Many of you are aware that our family and our house church have been serving at a motel locally for the last 17 years or so.
Our ministry is largely to those people who live in the motel because they cannot afford to live in an apartment or purchase a home in Orange County, California where affordable housing is hard to come by.
We also minister to a lot of people who are actually homeless and either sleep outside, or in their vehicle, or in a local shelter whenever they can find a vacancy.
Last month I happened to see a witnessing tract that one of the people at the motel church had picked up during the week at one of the Christian shelters or ministries to the homeless.
I picked it up and flipped through it and what I saw really angered me. In fact, I decided to confiscate the tract and later tossed into the trash can.
Why? Because this "Good News" was anything but. As an example, near the end it said this:
"You are filthy, disgusting, hateful and offensive to God. If you are not a Christian, this is how He sees you."
Really? Is that what Jesus tells us? Is that how the Apostles share the Good News of the Kingdom with people?
What about the parable of the prodigal son that Jesus shares to let us know that the Father is longing for us to return and eager to welcome us with open arms?
What about the declaration from the mouth of Jesus that "God so loved the world..."?
Even for those who are far away from God, He does not see them as filthy or disgusting or hateful people. He sees people made in His own image whom He longs to draw nearer to Himself.
As Paul reminded the pagan Athenians: "[God] is actually not far from each one of us. For, 'In Him we live and move and have our being.'" [Acts 17:27-28]
That means those who are near and those who are far away both remain in His presence and are surrounded by His enduring love.
Then, later in the week, I listened to a worship song that said, "There is nothing good in me" and I had to stop and ask, "Is that true?"
Maybe before I came to Christ it could be said that there was nothing good in me, but now that I am in Christ, there IS something - or SOMEONE - very good in me: Jesus!
Jesus tells us that "I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you." [John 14:20]
He also says:
And later Jesus says:
"Remain in me and I will remain in you." [John 15:4]
So, we should never say: "There is nothing good in me" ever again as long as we are in Christ.
There is someone good in me - and in you - and His name is Jesus.
Rest in His goodness. Trust in His transformational presence. Rely on Him to make you like Jesus.
"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them." [1 John 4:16]
God's view of you is better than you think it is. He sees you as someone worth dying for. That means everyone around you is loved by God as well.
Don't buy the lie that God hates you, or is disgusted by you. Stop talking as if Jesus does not live inside you by His Holy Spirit.
There is SO MUCH good in you if you are in Christ and He is in you!
Do you believe it?