Category Archives: Jesus Christ

How Can I Love My LGBTQ+ Neighbour (Or Anyone Else With Whom I Disagree?  

It is Pride month once again…and it seems like Pride is all around us and we can’t escape it…it is evidently growing in popularity every year…you probably know the tension of gloom and fear and maybe even the ball of knots lurking in the deepest part of our being when pride week and now pride month is celebrated. It seems like everywhere we turn, this Pride week and the LGBTQ+ lifestyle is increasingly accepted by our society.  Even those who are uncomfortable say “just live and let live”. We know Biblically that we are to love all people but what about those who so vehemently are in disagreement with us.  So how do we really love the LGBTQ+ community?

For some Christians I know they experience what is commonly referred to as FOMO…the Fear Of Missing Out. So with all the Pride festivities and celebrations many Christians even put aside Christians convictions and join in on the celebrations possibly somehow thinking that they are showing their Christian love by acceptance and their mere tolerance of the lifestyle.

Personally, I do believe it is a great opportunity for Christians and for churches who know members of the LGBTQ+ community to demonstrate their genuine love for them.  But how? Unfortunately, most in our modern day society are confused about what it means to truly love people with whom we disagree. The prevalent belief is that acceptance and affirmation is evidence of love. In other words, they say that “I must accept them as they are.” (acceptance) and “I must affirm them in their choice” (affirmation) in order to demonstrate my love. So as a result, people who do not affirm a behaviour or choice are regarded as homophobic, bigoted, hypocritical and unloving. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Let me provide a personal example…I have a friend who has recently chosen to move in with her boyfriend and to live together common law instead of getting married. Admittedly, my first reaction was one of grief and sadness, to know that this friend is knowingly choosing to live contrary to God’s Word and His design. Now, I do believe that their choice is wrong. I cannot accept it as a good thing or affirm it as a good thing because it is contrary to God’s Word and God’s design…and therefore I cannot and I will not support it. While I know that my opinion is in the minority and there are those around them who are celebrating their decision to live together...  does this mean that I do not love my young friend? Absolutely not! I will always love her. We all have friends and family whom we love to the moon and back who have made wrong, sinful choices that we cannot endorse, accept or affirm. Yet we still love them dearly.  This world would be a pretty lonely place if we only loved people who were just like us and never made choices that we do not agree with. Instead, it is because I do love my friend that I cannot endorse/accept/affirm/agree with her choice.

So how do we love those with whom we disagree?  How do we love the LGBTQ+ communities? 

First, we must look at the example of Jesus. When Jesus sat down for lunch with little Zaccheus He did so, not because He agreed with…accepted… or affirmed Zaccheus’ behaviour (known for his extortion, treachery and dishonesty)…Jesus sat down with Zaccheus to show this little man His love for him. Did this make a difference in Zacchaeus’ life? Absolutely! When Jesus stood beside the woman caught in adultery, after many in her own community wanted to kill her for what she had done, He never said “I accept or agree with your behaviour and I affirm it.” But rather He said “Go and sin no more.” Did this make a difference in her life? Absolutely!

Second, look at what the Bible says says about genuine love. We are to love with a genuine love that is kind and gentle, not arrogant and rude. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) In Luke 10 Jesus gave the example of the good Samaritan, telling the story of a man who had been beaten and robbed and left for dead, a Jewish priest walked by and avoided the dying man, a worship leader also passed by on the other side, again intentionally avoiding the dying man.  But then a Samaritan came along. Now Samaritans and Jews did not disagree. they considered each other despicable, and even untouchable. Yet that Samaritan lovingly, gently, humbly cared for that man’s wounds and was regarded as Jesus as being “the neighbour“. (Luke 10:25-37) Imagine the risk that man took of identifying with the wounded man. Jesus said we are to be like that Samaritan. Similarly, we are called to love our neighbour whether they agree with us or not…and of course this includes our LGBTQ+ neighbours.  This love is not merely “Ok…I will just tolerate this person.” No, this is an active, genuine, unconditional love and acceptance and even a sacrificial kind of love. It is a love that is kind, and gentle, not arrogant, nor is it rude.

