Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Staying Connected
January 31 – February 6
Scripture Passage: And he bowed himself, and said, “What is thy servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I am?”      II Samuel 9:8 
Dear Friends,
     Have you ever felt like you were on the outside looking in? I often think about how an immigrant coming into the United States feels when they get here not being able to speak the language and not understanding the culture. I have been a part of several mission trips where we needed to have an interpreter to be able to communicate. Denny and I are getting ready to go to India to investigate the condition of an orphanage. We are going to try and organize a board of directors consisting of India locals and American business men who will oversee fundraising and day to day operations of the orphanage. It is always a strange feeling to be the only white face in a crowd. I always wonder what they are saying about me and if they are making fun of me like I hear people here making fun of “foreigners.” As a child I remember the awful effects of making fun and being made fun of. If we are not careful there are stigmatism that follow us the rest of our lives. We either determine to rise above our circumstances or spend the rest of our lives looking over our shoulders and listening to the whispers of unkind people. 
     The Scripture lesson today concerns a young man named Mephibosheth.  For the sake of time I am going to nickname him M. M was the only surviving son of David’s friend Jonathan.    He had been raised in a palace and was accustomed to royal treatment.    M had fallen when he and his nurse were fleeing after the death of his father and grandfather. The fall had crippled him and put him at the mercy of others for the rest of his life. He went from lamb chops to lentil soup in one day. M had a lot of things going against him. First, he was the surviving son/grandson of Saul’s dynasty. As the surviving heir, he was the target of anyone seeking the throne and by the customs of the day would have been a marked man with a bounty on his head. (His father was a good man, but his grandfather, Saul was notorious for his ungodly actions.) Secondly, he was a cripple. Before the days of social services, a cripple either depended upon family or begging to support themselves. He could not work and could not maneuver around from one place to another without assistance. (Have you ever felt like you were a burden to someone else?) Thirdly, he had nothing to offer. According to M’s own admission, he felt as useless and unworthy as a dead dog. Why would anyone want to provide a future for him when he could do nothing to earn it? M felt absolutely inadequate and lost as he contemplated the future. But I want to show you why this is such a beautiful picture of grace. 
First M was being shown kindness for another’s sake. David did not even know M existed. When he found out, he showed M kindness for Jonathan, his father’s sake. I do not know why God loves me or even knows that I exist, but I do know that I am loved by God, for Christ’s sake. The kindness of the Father is extended to me by grace and because of the Son. I, who am unworthy and inadequate have been shown the love and kindness of God when I have absolutely nothing to offer. Secondly, I have gone from being a pauper to a king. I have been promoted from my cripple condition to sitting at the king’s table, living in his house, and sleeping in one of his beds. Instead of going from feast to famine, I have gone from famine to feast. I have become a member of the king’s family and am dependent upon him. Finally, I am kept by his divine grace, not my ability or contribution. M was kept by King David for who he was, not by what he could do. I am so glad my future in Heaven is not dependent upon my performance, but rather my relationship with Christ. 
In Christ,
Pastor Johnny