“And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to His disciples, ‘Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners (Mark 2 :16-17, ESV).'”
“‘For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10, ESV).'”
“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost (1 Timothy 1:15, ESV).”
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You may be justified in Your words and blameless in your judgement. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, You delight in truth in the inward being, and You teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that You have broken rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your Presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of Your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise. For You will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; You will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise (Psalm 51:1-17, ESV).”
October 31, 1991: I claim this day as my spiritual birthday. Sometime between October 21st and November 4th, I came to understand the gift of Christ and my inability to please God without Christ. Dad, in seeking to help my 3-year-old mind understand my brother Matthew’s infirmities and need for all the medical equipment and treatments, drew a picture of two hearts: one whole heart and one with a crack down the middle. He pointed to the cracked heart and told me that God made Matthew with a broken heart and he needed all the tubes, wires, nurses, and medicines to help make his heart whole. He then pointed to the whole heart and told me that God made me with a whole heart and so I did not need the things Matthew needed because I had a whole heart. It was at this time that I finally understood all the stories about Jesus my parents and members of our church body had told me my entire life as well as all the verses my parents had me memorize. Everything finally came together and, by the grace and leading of the Holy Spirit, took hold of my heart, soul, and mind. The Holy Spirit used the physical brokenness of my brother to serve as a live picture to help me to understand that just as Matthew needed the physical healing brought through the gift of modern medicine I needed the spiritual healing brought on by the gift of the Great Physician to heal my spiritual brokenness: Jesus Christ.
By God’s grace, Matthew’s heart has been repaired through the God-given blessing of medicine and his physically broken body lives by the grace and strength of the Great Physician in defiance of science, man’s knowledge of medicine, and the teaching of evolution. His brokenness testifies that His Grace is sufficient. Not only does my brother’s physical body glorify God in its weakness, but–by the grace of the Holy Spirit–Matthew’s spiritually broken heart has been healed by the same gift of Jesus that I received around October 31, 1991. Together, our spiritual hearts give testimony to the fact that Jesus came to save sinners: the least, the lost, the unlovable, the despised, the rejected, the broken, the disabled, the weak amongst us because His Grace will always be sufficient.
“We Are The Reason”