Good morning everybody. This is the beginning of an exciting week for me. I sent out a challenge a week or so ago, and ask people to study a part of scripture and give me some feedback on it. Well, so many enjoyed it, that I was asked to start an online Bible study. After some thought and much prayer, we, (God and I) launched the study today on facebook. I am excited and am looking forward to what God is going to do in this and through it. To God be all the glory.
I have posted some devotions in the recent past, attempting to bring some back down to earth as to how and what we think of ourselves. Considering this, and always being reminded of John 3:16, I feel as though God would have me to take this path this week. Let me go ahead and share some scripture that is being given to me.
John 3:16 says, “ For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Luke 15:4-7 say, “ 4 "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!' 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” James 2:5 says, “Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?” 1 Peter 2:9-10 say, “ 9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:24-25 say, “24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” Revelations 17:14 say, “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful."
So what are we to harvest from the above scripture? We start off with arguably the best known scripture to man and see that God loves us enough to give His One and only Son. We could stop right there and not say another word and have proof enough that we matter. How many of you out there would give your child for anyone else? Not to mention the fact that He foreknew some would still hate Him, turn their backs on Him and would never come to the saving grace He paid for with His life's blood.
We digress from John 3:16 and read on to see that, IF there was only 1 lost lamb, Jesus would have come to find us and bring us back to the fold. This helps to illustrate how valuable each ONE of us are to the Lord of everything.
The next few verses remind us that we are the CHOSEN of God. Do you really understand what that means? God has picked you and I to give His heaven, His peace, mercy, wisdom, knowledge, understand, grace and love to.
It is through the suffering, death of Christ, that He willingly endured, that He provided you and I with everlasting life, if we choose to accept it.
I assimilate these devotions with things I see in life. When I thought of this devotion, I thought about a conversation I often have with my wife when I see what I consider to be an ugly vehicle. For instance, I might see the Cube automobile painted some shade of brown. I often wonder, and ask my wife,” who in their right mind would've “picked” that thing new?”. [not to offend any cube owners] You see, someone, somewhere, felt like that was just what they wanted. It was their heart's desire, the apple of their eye. What was strange and ugly to me, was just what someone else was looking for.
What some look at, and label as strange, God values enough to send His One and only Son to die for. Those who may be picked last to be on a team or to be invited to the “hip” parties, God says He will make them the first in heaven.
When you feel down, discouraged, downtrodden, worthless, alone and of little to no value, be encouraged and re-read the above scriptures and KNOW that God loves you.
Remember: To the world, you may not mean anything, but to God and your loved ones, you mean the world.
Until next time, please pray for our country, the elections, as well as those running, each other and me, as I continue to pray for each of you. Love in CHRIST,
Bethel Baptist Church