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Titus 3:4-5 ” But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.”

Jesus Christ is the embodiment of God’s loving kindness towards us.  For as sinners, we have no right to claim that any of our good works will get us any closer to heaven…for they won’t.  It is only by putting our faith and trust in Jesus that we can be saved…and it is only by His unmerited grace and mercy towards us that it can happen.

Mark 2: 16-17 “…they asked His disciples: ‘Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ On hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’ “

As His ministry became more well-known, Jesus became more popular among the social outcasts.  Why?  Because He wasn’t concerned about maintaining His squeaky clean image, or only being seen with the right people.  Jesus went where the need was.  So here we find Jesus at a large banquet made up of every kind of questionable personality and reputation.  But He looked beyond the person and saw their potential… and wasn’t afraid to go where they lived.  You won’t find the healthy in the hospital…you’ll only find the sick.  Just as you won’t find most lost sitting in the pews on Sunday.  As Christians, we need to be willing, just like Jesus, to go where the need is.

II Thessalonians 1:3 ” We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love everyone of you has for each other is increasing.”

After pondering this verse, an old 1960’s praise song came to mind.  It’s premise comes from John 13:34-35, where Jesus is giving the command to love one another, “for by this all men will know that you are My disciples.”    The title of the song is, “They will know we are Christians by our love.”   So my question to you today is… does the world know you by the love you share with the lost?   And does the world recognize  your Church Body for its love for those outside the four walls of the sanctuary?  We are to love one another, but we are to also take that love out to reach the unsaved.

Job 11: 7-9 ” Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens – what can you do? They are deeper than the depths of the grave – what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.”

I think wise King Solomon summed it up best in Ecclesiastes 3:11 when he wrote, “God has set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”  We can’t begin to know the mind of God, or even start to grasp His majesty and power.  We can only trust in His love and faithfulness towards us and walk in obedience…knowing He is in control of every detail of our life.  For nothing happens to us that hasn’t already passed through God’s hands.

Galatians 3: 26-28 ” You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Jesus came to not only destroy the barrier…the dividing wall…the chasm between God and us, but He came to abolish in His flesh the Law with all its commandments and regulations. (Ephesians 2: 14-15)  So in the eyes of Jesus, there is no partiality, bias, or prejudice.  For Believers are all children of God and subject equally to His grace, mercy, and blessings…from the multi-millionaire follower of Jesus in Hollywood to the blue-collar laborer in fellowship with Christ in Detroit, Michigan.  We are all blessed in our faith of Jesus.

Isaiah 47:10 ” I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”

God’s plan and purpose…His Will for us,  has been set in stone since before the dawn of mankind.  His Will is that all may come to a saving knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ.  He has established His Will for our well-being, that as long as we obey, we can only benefit from it.  So it’s preposterous for us to think that we can somehow manipulate God’s Will.  In Proverbs 19:21 it says, ” Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”  We can ignore Him, mock or defile Him…but we’re never going to change His Will for our life.

Philippians 4:12 ” I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

The Apostle Paul was well acquainted with adversity and poverty.   In I Corinthians 4:11-12  he explains his plight, “To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless.  We work hard with our own hands.  When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly.  Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.”  So is it surprising to see Paul write here, ” I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…”?  Contentment in our life can be as simple as looking at the glass as half full, rather than half empty during trials and tests.  It can be expressing gratitude to God for the rain, (the blessings) in the midst of the raging storm in our life.  For the  secret to personal contentment for anyone can only be found in the deep and abiding relationship with God the Father.