From the Pits to a Party


“…Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
–from “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus

TRADING OUR WORST FOR THE BEST

Yes, these are the last five lines of the poem engraved on a tablet displayed in the based of the Statue of Liberty. What an invitation. A welcome.

Give me the worst of everything you’ve got as I welcome you through a door that offers you everything! (TWEET)

Who does that? Who welcomes someone from the bottom, someone with absolutely nothing to offer, nothing worthwhile to bring to the table, nothing to contribute, and offers them everything in exchange?

Let me tell you the truth. It isn’t a statue in New York. It isn’t America. It definitely isn’t science. There is only one who makes honestly makes this offer.

God.

But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”
When Jesus heard this, He said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do.”
Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Matthew 9:11-13 NLT


I wonder if someone reading this right now has felt judged in the past for something they’ve done when they’ve entered the doors of a church. I wonder if someone has sought repentance inside a sanctuary and instead found condemnation and judgment.

Take a look at the Scripture, friend. Jesus came to earth for people like us. You and me. Not those who made us feel guilty when we walked in the doors, but for those of us who knew we were guilty and came seeking a Savior!

THROWING A PARTY JUST FOR YOU!

If I could reach through the monitor, cell phone, tablet, whatever kind of screen you’re reading on right now, I’d pull you right in to the party!

What party? 

The one being thrown for you. For your return! 

“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” Luke 15:20 NLT

Listen to the testimony in this song!


No, don’t skip the song. You’re missing part of the message today. Go back and press play. You have time.

HE’LL RACE TO FORGIVENESS

All the things you’ve done that are holding you back, that are keeping you from returning from God, it isn’t Him that isn’t willing to move. It’s you. If you take the first step, He’ll RUN towards you. 

How that concept goes against our intellect. It’s our pride keeping us from forgiveness, love, and acceptance, not God’s judgment. I don’t have to get down on my belly and crawl because of the sinful things I’ve done, if I take one step, He’ll run the rest of the way.

‘for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. Luke 15:24 NLT

FROM THE PITS TO A PARTY

And then God isn’t going to stash me in the very back pew until I clean my act up. No, He’s going to put me up front. He’s going to celebrate my return. Show me off. Dress me up. Give me the very best things He has in His possession.

Why? I don’t deserve to even be His slave.

God loves me. God loves YOU.

No matter how big your sin, God is bigger. (TWEET)

RUN, CHURCH, RUN!

Church, I challenge you, celebrate the return of a lost sheep. Throw a party. Look for the one person you don’t want your reputation to be affiliated with and RUN towards that person with arms wide open! He did it for you.

Seek out the sinner in your congregation intentionally. Love them. Lead them. Feed them. Be willing to leave the 99 and go after the one.

Other posts on this topic:
PDA God-Style

photo credit: laverrue via photopin cc
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8 responses to this post.

  1. Great post! I'm a firm believer in helping the hurting. 🙂

    Reply

  2. Parts of this post reminds me of the story of the prodigal son.

    Rachel recently wrote Using the Oreo Cookie to Get Clients

    Reply

  3. Wow, I am so not your target market but thank you for opening the proverbial door for even the occasional Jewish reader!

    Reply

  4. Great Post. Good reminder. Whenever we help someone else, we are the ones getting a blessing as well. Although that is certainly not our motive, that is what happens!

    Reply

  5. Eric, Thank you for dropping in. I believe that we're all just one catastrophe away from being the one in the pit. Do unto others…

    Please come chat again!

    Reply

  6. Rachel,

    I'm so glad this post took you back to the Prodigal Son. That was the inspiration for this post. 🙂

    Please stop in again!

    Reply

  7. Syuloff,

    😀 You made my day!!!! I even hurried to show this response to my husband. I hope everyone can find something in my posts to challenge them, inspire them, teach them… Thank you!

    I have family that is Jewish, so I'm not unfamiliar. Cousins being raised in a half-Christian half-Jewish home. I hope that all members of that family would always find something in these doors that they can relate to.

    Please come back to chat again!

    Reply

  8. Carol, Unfortunately your comment reminds me of people who DO these very things just to get a blessing. I always look at their over-the-top expression and remind myself as they are getting tons of pats on the back for being such amazing Christians of what scripture says in Matthew 6.

    Those who accept their reward on earth are sacrificing reward in Heaven. I try to remember that and do much of my giving in secret. Sometimes a receiver will rat ya out, though. 🙂

    Reply

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