You’re a ragamuffin and so am I

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Writing and Reading”
Our Bible verse for today: “This is a saying that is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” – and I am the worst of them.” 1 Timothy 1:15 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “You’re a ragamuffin and I am too”
In recent days we’ve been considering the importance of spiritual reading. Spiritual reading is the reading of good Christian literature which builds and expands on Biblical truth. It can take many forms, including books, pamphlets, essays, articles, and devotional messages, and it can be instructive, inspiring, and even entertaining.
In one of those daily devotional messages, I shared with you some of my favorite books – what I term “The best of the best”, and I invited you to share some of your favorites with me. There was a pretty robust response to that and this morning I want to share some of your favorites with your fellow daily devotional readers. It turned out that several of my favorites were also on your lists, including “Experiencing God” by Henry Blackaby; “Boundaries” by Cloud and Townsend; and “The Traveler’s Gift” by Andy Andrews. Some of the others you mentioned were “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn; “Unbroken” by Lara Hillenbrand;” “In the Grip of Grace” by Max Lucado; “The Prayer Code” by O.S. Hawkins; anything by Charles Stanley or Tony Evans.
Another that was mentioned was a special little book which I read years ago but which I’m going to go back and reread now that I was reminded of it. It is “The Ragamuffin Gospel”, by Brennan Manning. It’s based on the premise that we are all flawed individuals who have sinned and failed, and then sinned and failed again. And as a result, we often live with remorse and regret, spending years of our lives beating ourselves up over our shortcomings and failures.
Brennan would know. He was an alcoholic defrocked former Catholic priest. It took him years to finally embrace the truth that God loved him and accepted him anyway. Brennan’s book illustrates the great truth expressed by Paul in 1 Timothy 1:15 (above) that each of us is “the worst of all sinners”, but Christ died to save us and God loves and accepts us just the same. The message is that you’re a ragamuffin and I am too. We all are. But the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about grace and it’s for ragamuffins just like you and me.
Brennan’s book is encouraging, reassuring, and uplifting, and that’s exactly the point of spiritual reading. That’s why we invest the time to read good books. God uses the writing of others to build into our own lives and we end up better, stronger, and happier as a result.
I encourage you to select a good Christian book and commit some time to spiritual reading today.
God bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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