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August 28, 2006, Enterprise Dispatch
Pastor's Column

What’s really important?

Pastor Al Jones, New Life Assembly, Cokato

When we look at the life of Jesus, we see Him as a reformist in the most fundamental way—getting back to the basics. This age we live in becomes a distraction by the myriad of options at our disposal. Yet Christ didn’t rely on something new to awaken the faith of those around Him, but something already learned.

In a situation where the Pharisees found it repulsive for Him to eat with tax collectors and sinners, Jesus responds with the following statement: “But go and learn what this means. I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matthew 9:13).

This exhortation was quoted from the prophet Hosea. The religious leaders of the day had forgotten the basics of their responsibility to bring others into a relationship with the Father.

It becomes a snare for believers to be caught up in the “latest and greatest” within the church community, and forget the real reason why Jesus came. Doing good things for God (sacrificing) is something that should be done, but it does not fulfill our obligation to the world to show them the Father.

In another scripture, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees by saying, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.” (Matthew 23:23).

It’s clear that the goal in our walk with God is not what we can give Him, but what we can give others in His name.

Jesus spent His time building relationships with others, fulfilling God’s plan to bring man back to Him. He could have spent His time with the church of that day, but would He really have become what this world needed most? As He said of Himself, “For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

As often as we can, we should try to do what Jesus spent so much of His time doing. Aren’t you glad someone took the time to invest in you?


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