I Know A Man

I know a man who knew from the time he was a little boy that there was a God who loved him and that he was called to share His word.

I know a man who as a child experienced abuse and abandonment.

I know a man who as an adolescent began to turn from the Light and descend into darkness.

I know a man who abandoned his family, his mother, his brother, and his own children.

I know a man who was a thief.

I know a man who was a liar.

I know a man who was a murderer, taking the life of his own unborn child.

I know a man who stayed locked in a room for days, staying high, drunk, ranting and raving like a madman.

I know a man who has participated in unspeakable acts of perversion.

I know a man who could not buy food to eat.

I know a man who sat in a parking lot for two days, with no money for a spare tire, until a stranger showed him kindness.

I know a man who in his brokenness was forsaken, written off, and left for dead…

BUT:                                                                              

I know a Man who is God.

I know a Man who bled and died.

I know a Man who is eternal life.

I know a Man who sought out the wanderer and cared for his wounds.

I know a Man who said to the forsaken, “I love you; you are Mine.”

I know a Man who forgave the liar, the thief, the murderer.

I know a Man who fed the hungry.

I know a Man who said to the immoral, “I don’t condemn you. I have come to set you free.”

I know a Man who said, “I will NEVER leave you, abuse you, or abandon you.”

I know a Man who heals broken families.

I know a Man who restores to the hardened the tenderness, awe, and wonder of a child-like heart.

I know a Man they call Jesus.

 

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But God

Generally, when someone is spoken of as being dead, it’s over. For the dead, there is no hope. And that’s just how Paul describes the condition of the believers at Ephesus (and us) prior to coming to Jesus- dead! “And you were dead in the trespasses and sin in which you once walked following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the bodyand the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” As we continually turned away from God and went after whatever we felt like we wanted, whatever our minds and bodies told us would be good, we were “being dead.” (Being dead, that’s how it comes across when you read it in the Greek.) Talk about your zombies! Before we came to the Lord, that’s basically what we were- the walking dead. Yep, Ephesians 2:1-3 paints a pretty bleak picture. Namely, you, me, and the rest of the world, without Jesus, are a people controlled by our passions, influenced by spiritual power which is opposed to God, and by our very nature, separated from God and destined for wrath. Pardon my English, but that aint cool. If we stopped at verse 3, it would seem that there is little hope for any of us. However, verse 4 begins with what are two of my favorite words: BUT GOD!

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…” Oh, I wish we could grasp the reality of what is being said here. Because God loved us so much, because he is so full of mercy, he has not left us in our hopeless state, but has given us life in Jesus. Like I said, generally for dead people, it’s over. BUT GOD! For the one who has tried and tried to beat his addiction, and failed every time, it’s over. BUT GOD! For the one who has three children by three different men, who has been told she is no good and undesirable, it’s over. BUT GOD! For the murderer, thief, sexually immoral, and all who have been rejected and cast aside, it’s over. BUT GOD! They may have written you off. You may have written you off. It doesn’t matter. I’ve got two words for you: BUT GOD!!

Maybe you have gone so far that you don’t see how it can be made right. Could be you can’t even stand the sound of your own voice, and even you don’t believe a word you say. Perhaps everything they say about you is true, and if you were honest; you’d have to admit that they don’t even know the half of it. Maybe, like me, you are guilty of sins that would freak people out if they ever knew it all. Dead, naturally disobedient, controlled by the devil, living for my passions and lust, just like everyone else, and destined for wrath- BUT GOD!!

Come now, let us settle the matter,
says the Lord.
Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.

Mephibosheth Saith

Before we get started, just indulge me and try to say, “Mephibosheth” 5x real fast… LOL!!! Yessirrr!! I did literally laugh out loud.

Who in the world was Mephibosheth? If you remember, King  Saul had a son named Jonathan and he and David (soon to be king) were the best of friends. Well, Jonathan had a son named Mephibosheth. After David had become king and Jonathan was dead, David asked if there was someone still around from the house of Saul to which he could show kindness for Jonathan’s sake- enter Mephibosheth.

Reading in II Samuel we find out how Mephibosheth had been dropped as a child and as a result had been crippled. Many comparisons have been made between the way that David invited Mephibosheth to come and dine with him at the palace and the way Jesus  invites us to Himself. Much like the way David had Mephibosheth carried to his table, so Christ brings us, in our lameness, to “His table.”

As we read further in II Samuel we find that as a result of David’s sin, he was forced to flee the palace to avoid being killed by his own son Absalom. Mephibosheth had been placed under the care of a man named Ziba who saw this as a opportune time to undermine Mephibosheth and steal his estate. As the king and those loyal to him were fleeing Jerusalem, David asked Ziba what was up with Mephibosheth. Ziba lied and told David that Mephibosheth was taking advantage of David’s trouble and attempting to get the throne restored back to his family. As a result of Ziba’s deception, David strips Mephibosheth of his estate and awards it to Ziba. (Soap Operas have got nothing on this.)

Eventually, Absalom’s rebellion is crushed and David returns to Jerusalem and to his throne. (Here’s the part I want us to really get.) The day comes when Mephibosheth comes and bows before David, and David asks him, “Why didn’t you go with me when I had to flee?” Mephibosheth tells David how Ziba had slandered him and deceived him. He tells David that he had wanted to come, but Ziba had thwarted hm. Realizing he had been duped David says, “Alright then I’ll give you back half of your estate.” Check out what Mephibosheth Saith: “My lord, I don’t care about that stuff; let Ziba have it all. You are back and that’s all that matters.” Hallelujah!! Lord, let us have a heart like Mephibosheth.

Mephibosheth had been slandered, deceived, taken advantage of, and had his estate stripped from him. How many of us would have asked the king for revenge against Ziba? Mephibosheth was in the right! “Hey king David, what about some justice here?” No, Mephibosheth had been forever changed by the mercy and kindness David had previously shown him. He had been captivated by the King himself and nothing else could compare. Stuff? I don’t care about stuff; I want to be with you my king!

May we be so in love with our King Jesus, may we be so completely changed by his mercy and grace that we say what Mephibosheth Saith: “I’m yours Lord, and that’s all that matters.”