“I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:32)

When you hear a story like the one I’m about to tell you, you begin to understand what God sees in us that’s worth saving.

There is that “kernel of good,” I have to believe, inside everyone, even if it may be buried under layers of sin and sequestered in some bleak dungeon that is home to all of mankind’s depravity.

It’s painful to read this kind of scripture about ourselves.

   “For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” (Matthew 15:19)

After all, God made us in His image. We’re the ones that went bad, not God.

$30,000 Cash Found in Clothes

This is the story of one honest woman. Her name is Carol Sutor of Bristol, Pa., the struggling owner of Advantage Insurance in Levittown.

She had accepted some donated clothing for her mother. The clothes belonged to a recently deceased relative, so the story goes.

As she went through the clothes, she found envelopes of $100 bills, $30,000 to be exact. She needed the money. She could have kept it and nobody would have been the wiser.

But something inside her, that “kernel of good” that is part of everybody’s spiritual composition – and amplified by the Holy Spirit in the believer —  said, no, this is not yours, give it back.

And that is what she did, according to the article, without hesitation.

Sutor was quoted as saying, “Things are tight. I am struggling in my business, as all struggle. When I struggle I think, oh, wow, if I had the money, my problems would be solved. Suddenly all this money appears, but it was the wrong way to get money. It was not mine and I knew it.”

God bless you, Carol.

Here is a woman whose “kernel of good” manifested itself in a level of integrity not everyone can lay claim to, a selfless woman who put others ahead of herself, who had no trouble differentiating a right choice from a wrong choice.

A Heartwarming Story Like This Reaffirms my Faith in Mankind

God made us in His image. God made us GOOD. Somewhere down the line, mankind went haywire.

Can you only imagine how God must feel looking down at us sometimes?

There was a time when God had enough of mankind, bringing a great flood to the Earth in the time of Noah. He started over.

Unfortunately this is the legacy of the unsaved.

   “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

   “The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

   “The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:5-7)

What if He did it again, some other way this time?

What if God decided He would only fellowship with just a handful of honest people, discarding the rest of us like wood, hay, and stubble? 

What if God didn’t think we were worth saving, as was the case with Sodom and Gomorrah?

Abraham pleaded with God not to destroy the city if he could find 50 good people, then 45, then 40 and finally the number dwindled to 10.

Only Lot and his family were spared before God destroyed the city. Not even 10 could be found.

Or like the Greek philosopher Diogenes the Cynic, who lived in a barrel outside the city of Corinth (yes, the city in the Bible).

He was a beggar by trade and went on a fruitless search of Athens, lantern in hand, trying to find one honest man.

God is always looking for an honest man or woman, in this case, one whose heart is honestly His.

   “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)

God in His love and tender mercies doesn’t want to discard any of us! Believe it!

    “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

Repentance is necessary because not one person can be counted righteous.

   “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written, “None is righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:9-10)

What is Our Hope Then?

Faith in the righteous one, Jesus Christ the Son of God, who redeemed man by dying on the cross under an avalanche of mankind’s sins. It makes us righteous in the eyes of God.

By taking our sins on Himself, Jesus made it so we could resume fellowship with the Father through the Son. Through Jesus, God wants to water that “kernel of good” inside you and grow it to the size of a  mighty oak!

  “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:32)

If Jesus did not come to call the righteous, that means he came for the other 99.9 percent of mankind. None is righteous, no not one…

   “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

And that free gift, my friends, is worth a lot more than $30,000 found in a bunch of old clothes.

What does God see when He looks down upon us? He sees countries, governments, people who have taken God out of everything. There is no moral compass anymore.

What is left then, is that “kernel of good” inside every one.

Whether that kernel grows or remains dormant is up to you.