This week’s devotions are based on Week 5 of the Series “Fresh Start” – I Meet New People! (WATCH HERE)
Do you like to meet new people? Perhaps you have the personality that thrives on meeting and engaging with new people. Your DNA is wired around conversation and your intrigue is about the story that each person carries. Maybe you are the opposite. Perhaps you are wiped out when you are “forced” into an environment where you don’t know anyone or very few. You maybe are one who is content with 3-5 people you know well and have little interest in taking the time to get to know others.
Life in general involves people. In fact, one of the first directives God gave to Adam and Eve was to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” Make more people! God’s infinite design was about people. He made the world for people and wanted people to enjoy his creation in a perfect relationship with him.
Sure God cares about his creation…but he cares about you and me, people even more.
So, when people fell into sin and evil permeated the world, he could not stand by and provide no solution for the sin of the people he deeply loved.
So…he sent Jesus into the world to do the work to save people.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Thus, the work of bringing the Gospel to the world involves people. This may sound like an obvious statement (and sometimes it is good to state the obvious), but it is not as simple as it sounds.
People can be messy. I remember an article years ago in our church body’s monthly periodical called, “God’s church is a messy church.” It depicted the church as a bloody ER room of the hospital where people come with emotional and spiritual hurts, wounds that are deep, and lives racked by sin directly or indirectly. To be in the business of bringing the Gospel has a risk factor greater than the doctor who has to try to piece together the wounded in the ER. It is not easy. And after 26 years of public ministry and growing up in a parsonage…I will verify the mess by personal experience.
Yet Jesus was willing to step into the mess because people mattered and people needed him. In the Gospel of Mark 1:29-39 lists such an example of Jesus stepping into a place where people with all kinds of needs and hurts surrounded him. Just read through this and note all the people that were coming to and needing Jesus’ attention…how would you respond to it all? How did Jesus respond?
29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. 31 So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.
32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.
35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”
38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” 39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
Apply: How do you respond to people around you who have a need? Does it energize or drain you?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for stepping into the mess of this world to bring your love and grace to all people who you love dearly. AMEN.