One spring, sometime before the Civil war, a young man looking for work came to Worthy Taylor’s farm in Ohio. The farmer didn’t knowing anything about the boy except that his name was Jim, but he gave him a job. Jim spent the summer cutting stove wood, bringing in the cows, and making himself generally useful around the farm. He ate in the kitchen and slept in the hayloft.

Before the summer was over, Jim had fallen in love with Taylor’s daughter. When the farmer refused to let him marry her—telling him bluntly that he had no money, no name, and very poor prospects—Jim put his belongings in his old carpet bag and disappeared.

Thirty-five years passed before Taylor pulled down his old barn to make room for a new one. On one of the rafters in the hayloft, he dis-covered that Jim had carved his full name—James A. Garfield. He was then the President of the United States.

When Jesus looked at Simon Peter, He saw a fiery, impulsive personality. He made promises that he could not keep, and started what he could not finish! He thought he could walk on the water to meet Jesus without any problems: “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me'” (Matthew 14:30). When they captured Jesus, Peter took out his sword and cut off a man’s ear (John 18:10). He didn’t stop to ask, “Is this what Jesus wants?” Peter even went so far as to deny that he ever knew Christ (Matthew 26:69-75). In spite of all of these weaknesses, Jesus could see Peter as a diamond in the rough, and after His resurrection, He called upon him to tend His sheep (John 21:15-17). From this moment forward, Peter lived for Jesus. He would even die for Him. (John 21:18-19).

Jesus offers salvation to everyone who will follow and obey Him. Some have fallen so deeply into sin that they feel that He will not accept them. However, those who will believe in Him, will repent of their sins, confess Him to be the Christ, and put Him on in baptism, He considers them a diamond in the rough. All sins are forgiven and the opportunity is given to live a new life dedicated to the Lord. No, we may never become president, but we can become something far greater—a Christian!

Also, when we go astray as a Christian, we may be tempted to give up, feeling like the Lord has given up on us. Nothing could be farther from the truth! It was Jesus who gave us the parable of The Prodigal Son who left his father for a sinful life, but returned, confessing his sins, repenting, and asking for his father’s forgiveness. That same forgiveness is waiting for those who are away from the Lord today, if they will return with the same attitude!

I pray that you will see yourself as Christ sees you. He sees the diamond in you even if you can’t see it in yourself! He is waiting for the opportunity to forgive your sins if you will only obey Him. Will you do it today? If you need any help, please ask. I love you, and your elders love you. We are here to assist you. Please let us know how we can serve you!

~ Mike