Summary: We are called to love others - in spite of the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Scripture: Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18
Title: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Theme: From the beginning to the end God knows everything and is still with me! In this world, we want to throw in the towel when things get rough – we are too fleshly to hang in there! But we are called to love others in spite of everything – the good, the bad, or the ugly. We must learn to look through God colored glasses when it comes to loving others.
God knows the good, the bad, and the ugly about all of us.
I. God knows the good,
A. Formed us – knows our inward parts…inside and outside
B. Knew us before we were born…from the very beginning
C. Made in God’s image… “it was good”
D. Colleges – don’t know you; government doesn’t know you
E. God knows you and seeks you out…God is behind you and before you, and has his hand on you, but you must choose…
II. God knows the bad,
A. Knows our sin
B. Knows all our behaviors – lies, gossip, … James says the tongue is the one part of our body that can defile the most…we bless God with it and at the same time curse our neighbor.
C. There is nothing we can hide from God….but again, we have a choice when we mess up…we can ignore it or bring it out in the open – God tells us that we must acknowledge our behavior, take responsibility for it, and repent – turn away from it.
D. No one wants to acknowledge their sin…but we must acknowledge it before God. Why if he knows everything? Because we must admit that we have failed the relationship. God hasn’t failed us. We must say we are sorry.
III. God knows the ugly.
A. Sometimes we are worse than bad.
B. We hurt people we love the most.
C. We stab our friends in the back.
D. We think we are good because we go to church, because we know who God is, because we even listen to Christian music…we become pious – thinking that others are much worse than we are. This is when we really become ugly.
E. We stand in judgment of others – picking and choosing who we will and will not share the gospel with, we begin to only love those who are like us, those who think like us or dress like us, or believe like us.
F. We become complacent in our spiritual lives, we begin to think we are holier than even God- ignoring God and living out of our own wisdom.
G. Repent? Ha! That’s for sinners.
H. We don’t offer our lives to God anymore, although God may still be in our vocabulary, God’s not in our hearts.
IV. In Spite of all of this – knowing the good, the bad, and even the ugly, God is always with us, offering his love, mercy and grace.
A. This knowledge was just too wonderful, too heavy for the Psalmist to be able to understand fully.
B. How can God love us when we constantly behave in ways that don’t please him?
C. How can God love us when we sin and don’t repent?
D. But God does!!!!!
E. It’s hard for me to fully understand too.
We think that we have to do something for God to love us, but that’s not true. Just because we are God’s he loves us!
I think about being a mother – I loved my children before I ever saw them. There is nothing that they could do that would stop my love for them. They may mess up. They may behave badly. They may even turn ugly. But I’ll always love them.
I guess that this kind of love is maybe like God’s love for us. God celebrates with us when we are good. God hurts when we behave badly. God cries for us when we are ugly. God hates sin. God’s love never, ever, leaves us.
Now what does this help us with as we go about our lives?
It is Good News that God is always loving us, seeking us, pouring out grace on us when we don’t deserve it.
It is Good News that God is always there for us, even when we think we can handle things on our own. God is still there, ready to pick up the pieces when we turn to God.
But, when I read the Bible, I know that I not only want to hear the good news, I also want to know how I can live better, how I can better my life and the lives of others around me.
John Wesley said that others should be able to distinguish Christians from the world.