Reaching Out

Are We Poor, Miserable Sinners?

When I hear “poor, miserable sinner”, I think of the thousands of men, women, and children who came out to see Jesus, bringing their sick and demon-possessed, suffering from poverty, illness, and ailments of the soul, seeking hope, and healing, and freedom from spiritual oppression. They were desperate, so they left what they were doing to seek a man who could perform miracles and set people free with His truth and love.
Are we poor, miserable sinners? Yes. Although we live in relative affluence compared to the rest of the world and most of history, we too cry out to the Lord for physical healing, spiritual nourishment, and a sense of hope for the future in this trauma-filled world. So we come to the Lord, the great physician, provider, and source of hope. (With 61% of Americans now living paycheck to paycheck, this is increasingly relevant.)
Ironically, it is those who were comfortable and “have need of nothing” (the Laodiceans) of whom Jesus stated: “you do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked…”. He was speaking of their lukewarm spiritual state, and that He would vomit them out of His mouth.
God loves us the way we are now, but He loves us too much to keep us where we are, as sinners in need of redemption. Jesus coming to mankind is a story of miracles and of transformation. When we receive Christ, we become transformed and a new creation:
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” II Corinthians 5:17

A great example is how the apostles went from being cowards (poor, miserable sinners) who scattered at Jesus’ arrest, to bold preachers of the Word who defied government authorities and changed the world. So let us go forth with boldness and courage, reaching people who suffer, with the compassion, love, and truth of Christ, which can set us all free.
To God be the glory
Board of Evangelism