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Daily Reading: Joshua 5:1-7:15 ESV, Luke 15:1-32 ESV, Psalm 81:1-16 ESV, Proverbs 13:1 ESV

Daily Verse: “And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” (Luke 15:2 ESV)

DIAGOGGUZO (1234): “To complain throughout a crowd, murmur.”[i]

Murmured complaining.

Constantly complaining describes the Pharisees well.  Time and again, the religious leaders challenge Jesus about His activities, especially the fact Jesus hung out with sinners.  In today’s verse, the grumbling happens as they approach Jesus, which Jesus heard.

God looks at the heart; Jesus understood why the Pharisees grumbled.  Speaking in parables, Jesus shared the story of the lost sheep.  Even though the shepherd’s flock numbered 100, he goes after the lost lamb.

Chase the lost.

Like when my little dog Sophia broke free from her harness on our morning walk, running loose, I chased after her.  Grabbing my car keys, I fervently prayed as I started the engine and began the search.  When she came home, tears of joy flooded my cheeks.

God rejoices much more when a lost soul finds its way back to Him.  Chasing after “sinners,” as the Pharisees like to say, God doesn’t want a single person to miss the benefits of heaven.

Every moment of every day, God pursues you.  Whether through the people you meet, the situations you encounter, or the challenges you face, God wants to connect with you.  Even as followers of Christ, we stray from the narrow path.  When we do, God draws us back to Him.

Learn from the Pharisee’s mistake.  Recognize everyone sins, including religious leaders.  We all need Jesus to draw us back into the fold from time to time.  Everyone strays, but praise Jesus; He chases us down and brings us back to Him.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 65) Thomas Nelson

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