Singer-songwriter, Brian McKnight, penned these words in Back At One,

You're like a dream come true
Just want to be with you
Girl, it's plain to see
That you're the only one for me
And four
Repeat steps one through three
Make you fall in love with me
If ever I believe my work is done
Then I'll start back at one”

Beloved, more than mere slick words from a smooth-talker, this message is the same in essence as the one that Jesus has for us; if ever we believe that with us, He is done; He will start back at one.

“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.” Matthew 18:15-17

Wait a minute, the one who does not listen is to be to us, ‘like a heathen and a tax collector’? Such were the social outcasts of the time. So how does this show that Jesus never gives up on us? How does this show that Jesus will start back at one?

Well beloved, remember Jesus said this,

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Mark 2:17

Indeed, when He was walking the earth, Jesus made it His deliberate effort to reach out to the social outcasts. In fact, this was said of Him many times.

“And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?” Mark 2:16

So much so that He eventually made a name for Himself,

“a friend of tax collectors and sinners” Matthew 11:19

So when Jesus tells us to treat those who would not listen to reason as heathens and tax collectors, He is essentially saying this,

“If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you’ve made a friend. If he won’t listen, take one or two others along so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest, and try again. If he still won’t listen, tell the church. If he won’t listen to the church, you’ll have to start over from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God’s forgiving love.” Matthew 18:15-17 [MSG]

Yes, start back at one.

Because you see, if Jesus had already called the one who would not listen to reason, Jesus has already shown us that he is loved, favored, blessed and precious in His sight. So how is it then, that that brother’s salvation can be lost, just because he will not listen to reason? Remember,

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever;” Hebrews 13:8

So His love, His favor, His promises, His eternal salvation and assurance of no condemnation for all who believe, is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

Now this means that we have to be patient with our brethren. Yes. But this also means that Jesus is patient with us. Remember Jonah? The prophet who ran?

“But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” Jonah 1:3

Our Father still brought him back on track, though in Jonah’s case, He was not so subtle.

Remember also what our Father said through Jeremiah to Jerusalem,

“Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem;
See now and know;
And seek in her open places
If you can find a man,
If there is anyone who executes judgment,
Who seeks the truth,
And I will pardon her.” Jeremiah 5:1

As long as there is one speck of goodness in you, Jesus will spare you. Now what more considering that,

“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53:4-5 [AMPC]

Beloved, you have more than a speck of goodness in you. Because Jesus has taken away all your guilt, your shame and your sins and pinned them all on Himself on the cross, because He shed His blood for you so that you may receive complete remission of sins (Matthew 26:27-28), you are completely righteous, as far as our Father is concerned. So how could He give up on you now?

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

So if you have wronged our Father, if you have been stubborn, if you have refused to listen to reason; Jesus stands ready to start back at one. For His eternal promise is this,

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20

This is no ‘one-time offer’. This is a life-time guarantee. As long as you are ready to come home, Jesus is always there. In fact, Jesus is there for you even if you are still not ready to come home. For Jesus said,

“For I have come down from heaven not to do My own will and purpose but to do the will and purpose of Him Who sent Me.
And this is the will of Him Who sent Me, that I should not lose any of all that He has given Me, but that I should give new life and raise [them all] up at the last day.
For this is My Father’s will and His purpose, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in and cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up [from the dead] at the last day.” John 6:38-40 [AMPC]
For you who have believed, your salvation is eternal, once for all. Nothing can change that; because you did not earn it. It was freely given to you on account of you putting your trust in Jesus, as it is written,

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

And if you have never known the love of Jesus and would now like to partake of His ‘life-time guarantee’; if you would like to put your trust in Jesus, be cleansed of all your sins, be made right with our Father, and enjoy the abundant life that Jesus came to bring, then say this to our Father right now.

“Loving, Heavenly Father, thank You for being so patient with me, that You have waited so long for me to be ready to come home to You. Thank You for never giving up on me and constantly reaching out to me, knocking on the door to my heart. Father I hear You knocking and I respond. The door to my heart is open now Father. Come in and dine with me. Jesus come in and bring Your ever-lasting peace into my life. Thank You that by Your death, Jesus, I have died to sin with You. Thank You that by Your rising, I rise to a new life in You. Thank You Jesus for Your blood shed to purchase for me a full and everlasting remission of my sins. Thank You Father that no matter what may befall me now, You are always there for me, just as You have always been, ready always, to start back at one. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Beloved child of God, always remember

“…that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.” Philippians 1:6 [AMPC]

Jesus will never give up on you.

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