Weatherford Democrat

January 26, 2014

PASTOR POPHIN: Those whom Jesus loves most


Weatherford Democrat

— By TOMMY POPHIN

Have you ever noticed that men and women are wired differently?

For example, when a movie comes out that is considered a “love story,” it informally is classified as a “chick flick.” Most men would rather not waste their time seeing it unless they are taking the girl they love to the movie.

Even though men are not willing to admit it, as the movie draws to an end, we are quick to get ourselves back together by blowing our nose or quickly wiping our eyes because we were “touched.” My family went to see “Saving Mr. Banks” recently and my daughter caught me and asked, “Dad, are you crying?”

Most of us know that Jesus’ love for us is unconditional. However, it is also unequal. What may surprise you are those whom Jesus loves the most. Take, for example, the story found in Luke 15:1-7 where Jesus reveals His love for others. We see two groups of people in Jesus’ presence: 1) tax collectors and “sinners”; 2) Pharisees and teachers of the Law otherwise known as the “religious leaders.”

In verses 1-2 we read: “Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’”

Notice the difference in attitude that the two groups had toward Jesus. The “sinners” gathered to hear Jesus while the religious leaders were there to “mutter.” So, who came to Jesus with the right heart?

Let’s read the story Jesus tells in verses 3-6: “Then Jesus told them this parable: Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’”

Jesus loves the 99 but His love for the one who is lost is so great that He went looking for it in order that He might save it and bring it to Himself.

John 15:7 expresses Jesus’ love for us by stating, “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

The word “repent” simply means to turn our face toward Jesus and our back on sin. The result is that Jesus and all of heaven breaks out into a Hallelujah party in recognition of the one who repents and is saved. What a wonderful thing it is when you give your life to Jesus. Have you?

Tommy Pophin is the pastor of Beulah Baptist Church in Millsap. The church website is beulahbaptistmillsap.com. You can contact the church at 817-594-3757. The church is located at 350 Beulah Road, two blocks south of U.S. Highway on the corner of Fox Road.