"The outstretched arms of Jesus exclude no one, not the drunk in the doorway, the panhandler on the street, gays and lesbians in their isolation, the most selfish and ungrateful in their cocoons, the most unjust of employers and the most overweening of snobs. The love of Christ embraces all without exception." ~ Brennan Manning
God's love shows no partiality and excludes nobody. This being the case, then how come so many times our love does just that? Why is it that so many times our cultural upbringings and other influences we come across can prove to shape our view towards others who are different than ourselves more than the gospel? Who has the power here, when this happens...who are we yielding to as being sovereign over our heart's response to others...the world, or Christ?
Let us give thanks to God for the rich diversity of brothers and sisters that we have in this world. For the tapestry of many colored threads that God has woven to make up His kingdom. May we appreciate the multi-faceted beauty God has created, knowing that all of us are given an essential role and all of us, no matter how different, no matter the sins that plague us individually, make up one body, in Christ. And heaven forbid us that anybody's difference from us, or sin, or blemish, would keep us from embracing them with the same love Jesus embraced this world, and bar us from sharing the gospel with them.
We thank you for all the blessings that flow into our lives-the natural and spiritual blessings that you richly pour out on us; reviving us, sustaining us, guiding us in our walks with you. We pray that you continually soften our hearts to others that our suffering. That we show the compassion and love Jesus showed while walking on earth. That our love encompasses those that we don't understand, those we might even abhor, knowing that in our own guilt, in our own sin, if not for the blood of Jesus, God, you would be unnaproachable and would find us reprehensible in your Holy presence. In fact, without Jesus, it wouldn't even be possible to enter into your amazing presence. Your gift of mercy and grace makes it possible, in our human weakness, fraility and impurity to approach your heavenly throne with confidence. Let us not think we are any more worthy than anybody else. Humble us, so that we might be servants who live our lives out advancing your Kingdom here on earth, bringing you much honor, glory and praise.
In Jesus' name,