Sadly, like the uncaring priest and the avoiding Levite many professing Christians look the other way when the LGBTQ+ community are mistreated abused or experience discrimination.  Unfortunately, many professing Christians consider the people who make these choices as “untouchable” and so we avoid them at all costs.  This hurts the cause of Jesus because that is not what He was like.. As followers of Christ, we should be the first to love these people, and defend them (and all people for that matter) against any and all kinds of mistreatment, abuse, and unjust discrimination. Remembering that every member of the LGBTQ+ community is made in the image of God. Therefore, each one…every person in the world…is intrinsically valuable and should be treated with the utmost dignity and respect. Let me be very clear here…anything less is shamefully wicked. Shame on anyone who professes to be a Christian but gives the impression…by their words and/or actions that God doesn’t love those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. Let me say unequivocally that God does loves them. In fact, He loves them so much He died for them.

Third, the Bible says abhor what is evil and cling to what is good…The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome saying, “Let love be with out hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another.(Romans 12:9-10). Please don’t miss what Paul is saying here. Right in the middle of describing what genuine love looks like, he inserts two crucial short phrased imperatives: “Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.”  At first glance this almost seems contradictory. But it isn’t. 

For example, in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians Paul confronts a certain case of sexual immorality that was occurring in their midst.  And as a church, they were proud of how they accepted this couple who were engaging in this sexual sin. In reality they didn’t abhor what was evil…instead they were accepting of it. More than that, they were boasting in their tolerance (1 Corinthians 5:1-6). Unfortunately, there are many churches (and denominations) today who are desperately trying to find that middle ground and they end up diluting or revising what the Bible says. As a result they choose to celebrate and accept sinful behaviour without confronting the sinfulness of the behaviour. 

But now notice how Paul responded when he discovered their sexual immorality. He didn’t accept it…he abhorred it. Paul writes, “For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit; have already judged (as though I were present) him who has done this deed.” (1 Corinthians 5:3). Why did Paul respond this way? Was he being a super righteous, religious hypocrite? Certainly not. He did this so that the sinner’s soul “…may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.1 Corinthians 5:5. Paul is showing us genuine love in the context of making a right judgment. Paul was concerned for the soul of the sinner. A few chapters later he will teach that “Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices with the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:6) 

I genuinely love each of my children.  But should they choose to do something sinful I cannot and will not celebrate with them. Genuine love should never celebrate wrongdoing. Genuine love must be ultimately concerned for the soul of the individual. This means that it doesn’t go to a parade that celebrates sin or wrongdoing. It doesn’t wave flags, and shout and cheer at sinfulness. On the contrary, it abhors and grieves at wrongdoing. Genuine love clings to what is good…

Admittedly, this is not an easy thing to do. The culture we live in works very hard to pull you away from what is good. It seems that they will not stop at our mere acceptance of evil…the culture demands that we celebrate it. And if you don’t, you will be called “unloving and bigoted, hypocritical and homophobic”. So that means that there will probably be a price to pay for standing for what is true, beautiful, and good. But there is also reward. The apostle Peter says, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.  If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. (1 Peter 4:12-14)

In a world that is broken and marred by sin, it will always be unpopular to abhor evil and cling to what is good. But this is what genuine love demands. When I choose not to abhor what goes against God’s Word…I am basically endorsing it and I am implying that sin isn’t serious and that repentance isn’t necessary…and that would not be genuine love because sin is serious and repentance is necessary.

Jesus loved sinners…This is good news for all of us…because all of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. How many times did Jesus hang out with sinners? Always…and He always called them to repentance. “Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matthew 9:10–13) Jesus…who is the most loving person that ever lived on the earth did not affirm people in their sin. Instead, in love, He called people to turn from their sin.  Make no mistake, Jesus loves us just as we are…. but He doesn’t want to leave us where we are. He wants us, all of us, to repent. This is how genuine love works.

The world will continue to celebrate LGBTQ+ pride, however, we can actively choose to love our LGBTQ+ neighbour by being a light to the world. As an act of love, we can do something kind for them…we can help them, invite them for dinner, treat them to a movie or sports event, laugh together. We can take the time to get to know them and them to know us. But we must not compromise our convictions.  Jesus modelled this best. When we feel the world’s pressure to capitulate and compromise, we must remind ourself to abhor what is evil, cling to what is good, and then go into the world and follow Jesus faithfully.

Sources of Reference:

  • Scripture translations used: NKJV, ESV, NLT
  • Allberry, S. “Jesus, Sexuality and the Gospel” Seminar, Hamilton April 2018
  • Lutzer, E. “The Truth About Same Sex Marriage”. Moody Publishers, 2004
  • Fife, B. “Out: One Christian’s Experience of Leaving the Gay Community” Kregel Publications, 2016 

I Need a Counsellor!

