, Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum? When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
* The adulterous woman at the well – her ‘As Is’ tag was obvious, but Jesus saw more.
* At Simon the Pharisee’s dinner for Jesus, a prostitute came and knelt at the feet of Jesus, washing his feet with expensive perfume. Everyone knew her ‘As Is’ tag, but Jesus saw more.
* Zacchaeus was a hated tax collector. Another ‘As Is’….but once again, Jesus saw more.
Punishment for our sin is what all of us deserve, but Jesus (consumed with compassion) stands before us with forgiveness, love, and mercy and takes us… ‘As Is.’