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You, however, must continue in the things you have learned and are confident about. You know who taught you and how from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
One of the beautiful things about Jesus being the "fulfillment of the law" is that the Old Testament points directly to Him as the Messiah. It's not like we threw out the Old Testament or rewrote it once Jesus hit the scene. The New Testament is added, but remember that both are testaments to the truth of who God is. Knowing the scriptures for so many at this time was serving them well in recognizing the truth of the gospel: the truth of who Jesus was. Holy Spirit, I pray that You would teach us as we read the word of God, and help us to see Jesus in it all.
Of what importance is the human race, that you should notice them? Of what importance is mankind, that you should pay attention to them, and make them a little less than the heavenly beings? You grant mankind honor and majesty; you appoint them to rule over your creation; you have placed everything under their authority,
On one hand, God created us and chose us to rule in His creation because it was part of His plan. Keep in mind though, everlasting love, eternal redemption and reconciliation with Himself, and ruthless grace and mercy are at the core of the beating heart of our God who is for us. How important are we to God? His redemptive plan held God the Son, Jesus, in one hand - and the human race in the other. We all know the Father's will, and it was for Jesus to die on the cross and offer salvation to all. God's son died so that we could truly live.
So you who believe see his value, but for those who do not believe, the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, and a stumbling-stone and a rock to trip over. They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
Jesus being the cornerstone, the only way to God, that is hard for many as they approach God. They are willing to accept and believe in God as long as they are able to come to Him on their own terms. Our God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has revealed Himself in these last days through His Son Jesus, and there is no way around Him. There is no compromise when it comes to what you think about Christ; He either is the Son of God or He is not. God knows already who will believe in His Son, and who will reject Him. God's mercy continues to perfectly unfold...
Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort provided by love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any affection or mercy, complete my joy and be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose.
In Christ, we must live out what we know to be true. Immersed in the amazing love of God we are called to live sharing that same kind of love. Running to Christ when the trials of life come at us, and depending upon Him as our refuge, we should be able to point others to Christ in similar times. Living in relationship with the Holy Spirit of God who makes His home with us at the direction of Jesus, we ought to listen and be led by that Spirit in what to say, when to say it, and how to say it: speaking the truth in love. Anything is possible with God.
So Jesus told them this parable: “Which one of you, if he has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, would not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go look for the one that is lost until he finds it? Then when he has found it, he places it on his shoulders, rejoicing. Returning home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, telling them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost.’ I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent.
It is a selfless thing: the ability to understand and rejoice at the truth of this parable. It is like the story of the prodigal son when he returns home and the other son could not rejoice in his heart about it because he felt slighted. Yet, the son's father immediately rejoiced and brought out a fine robe and the best of the best to celebrate his return. The 99 sheep are sinners too, but are made righteous by the blood of Christ: the Shepherd. The question is, can the hearts of the 99 sheep rejoice at the return of the one? Repentance brings great joy to Jesus!