There I said it!  I need a Counsellor! But forget the Dr Phil’s or the Oprah Winfrey’s! I need Someone who really truly knows me and really knows what is best. I need a Counsellor who fully and completely understands where I have been, and the experiences that have shaped me, the people I have encountered, the mess that I have experienced and to see how all of that combined has shaped me for what I truly am today.  I also need a Counsellor who will know what is ahead of me so He can shape me and direct me where I need to go and to do what I need to do. I need this Counsellor because the world that I live in is really complex and complicated…and the world around me is screaming for hope. There are times when I feel like I am at the end of my rope. I need someone who will understand me.

One of the beautiful Old Testament names foretold about Jesus is that of “Wonderful Counsellor”. Jesus would hold that title. He would be that Wonderful Counsellor to anyone and everyone who would look to Him in faith.

So what is it that make Jesus the “Wonderful Counsellor”?
First off…Jesus is…is the Very Wisdom of God 

1 Corinthians 1:24 “Christ [is]…the wisdom of God…” and Colossians 2:3 [In Him]…are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge…”  Isaiah 28:29 The Lord of Hosts is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance.”  

The perfect source for wisdom…is the Source of all wisdom…Jesus Himself! He is far more qualified than any human counsellor to speak into my life than any other so-called professional in the world. He knows all about human nature, He created me. He knows me. So why would we even bother going anywhere else until I have first of all come to Him.

Second, Jesus…Offers His WisdomHe offers us His Counsel, His Word, His wisdom…

James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom let him ask of God who gives to all liberally and without reproach…”

Life is complicated, relationships are tenuous, each situation is beyond understanding.  But Jesus offers His wisdom to us, and He give it to us liberally.

Third, Jesus…Completely Understands your struggles…When going through a difficult time, have you ever had someone say, “I understand what you are going through…”?  It seems so empty to hear and also to say…unless of course they have truly been through the exact situation. Otherwise, how can they possibly understand our problems. Every situations is so complex, so different from each other. It doesn’t matter what your struggle is…Jesus gets it… He understands it. He can perfectly and completely relate to you. 

Hebrews 4:15-16 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin.”

Jesus, wisdom incarnate, completely understands…He knows exactly what you are going through. When you come to Him in need of counsel He fully knows your situation. He knows your heart and mind. He knows where you have been, where you are and where you are going. 

Fourthly, Jesus Lovingly CARES For You…Because He loves you…He has your best interests at heart.

1 Peter 5:7 “God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to Him.”

Some counsellors only care as long as you can pay the bill. Not Jesus! He cares about you as a person. He cares about your character, your spiritual growth and your emotional welfare. He cares about the pain you suffer. He considers you of great value and worth. Matthew 6:26 Jesus said:

Look at the birds of the sky: they don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they?

He thinks so much of you that He sent His Son to die for you…to rescue you from your pain and suffering…to give you new hope, new life and salvation. God lovingly cares for YOU!

He cares so much that He will help you with your problems. He will help you deal with them. That’s why He is called Wonderful Counsellor. He’s not going to leave us to fend for ourselves. You have probably heard it said, “God helps those who help themselves.” The truth of the matter is when you have reached the bottom…”God helps those who can’t help themselves.” When you see no way out…God steps in…if you call on Him.

Matthew 11:28Come to Me, all who labor and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

That’s a promise! He will not turn His back on us…nor abandon us. God cares for us! Make an appointment with the Wonderful Counsellor today. In fact, make regular appointments to sit down with Him. Open your heart up to Him. Tell Him what is going on in your life. Believe me…there is no heartache that He can not mend. There is no problem He can not solve…because He is the Wonderful Counsellor! Then…follow His instruction.

“A Great Deliverer!”

In the grand narrative of the history of God’s people…as we see it unfolding in Exodus…the power of God is on display! If there is anything God’s people need to know is the fact that God is able to deliver them! When circumstances are too great and out of our own control…and back is against the proverbial wall…God is in control! Though His people have been in captivity in Egypt for 430 years…God has not forgotten them…nor has He forgotten His promises. In fact, since the beginning of the book God has been moving to fulfill His promise to make them a great nation. In order to do that…He would have to DELIVER them from the slavery in Egypt and take them toward the land of promise! LIFE IS A JOURNEY and God knows where it is going! The parallel for you and I is to see that we too are…ON A JOURNEY. Just as God had been faithfully working out the fulfillment of His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is doing and has done the same for you and me.

