Monday, October 12, 2015

Shunned - Martin Wiles

As you know, everyone from the province of Asia has deserted me—even Phygelus and Hermogenes. 2 Timothy 1:15 NLT

I knew it was coming before it ever arrived. Being shunned is never enjoyable. I know. I received my share of it growing up. Though a healthy nine pounds when I was born, I soon lost my robust physique and traded it for a skinny frame. So skinny, in fact, that beginning in elementary age and extending through high school, I was shunned because of it. 

When teams were picked for neighborhood ball games, I was always the last to be selected. The same held true when picking sides for dodge ball during physical education class at school. I had no perceived athletic abilities the team captain thought would enhance his team. 

Paul knew what it was like to be shunned. He was hounded by those who couldn’t stand that he preached about Jesus Christ being raised from the dead. And he had a thorn in the flesh that led some to look at him with disdain. Perhaps it was his appearance. Phygelus and Hermogenes were only two who shunned him. John Mark did it earlier, and others would later. 

Though shunned by others, Paul was convinced of one thing:  I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Romans 8:38 Neither people or unpleasant events could change the fact that God loved him and had forgiven his sins. 

There have been occasions since my childhood when others have shunned me for various reasons. Sometimes I’ve been able to fix the rift; at other times it’s unmendable. 

Regardless of other’s opinion or actions, God’s view of me never changes. He loves me with a steadfast love. I can’t make him love me more than he already does. Nothing I do will cause him to shun me, and nothing can ever separate me from his love. The connection with me, which involved the life of his Son, cost him too much to sever for any reason. 

When others shun you because of your appearance, opinions, or faith, remember God loves you unconditionally and forever. 

Prayer: Father, thank You for never turning Your back on us in spite of our faults and failures. 

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