Grace For The Journey
Because we are all made in the image of God, everyone matters. Both believer and unbeliever alike are valuable, important, and needed. Because God doesn’t make junk, every person has meaning and significance. And that is why we should look at people – all people – as created in the image of our Holy God. To be sure . . .
Sin has twisted and corrupted this image,
But the image still remains.
Every person bears the image of God,
Regardless of where they live,
How they look,
Or what they have done.
Think about the people Jesus hung around with. In the eyes of the “good” and “valuable” and “important” people like the Pharisees, Jesus hung around with the wrong crowd. He spent time with the dregs of society: prostitutes, tax collectors, criminals, the marginalized, and the outcasts of society. He would have lived a far more comfortable and convenient life if He had invested His time in the socially acceptable and politically correct. But He did not! He was here for the down and out, not the up and in, and . . .
He would not let the opinions of others
Keep Him from helping the hurting
Reconnect and recapture their true humanity
As image bearers of the Most High God!
Only the power of the Gospel enables us to tear down walls of self-focus and self-protection, freeing us to see the image of God in every person we meet.
This is what empowers us to live beyond the borders of our own lives.
We begin living for the glory of God and the good of others.
We begin caring about people and for people
Who in no way can care about and for us.
Certainly they are in no position to benefit our lives.
Fredrick Buechner hits this proverbial “nail” squarely on the head in his book, The Magnificent Defeat . . . “ The love for equals is a human thing – of friend for friend, brother for brother. It is to love what is loving and lovely. The world smiles. The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing – the love for those who suffer, for those who are poor, the sick, the failures, the unlovely. This is compassion, and it touches the heart of the world. The love for the more fortunate is a rare thing – to love those who succeed where we fail, to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice, the love of the poor for the rich, of the black man for the white man. The world is always bewildered by God’s peoples. And then there is the love for the enemy – love for the one who does not love you but mocks, threatens, and inflicts pain. The tortured’s love for the torturer. This is God’s love. It conquers the world.
We love because we have been loved
We serve because we have been served
By the One who purchased us
With His precious blood.
As Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 20:28, “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Don’t miss this . . .
Jesus knew we could never pay Him back
In any way for all that He did for us.
And . . .
Because of that marvelous truth
It changes us
Everything in our world.
For this reason …
- Our purpose is built upon His will.
- Our passion is structured upon His mission.
- Our potential is connected to His power.
At this level of living . . .
Matters to us
Because every person
Matters to God.
God is in the process of making all things new, and in that process He has called us to live for something bigger than ourselves. Everything we have belongs to God; therefore, we are to be using it all for the expansion of His kingdom, not our own.
When we care more about what God cares about,
We will care more about other people.
Mercy and love will be the distinctives of our lives,
And all those we touch will see a God who is both merciful and loving.
We make our God attractive
When we look for and acknowledge
The image of God in the souls God brings into our lives.
Jesus drove this point home in Luke 14:12-14, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteousness.”
I know this all sounds so radical and counterintuitive . . . but what would you expect from such a radical Savior who profoundly talked and personally walked such a different life and message?
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”