Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves

A friend of mine recommended a series of sermons by Art Azurdia on Ephesians 5:25-27. I want to say that this is first experience listening to Art Azurdia, and I hope it is not my last. He is a great herald of the truth. The series is four parts, and it is well-worth your time, in fact I just finished it this morning on the train.

I listened to third talk on Saturday morning, while I was mowing the lawn and I was struck in a profound way by how he introduced point three in the series. The heading was, He has loved her with an undeserved love. He said,

Spent much time around the church? Spent much time around this church? A group of worthy, righteous, consistent, deserving, upstanding models of godliness, right? Not right. A group of gypsies, tramps and thieves get a closer to the point. And the reason why I draw this to your attention dear friends is because a part of what makes the love of Jesus Christ for the church so spectacular is the realization that he loved us when we least deserved it.

This was striking to me. First, I think pastors or leaders have the tendency to coddle their people. They speak of their excellence and virtue. But I appreciate his honesty. Not only because honesty is truth, because he uses it in such a way to magnify the love of Jesus for the undeserving church. Second, I observe that Art Azurdia has a deep relationship with the people he ministers to so that he can, without flinching, call them gypsies, tramps and thieves without creating a mass exodus. What he said is true, but it’s hard to hear that and we prefer to be tickled. His congregation must have a sense of pastoral love and care, they must know he had their best interests in mind. Perhaps I’m wrong and giving went down the next week, maybe people tuned him out after that statement, I know I didn’t. He spoke the truth with love and we need more of that.

I don’t want to distract you from the main lesson in the series. I’d highly recommend the talks to husbands, download them now. But I will quickly say how I will attempt to make good use of these observations. I’m not a pastor, nor the son of a pastor, but I want to be a good friend. I have to ask myself, do my friends have a sense of real genuine care from me? Would they know if I had their best interest in mind? Does my wife feel this way? Also, as people in the pew, do we have thin-skin? Would I be willing to hear this from my pastor? Or would language like this give me an excuse to seek greener pastures? I hope not, because understanding the weight of sinfulness magnifies Christ. I am a gypsy, tramp and a thief.

You can find this series at his website, under the heading The Holy Responsibility of the Christian Family, Husbands: The Romance Of Jesus Christ.

Husbands: The Romance Of Jesus Christ – Part 1
Husbands: The Romance Of Jesus Christ – Part 2
Husbands: The Romance Of Jesus Christ – Part 3
Husbands: The Romance Of Jesus Christ – Part 4

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About clydeblogs
I am husband to my sweetheart Lisa, and we are parents of our sweetheart Claire Renae and the curiously cute Evan. I wish I could say that I speak a little, and think a lot, but I think I speak a lot and think less than I should.

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