The Curiosity of an Almighty God Who Would Reach Out to the Worst of Sinners

Written by Toby Long

“Some of the branches of the cultivated olive tree have been broken off, and a branch of a wild olive tree has been joined to it. You Gentiles are like that wild olive tree, and now you share the strong spiritual life of the Jews. So then, you must not despise those who were broken off like branches. How can you be proud? You are just a branch; you don’t support the roots—the roots support you. But you will say, “Yes, but the branches were broken off to make room for me.” That is true. They were broken off because they did not believe, while you remain in place because you do believe. But do not be proud of it; instead, be afraid. God did not spare the Jews, who are like natural branches; do you think he will spare you?” (Romans 11:17-21 GNTD)

A cousin posted a message a few years ago that simply said, “worst sinner ever.” It created a topic of conversation for several people and really stuck in my head. I had a shirt made with that message on the front, but added to the back of it, “saved by grace.” We certainly have a God that loves us no matter what. As a father, I can only wonder how hard it must be for God to watch us make mistakes and still maintain an unwavering love for us. What a great example Our Father is.

Worst sinners; an interesting phrase. What makes a sinner particularly bad? Is murder a greater sin than theft? In our society, laws are put in place to follow which should produce a moral character set to which we all should live by. God on the other hand sees sin as sin, no degree of sin (“Whoever breaks one commandment is guilty of breaking them all.” James 2:10). Sin is what separates us from God, and through the sacrifice of Jesus, we are able to be forgiven, completely forgiven. God keeps no record of sin, and for that I am grateful beyond measure. So to wonder what God thinks of the “worst sinner” shows our human limitation and takes away from the amazing love that God has for us. 

In Romans (11:17-21), Paul makes a comparison of Jews and Gentiles using an analogy of an olive tree. He explained that the original tree had a branch broken off and a wild branch was grafted/transplanted in its place. Sometimes we may feel that we don’t fit, but God has a plan for us, all of us. The branches of the tree are where the fruit is picked, but the life and essence of the tree is provided from the roots. God should always be the foundation of our lives. “Rooted in Christ…” is more than a motto, but a reminder that it is not just how we live that matters, but what gives us life and how we show and share that to others.

Our God is an awesome God. You 80’s Christian’s just smiled as you recalled the song by Rich Mullins.  To understand the essence of God is beyond my ability, but I praise God for the chances that I have to learn more about Him. I am grateful for the leadership and teaching that so many have shared with me at Wesley Chapel.


2 Responses to “The Curiosity of an Almighty God Who Would Reach Out to the Worst of Sinners”

  1. Harvey Hamilton says:

    Thanks 🙏 Toby !

  2. Harvey Hamilton says:

    Thanks 🙏 Toby !

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