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Jesus’ Faith in People

When Jesus called Matthew the tax collector to be his disciple, he expressed a profound faith in a person’s ability to change. Tax collectors in Jesus’ day were political traitors, notorious crooks, and complete outcasts in respectable circles. Nonetheless, Jesus was a constant friend to them and even called one to be among his apostles. After Matthew became a follower of Christ, he wrote the gospel of Matthew—the most widely read book in the world. He used the same skill and pen he had used in his ledger books to write the story of Christ.

Matthew is a good example of the change Christ can make in a person. 

Before Christ can change someone, he must acknowledge his sin and repent of it. When Henry Thoreau lay dying in his home, a relentlessly pious neighbor paid a bedside call and asked primly, “Henry, have you made your peace with God?” Thoreau whispered, “We never quarreled.” 

There may be a person here and there who has never quarreled with God, but I know there has never been a person who did not ignore God. That is the greatest of all sins. When any person repents and puts his faith in Christ, his life can be wonderfully changed. 

They say that Longfellow could take a worthless sheet of paper, write a poem on it, and make it worth $6,000—that is genius. Rockefeller could sign his name on a piece of paper and make it worth millions—that is capital. A machinist can take a piece of metal worth $5 and make a tool worth $50—that is skill. An artist can take a 50-cent piece of canvas, paint a picture on it, and make it worth $1,000—that is art. But God can take a despised tax collector, wash him in the blood of Christ, put his Spirit in him, and make him a blessing to humanity—that is salvation. What Christ did for Matthew, he can do for you. 

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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

Today's Devotional

Our Unchanging God

Anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “We are living in the period of greatest change ever known in the history of the world.” Amid all the changes and decay of life, it is encouraging to know that God is unchanging (Malachi 3:6). How so?

First, God is unchanging in his demand for meaningful worship.

Cheap sacrifices and empty formalism never have and still don’t satisfy him. Religious observances cannot substitute for right living. We are not to leave off church attendance and prayer, but they are all sheer futility and mockery if they are not accompanied by right moral conduct. God still demands good moral conduct from his people.

Second, God is unchanging in his hatred for sin.

Sin is anything contrary to the will and word of God. God always has and always will oppose sin because of what it does to people. Every law from God has been for our benefit and well-being. Sin is like sand in the ball bearings of the human personality. It creates friction and eventually total ruin wherever it is found. The whole Bible story is a record of God’s actions to remove sin and restore humanity to our original perfect state. 

Third, God is unchanging in his plans for the future.

He plans to return to the earth again to distinguish between good and evil and reward people accordingly. Any view of life that does not take into account the future and final judgment of God and our accountability to him is an inadequate view. 

Amid this changing, uncertain world the Bible reminds us to take courage. All things are not passing away. Some things remain unchanged. God and his Son Jesus Christ are the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

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