REMEMBER…In Exodus…the people of Israel had become so great in number that a new Pharaoh, one that did not know Joseph, had committed them to forced labor and ordered the killing of all the Hebrew baby boys. God protected one of those boys, Moses, allowed him to be raised for 40 years in Pharaoh’s house, and then sent him to the wilderness for another 40 years to prepare him for his God-assigned task of leading God’s people out of the land of Egypt. God called Moses…He commissioned Moses out of the burning bush to lead His people. From Exodus 5-11 there have been signs & plagues…God orchestrated events to get Pharaoh’s attention. To ultimately demonstrate to Pharaoh, and Egypt and all of God’s people for every generation…that He is the One in control. He is the One who is orchestrating these events. The One to deliver! We come to Exodus 12. A point of new beginning…the dawning of a new day…the beginning of a new life!

When we look at the signs and plagues in the preceding chapters…Aaron’s rod turning into a serpent then devouring the rods of Egypt’s sorcerers, the water turning to blood, the lice and the flies, then the livestock dying, boils, hail and locusts and then darkness…all significant displays of God’s power. But now there is evidence that He is going to do something even bigger…momentous…look at v.1-2.

“Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.” Exodus 12:1

God changes the calendar year for them to remember what He has done! This is a starting point! It is interesting to note that the different cultures of the day had varying starts to the New Year. Some began the year in the fall others began in the spring…the Canaanite cultures typically had fall starts to the year. So it could be that God really wanted to set His people apart from who they would

The Jewish people in OT would have two calendars…a CIVIL calendar beginning in our September and a RELIGIOUS calendar beginning in our March-April…
All of worship would come from this point of deliverance! Your worship too!
This is a pivotal moment in their history…it is the beginning of their religious calendar…they would look back to this event that God is going to do…it would be an important marker in their history! In other words, God is saying to His people…YOU ARE NEVER TO FORGET THIS!

How God’s people first became a people…begins with a lamb. Abraham and his son were journeying up Mt. Moriah to sacrifice to God. Abraham thought it was to be Isaac and Isaac wondered where the lamb to be sacrificed was.  Isaac asked “Where is the Lamb?” to which his father replied “God will provide a lamb.” And then centuries later, John the Baptist would point to Jesus and say: “Behold the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)

We can be so forgetful of the Lamb. God is the source of everything about our lives. Every thing He has done for us points us back to Himself. The lamb is the centre-point of this chapter. No lamb, no Passover, no lamb means death. No lamb means no freedom, no lamb means no Promised Land. Never are we to forget what He has done to bring us freedom from sins bondage!

“No lamb means no passover, no lamb means death, no lamb means no freedom, no freedom means no Promised Land.

NOTE: the details of God’s plan…He gave them instructions on HOW He would deliver them. They were to follow the plan…they were not delivering themselves…they could not do whatever they wanted to deliver themselves…they had to follow the plan God set out for them. God was delivering them, and they were to follow/obey Him completely.

When we find ourselves in a difficult situation are we willing to follow God’s will rather than your own will? Will you trust His plan for your deliverance!  Will we trust Him to do what is right? Even if we do not understand His ways and His timing?

Here is the PLAN (Exodus 12:3-11) : A lamb would be chosen. That lamb would be without blemish…no spots, defects, or disease, just a perfect little lamb. This lamb will be kept till the 14th day of the month and then it will be killed at twilight. The blood of the lamb was then put on the the doorposts and the lintel of the house. This would be known as the Feast of Passover. “The Lord’s Passover” celebrated every year as a reminder of God’s faithfulness and deliverance from bondage and slavery. NEVER FORGETTING!

In Exodus 12:12-13 God tells them exactly how this sacrificial lamb would deliver the people. Note: no one is exempt…all are to be judged. “All the firstborn” = every Egyptian, Hebrew, man and animal. Yahweh, the one true God, the God of Israel, was bringing judgment upon the land of Egypt. Everyone in Egypt, Israelites and Egyptians alike, was guilty of sin against the true God. Romans 3:23 His coming judgment would be swift and severe. ALL HAVE SINNED! Romans 1:18 “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.

