Some may think they have gone too far, they have fallen too far, they have walked to far away to be able to recover or rebound. The Bible says that He will never leave you nor forsake you. The story of the lost son speaks to how much the father is looking for the son to come to his senses and come back. God is Love! God is Good, not just some times, but all the time! Some people are looking for the opportunity to reconcile. Some people are living the “good life” until it runs out and then wonder what happened and what can they do now. The reality is that when we turn back and begin to follow after Jesus, that is the beginning of the good life, the real good life. Is it easy? No, for God’s Word tells us that in this world we will have trouble, however, there is now hope for God’s Word doesn’t end there but continues with take heart for I have overcome the world. Jesus will provide us with wisdom and direction. Jesus allows us to have hope and not grow discouraged. It may not be easy, but it will definitely be worth it because we know the destination. God’s Word tells us (when you read the end of the book, the book of Revelation) that Jesus wins! The devil is defeated and then everything is different! No more pain! No more suffering! No more sickness! And when we turn back and give our lives over to Jesus, there is a peace that goes beyond all understanding. Jesus helps us to carry that weight on our shoulders. Jesus provides a reason for the hope that is within us. God provides “one another” so that we can come together and help each other through the tough times and to celebrate together in the victories. So no matter how far you have gone, how far you have fallen, don’t wait till you hit rock bottom before you turn back to God and cry out to Him and ask Him for help, ask Him for forgiveness, ask Him back into your life so that you can start the journey to recovery, restoration, and renewal.
Today’s reading starts with a man named Levi who Jesus calls…
27After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting in his office. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” 28Levi got up, left everything, and followed him. 29Then Levi had a big feast in his house for Jesus, and among the guests was a large number of tax collectors and other people. 30Some Pharisees and some teachers of the Law who belonged to their group complained to Jesus’ disciples. “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and other outcasts?” they asked. 31Jesus answered them, “People who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick. 32I have not come to call respectable people to repent, but outcasts.” –Luke 5:27-32
God is our healer! God is our savior! God is our everlasting hope in times of need! With Jesus, bodies can be healed, relationships can be healed, lives can be healed! There is hope! Don’t give up! Get up and turn back to God! Ask Jesus into your heart! He will forgive you if you will ask Him. He is the God of the 2nd chances. Know how many times we are supposed to forgive and it speaks to the number of times we can be forgiven? Not 7 times, but 7×70 times. So remember it’s not too late! Why not choose today?
For those who have turned back, shine your light! There is a dark world out there which doesn’t offer much hope to the world around it. But you can shine your light of hope and provide that glimmer of hope that others need. Wondering how to do that? Today’s reading speaks to this … stop complaining and arguing! offer a message of life and of hope! be glad and share your joy!
Shining as Lights in the World
12So then, dear friends, as you always obeyed me when I was with you, it is even more important that you obey me now while I am away from you. Keep on working with fear and trembling to complete your salvation, 13because God is always at work in you to make you willing and able to obey his own purpose. 14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may be innocent and pure as God’s perfect children, who live in a world of corrupt and sinful people. You must shine among them like stars lighting up the sky, 16as you offer them the message of life. If you do so, I shall have reason to be proud of you on the Day of Christ, because it will show that all my effort and work have not been wasted. 17Perhaps my life’s blood is to be poured out like an offering on the sacrifice that your faith offers to God. If that is so, I am glad and share my joy with you all. 18In the same way, you too must be glad and share your joy with me.
So whether you need hope or you have hope there is something that you can and should be doing. Stick with God! Turn back to God! There is hope! Share that hope! Receive that hope! Grab onto the truth and hold onto that hope!
137You are righteous, Lord, and your laws are just.
138The rules that you have given are completely fair and right.
139My anger burns in me like a fire, because my enemies disregard your commands.
140How certain your promise is! How I love it!
141I am unimportant and despised, but I do not neglect your teachings.
142Your righteousness will last forever, and your law is always true.
143I am filled with trouble and anxiety, but your commandments bring me joy.
144Your instructions are always just; give me understanding, and I shall live.