2 Corinthians 13:14 (NIV)
14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Thus the apostle concludes his epistle, and thus it is usual and proper to dismiss worshipping assemblies. This plainly proves the doctrine of the gospel, and is an acknowledgment that Father, Son, and Spirit, are three distinct persons, yet but one God; and herein the same, that they are the fountain of all blessings to men. It likewise intimates our duty, which is to have an eye by faith to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost-to live in a continual regard to the three persons in the Trinity, into whose name we were baptized, and in whose name we are blessed. [Matthew Henry]

Today is my 60th birthday and for the majority of those years I have known the mercy, grace and love of the Lord. I was a young child when I told my mother I feel like Jesus wants me to tell the preacher I believe in God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. It was a feeling I have a hard time explaining, but I know I was compelled to go.

Through the years I have had my failures in life. There is no such thing as a perfect Christian. The apostle tells us in 1 Corinthians 9:24, �Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.� This is a comparison to the Christian life. A runner gives his best to reach the finish line. Sometimes the runner may come in last. Sometimes the runner may trip and fall. At other times the runner may tire and just want to give up. Some may even resort to walking, but eventually they reach the finish line, whether first or last.

For my birthday I hope each of you know the love of God and Christ. I hope you will run the race of life with enthusiasm and will keep up the hope of crossing the finish line into heaven. You may say, I have too many failures to give my life to God. Let me assure you, I still have failures in my life.

For those who believe they are sinners, for those who have murdered, and those who steal, those who others consider abnormal because of their sexual orientation or beliefs; God welcomes you with open arms. You see God welcomes the broken, down trodden, hopeless, tired and rejected. And God will not reject you nor forsake you.

May God bless you and be with you through the years, because He certainly has been with me.