Want to be delivered? The only way to avoid God’s judgment was faith in Yahweh that resulted in obedience to His substitutionary plan. THEY HAD TO TRUST GOD’S SUBSTITUTIONARY PLAN! The Israelites had to follow God’s directions completely, the key step being the application of the blood to the doorposts of their houses. It was not the blood of the animal that saved the Israelites  (See: Hebrews 9:12-13; 10:4The blood on the doorposts showed that the people had accepted God’s plan for rescue and trust in His word. After all, the sight of dried blood by itself had no power to deter death. It was only as the dried blood painted on the top and sides of the door was a testimony to the faith of the inhabitants in Yahweh that it had its efficacy. Thus the statement, ‘When I see the blood, I will pass over you‘ i.e. God was saying: “I will spare all those who show that they have placed their faith in me.”

The thing that brought deliverance to the children of Israel was FAITH in their one, true, covenant-keeping God, and obedience to His command to apply the blood of the substitute (goat/lamb) to the doorposts of their houses. As we also see in these verses, God was distinguishing Himself from the false gods of the Egyptians. Israel’s faith was in the true God.

NOTE: This was not the people saving themselves…this was God’s plan. The power to execute the plan was God’s power. The result of God’s deliverance could only take place as He would bring it about. The people had simply to obey Him from a heart of faith.

This day would be memorialized! God delivered His people out of Egypt…word travelled! The Red Sea deliverance ….all of this is a testimony of God’s mighty power went throughout the lands.  Just read about what Rahab would later have to testify in Jericho (Joshua 2:10). God gets the glory!

We are just like the Hebrew people in bondage in Egypt…we are in bondage to sin and death…all of us, there is none righteous no not one. We are stuck in our trespasses and sins.  We all have a natural inclination to sin. And it it that sin that separates us from God…and as a result we face His wrath!

But then God did something momentous…something that we will never forget! Jesus is the perfect sinless spotless Lamb of God 2 Cor. 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 1 Peter 2:22 “He committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth.” Being the Lamb of God…His blood was shed to cover your sin! To deliver you from God’s wrath! Ephesians 2:3 “…by nature were children of wrath”
God receives glory through our lives as evidence of His salvation is seen and declared to others.

Have you received God’s deliverance…salvation…through the blood of His Son, the spotless Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ? Do others see evidence of the power of the one, true God in your life as you walk in faith, surrender and obedience to Him?

“The King of Grace”

Matthew 1:1-17behold-your-king

I have heard it said that when writing a book you want to catch the reader in the first few lines.  Most books have that line that grabs the readers imaginations or else they put it down and may never read it.  But Matthew, under the inspiration of God chooses to start his book of the Christ…with a genealogy!

Many Bible readers generally skip over genealogies…you know the seemingly endless list of names, often difficult to pronounce and seemingly unimportant names of people who lived long, long ago…But for Matthew, the Gospel writer, it was vitally important. His sole desire throughout his gospel record was to point to Jesus as the rightful King.

If someone is going to be a king their royalty will depend on their royal lineage. They must be able to prove their right to the throne. This lineage that Matthew begins with…shows the kingly line of Jesus Christ.

As a genealogy…it shows that Jesus Christ is an actual part of human history….no one can question this fact. But it also shows that all of Jewish history from Abraham was preparing for His birth…God in His divine providence ruled and overruled time and time again to accomplish His great purpose…in bringing His Son into the world.
Someone has referred to this section as “The Skeletons in God’s Closet” Because it ain’t pretty! From Matthew’s listing…we see God’s beautiful hand of grace! Jesus was sent by a God of grace to be a King of grace! He was not going to be a rock star king! Nor a king of the law nor a king of iron force…but instead a King of Grace! His royal credentials speak of royal grace! And the people He chose to be His ancestral line…reveal the wonder of His grace!..Let me tell you today…this gives me hope…in fact it gives hope to every sinner!

I must confess through my idealistic eyes…I would not have chosen many  on this list. But God did! Just for a moment follow along in Matthew 1:1-17 and pick out some of the well known names. These people were known for  unfaithfulness, immorality, idolatry and apostasy (walking away from God)…and yet God deals with them by grace.

Abrahamwas a liar…and Isaac learned real well from his daddy and was a liar too…and the apple did not fall far from the tree because Jacob…was a schemer and a cheat and a swindler. Judah…While Joseph was resisting temptation and living a blessed and holy life in Egypt, Judah was hanging out with his daughter-in-law Tamar, who was disguised as a prostitute and he had relations with her and got her pregnant. So their son Perez was illegitimate…born out of immorality. Goodness gracious…look al three are included as part of Jesus’ ancestors! Wow! Do you see where we’re going here?

