Taking It Deeper

Lyrics

Jesus, friend of sinners
We have strayed so far away
We cut down people in Your name
But the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus, friend of sinners
The truth’s become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You
But they’re tripping over me
 
Always looking around but never looking up
I’m so double minded
A plank-eyed saint with dirty hands
And a heart divided
 
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world
At the end our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Break our hearts for what breaks Yours
 
Jesus, friend of sinners
The One whose writing in the sand
Made the righteous turn away
And the stones fall from their hands
Help us to remember
We are all the least of these
Let the memory of Your mercy
Bring Your people to their knees
 
Nobody knows what we’re for
Only what we’re against
When we judge the wounded
What if we put down our signs
Crossed over the lines
And loved like You did
 
You love every lost cause
You reach for the outcast
For the leper and the lame
They’re the reason that You came
 
Lord, I was that lost cause
And I was the outcast
But You died for sinners just like me
A grateful leper at Your feet
 
‘Cause You are good
You are good
And Your love endures forever
 
And I was the lost cause
And I was the outcast
You died for sinners just like me
A grateful leper at Your feet

TID-bits

  • I once saw my child sneak in line ahead of another customer at the self checkout line at the grocery store.
  • It was at that point that I stepped in to offer an apology to the person my son got in the way of.
  • Did you ever think that as Christians we spend too much time butting in?  Saying “no, this is how you should do it?”
  • Or, do you think the more apologetic approach is the way to go?

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  • My to-do list today is long, and I can’t say I’m overly excited about it.
  • Face it, it’s not often we get switched on by the things we have to check off.
  • That’s how it is with the world and Christianity.
  • The world sees our faith as a list of things you have to do, and even more, as a list of fun things you can’t do.
  • They see it as something that takes away freedom.
  • We know it as the exact opposite.
  • Only by showing them how it has changed us, instead of us telling them a list of how it will change them will people be drawn to it.
  • Talk about how no one gets excited by a to-do list.
  • Finish by saying “we need to get away from presenting our faith as a list of do’s and dont’s and instead present ourselves as those who are willing to serve.   That’s how hearts are softened."

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  • An honest apology can mend relationships, dissolve anger, soothe shattered pride or heal a broken heart.
  • Now think to yourself what righteous indignation does.   Doesn’t it immediately turn others away?
  • This (that) song is our honest apology for all our righteous indignation.

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  • You want to see a movie that shows the point of that song?   Then check out the 1957 movie “12 Angry Men,” starring Henry Fonda.
  • It’s about a jury, trying to deliver a verdict in a murder case.
  • It’s also a great example of how a heart can be led by mercy, like Casting Crowns mentions.
  • You might make it a family movie night.

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  • God’s plan often involves outcasts:
  • In fact Jesus was always going to them.   He is always striking up conversations with them, listening to them, and healing them.
  • All of us are outcasts in some way, none of us are ever perfect.
  • And so this song reminds us that we should never act superior over anyone because of our faith.

    Scripture References

    Proverbs 15:1

    A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

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    Ephesians 4:2

    Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another   in love.

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    Proverbs 25:15

    Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,   and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

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    1 Corinthians 4:18-21

    Some of you have become arrogant,   as if I were not coming to you.   But I will come to you very soon,   if the Lord is willing,   and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have.   For the kingdom of God is not a matter of   talk but of power.   What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip,   or in love and with a gentle spirit?

    Your Own Experiences

    Talk about when you tried to help someone homeless on the street, or did something to serve the poor and needy.  Was there an ulterior motive, or were you just doing it out of love?

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    Talk about someone you know who was a lost cause that came to know Christ.  Maybe it was you.  How did it happen?

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    Have you ever found an old friend on facebook who turned out to be gay?   Have you shied away from them because of it?  How would you still show love to someone who's viewpoints are opposed to yours.

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