Do you think that the Queen of England ever forgets her status? Do you think she ever gets up in the morning, looks around the royal bedchambers, notices a staff member setting up the tray for her morning tea, opening the curtains, laying out her things and wonders, “Well, who is this and why are they doing all this?”
No. Of course not. She’s the queen, and that life is what is afforded for her. It is part of her rank and status that she would be so cared for & so well attended. While she may have no real power, she is still beloved by those who are hers.
We often forget what we have been afforded in Christ. We look around at the world God has created, at he provision He has laid out for us, we forget how dearly loved we are. We forget =Whose= we are and we fall into the trap of disbelieving just how deeply and how greatly we are loved.
4 I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years! 11 I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.
God has made provision for =you= in Jesus Christ. He has shown the depth of His love, and breadth of His grace. He has given us a wonderful gift beyond measure. But so often we see and observe, and we turn back to what we once had. That is what Paul is dealing with in this portion of his letter to the Galatian church. Why would we turn back to the life that once had us, to the pain that once ensnared us? Why would you turn back to death once you have been brought back to life?
But we do it every day.
We leave behind the rich appointments of grace to wallow in the filth of our own sin.
This is why we are daily glad for grace, and for the presence of the Holy Spirit that corrects us. There is mourning that comes with this realization, but it is a mourning that is infused with hope.
19 Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
20 My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
21 But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
26 It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
You are deeply loved and dearly bought when you are clothed with Christ. You are afforded a richness that comes with being drawn into the presence of the Living God. Jesus gave proof to His disciples after He was resurrected by doing something simple, He ate with them. He wanted them to see that this was the new reality, the new normal. The life they had been appointed to was past and there was something new on the way. This is what Jesus does for us, this is what God has laid out for us. It’s all for =His= glory, but as heirs, we share in the glorious promises of righteousness.
36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.
44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
God will take great care to clothe us, care for us and shower us with His love. We are His children, deeply loved, dearly bought. Just as Christ did simple things, like eating fish, to convince His disciples that things really were as they were, even thought it was beyond hope, maybe even beyond belief, He was alive again and there, present with them. Just as He did that, we need to remember that every day, through many convincing proofs, God reminds us that He is present with us, loving us. He is our Abba, our Father, our Daddy & He cares very much for us.
Rest in His arms today. Let Him sing over you. May the joy of the Lord be your strength.
“13 Then Jesus went out again beside the sea. The whole crowd was coming to Him, and He taught them. 14 Then, moving on, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” So he got up and followed Him.
15 While He was reclining at the table in Levis house, many tax collectors and sinners were also guests with Jesus and His disciples, because there were many who were following Him. 16 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they asked His disciples, “Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
17 When Jesus heard this, He told them, “Those who are well don’t need a doctor, but the sick do need one. I didnt come to call the righteous, but sinners.””
So, everyone is sick. We are all affected by sin. But it is really hard to convince someone who thinks they’re holy that they’re not, that they’re no different than anybody else. The self-righteous are inherently stubborn, prideful and so focused on what wrongs others are doing that they have almost forgotten how to look inside themselves.
Now, there is a chance, a slight chance, that by seeing Jesus eating with ‘sinners’ that the Scribes and Pharisees would see a man who apparently knows Scripture better than anyone else seems to, who teaches with an authority that no one else wields, that is they saw Him eating with sinners and doing things so differently than them, that their curiosity would at least be piqued and they would begin to examine again what they thought they no longer needed to examine. But that was a slim chance, again, self-righteous people are hard to convince of anything. Pride is such a constant companion that the notion of even being wrong is so far fetched that it doesn’t enter the realm of possibility.
Matthew & his crew of compatriots were quick to accept their sinfulness because everyone was probably always telling them just how awful they were. They were so acquainted with the idea of being disliked that they simply just assumed they never would be. And so when Jesus comes along, the opposite reaction occurs. They are thrilled to discover that they are okay to be around, that a man who seems to be on equal or better footing with the Pharisees, a respectable man, comes to them, shows solidarity with them, and begins to tell them that they can indeed be a part of what God is doing. This thrills Matthew to no end, so much so that his house is packed with others in his situation in time for supper that night.
Both groups were told Jesus was here to help anyone who needed help, but only one identified themselves as needing help, and so the other group sat outside, griping and complaining in the cold, dead to the fact of their own struggle, while the other enjoyed the company of God, the light of truth and the relief of mercy & grace.
When your life is all about your works, it makes accepting any good news that might bring relief a very difficult thing to do. When your life is all about you, then you feel no compulsion to GoLove others, but instead you spend your days condemning them. It is a sad pitiable place to live, and on this night, the tax collectors, sinners and outcasts of society had a warm, rich dinner in a place of acceptance while the supposedly self-righteous ate the herbs of bitterness and discontent.
If our walk in Christ lacks joy, it may be time to examine what and where we’re eating. If we think we can get through life just fine without Him, we need to examine just why we think we’ve come to this conclusion. Both reactions require an honest look at ourselves, and an honest conversation with God.