Now, they weren’t all bad guys. Boaz was a very honourable man even though he married a Moabite woman who the Jewish Law forbid him to marry.  Some of the kings were pretty good…David was a man after God’s own heart, but if truth be told…he was a murderer and he did commit adultery with Bathsheba who is also noted here in Jesus’ lineage.

And we may say with our self righteous judgement…it’s just not the lineage that I would have chosen. I would have chosen…you know pretty people. The best and the brightest. People who look good on a royal resume.  Kind of like when Israel chose Saul to be the first king of Israel. They chose him because he looked like a king!  He was handsome and stood head and shoulders above the rest. All in all he looked  like a king. But make note… Israel chose him to be king…God didn’t.  God instead chose David. A little ruddy shepherd boy that wasn’t even worth bringing in from the field to see the prophet. But doesn’t that show God’s goodness and mercy?

Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t just choose the best and the brightest?
He chooses to work through the weak, imperfect things of this world that we might see His grace/strength. God’s glory shines through this motley group of people…that’s the way that God works. People who were in no way qualified to be in the human lineage of the Son of God…

LESSON #1 God’s Choice is Not My Choice…
God’s ways are higher…than my ways…(Isaiah 55:8-9) you and I may look at the exterior…and maybe we are quick to make a judgement…but God is the One who looks at the heart…God is the One who looks at the heart He is the Potter who makes His vessel the instrument of His grace!

LESSON #2…GOD in His Grace…Chooses to Work Through Imperfect People…
Jacob is a great example. Known for his deceitful scheming, yet it is through Jacob that God would lead and sovereignly rule and overrule in his life to bring him to the point of submitting to God.
Just look at all the imperfect examples of faith full believers in Hebrews 11…
LESSON #3…GOD in His Grace…Chooses to Use the Weak Things of the World…
All of these men listed were sinful and often known for some kind of weakness or unfaithfulness But God was continually faithful to them…and His grace was always with them, even when they were in trouble or even in times when God was rebuking them. (See: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
LESSON #4…God in His Grace…Chooses to Use the Outcast…
Tamar…(v.3) In Genesis 38  Tamar, the recently widowed daughter in law of Judah, acted as a prostitute and tricked her father-in-law Judah into making her pregnant so that she could continue the line of her husband. Despite her prostitution and the incest…God’s grace fell on her and her son to be born as well as Judah.
Rahab…(v.5) In Joshua 2 also was a prostitute and a Gentile, a foreigner, living in Jericho. But she, in faith courageously rescued the 2 Hebrew spies. Not sure how she came to faith but somehow she knew about God and His people. By faith she knew she had better intervene on behalf of her family. She would marry Salmon and become the mother of Boaz, who would become king David’s great grandfather.
Ruth…(v.5) – She too was another foreigner, a Moabite and was under the Old Testament curse against Moabites found in Deuteronomy 23:3No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the LORD. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the LORD forever”. She was a descendent of the incestuous Lot. But we love Ruth. Her story of faith and commitment God has resounded for generations!
Bathsheba…(v.6) was the woman involved in David’s scandalous affair and cover-up. She would become the mother of the next king, Solomon.
So as you can see in this list you have some great people…but you have people with a scandalous past. You have men, women, adulterers, prostitutes, heroes, and Gentiles. And Jesus is the Saviour of them all. “Right from the start, Matthew is telling us that Jesus is immersed in the grit and the grime of fallen humanity…” To the world Jesus’ way seems foolish…but to those who are being saved it is the power of God! (1 Corinthians 1)

So what? God in His grace…took a lineage of broken, sinful, imperfect people and outcasts and used them for His purposes and His glory. He can do the same thing with us today. He can take worthless broken vessels like you and me and cleanse us with His blood and fill us with His presence and use us for His purposes and for His glory. No matter who you are, people like you are already part of Jesus’ story. Right from the start, God chooses the most sinful, broken, and unlikely people – people like you and me. (See Matthew 9:13) Tell me Matthew didn’t have this foremost in his heart  as he walked with his Master and listened to Him speak and reach the last of people!
WHAT IS OUR RESPONSE1. AWE-Some wonder…this is our Jesus!  The King of Grace! It makes me want to sing of His grace…His love and mercy!
2. KNOW that God includes you and me…the fact that God uses these imperfect, weak people reminds you and I that God will take us and use us for His own purposes. Jesus Christ is the friend of sinners who did not come to call the righteous but sinners…to call the Zaccheus’ the Simon Peter’s, James’ and John. Reflected in His choice of disciples! JESUS CHRIST IS THE KING OF GRACE!