Monday, October 13, 2008
Current Study: People Who Made a Difference
Today’s Topic: Looking Past Appearances – Part 2
Today’s Scripture: Joshua 2:1 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.
I want to follow up on last week’s last devotional with a story I received from a friend. This story illustrates perfectly the point we were making about looking past appearances to see the potential a person has for love once their life is overwhelmed by the love of God. Here’s her story:
About twelve years ago we learned that our first grandson, Preston had died at 4 months of age. When we drove to Bismarck and entered my son’s home, we couldn’t believe the ‘motley’ array of young people there. Long hair, tattoos, piercings–it was unbelievable to these small town country people!! It didn’t take long, though, until we saw that those young people–far from ‘motley’–were the most loving and caring young people that we had met. They offered comfort to the grieving family that no one else was able to do. They took care of countless errands for the young couple. Our hearts were touched as we realized that God used people that WE considered unworthy to do the many things we could not do ourselves. God bless those young people for what they did for my son and for what they did for US!!
That story reminds me of the words of the Apostle Paul who said to the church at Corinth,
“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.’”
The one thing we must all realize is that our offense at the appearance of others cannot be compared to the offense God experienced at the sight of our hearts. Prior to being washed in the blood of Jesus, we were repulsive to God. Yet He looked beyond our sin and saw our need. Then He met our need. None of us can boast before the Lord, because none of us had anything of value to present Him. He took His total value and sacrificed Jesus in our place. It is because God initiated contact with undeserving and repulsive people that we are in Christ Jesus today. All that we are and all the we can do is by His grace.
So next time you see someone who looks different or acts differently than your standards dictate, don’t act in fear of what they might do to you. Think instead of what God can do for them, and then act in His love. After all, He did it for you.