by Missy Milbourn
This Week’s Verse: Romans 5:6-8, “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”(NLT)
A couple of weeks ago we had a guest speaker at our church, and something that he said has stayed with me. He asked if our church was a “safe place”. He posed these questions…
“If a homosexual couple came to your church, would you welcome them?”
“If a woman who had just gotten a divorce from her husband because she was having an affair with another man (and you knew it because she was the talk of the town) came to church, would you welcome her?”
He went on to say that studies indicate that these people aren’t coming to church because the church is too judgmental. (I think I already knew that.) But it’s what he said next that really got me, and has stayed with me. He said that we (the church) expect people to act like Jesus before they even know Jesus.
He’s right. I’m sorry.
How opposite that is to how Jesus loved people. How opposite that is to the very nature of God. For God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8)
While we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. (Romans 5:6)
I’m so grateful that He didn’t wait for me to get my act together before he reached out to me, or quite frankly…He’d still be waiting.
Father, I’m so thankful that you reach out to us while we are still sinners. I’m thankful that in the middle of the messed up lives that we lead that you love us, and you reach out to save us. Help us to love like you love. Help us to reach out like you reach out. Help us to be a safe place where anyone can come and learn about you, fall in love with you, and experience a new life with you.
Make a mental assessment of how you would receive (welcome) the above described people coming to church, or someone else experiencing other possibly controversial issues. Let’s make a conscious choice to meet people where they’re at and do our best to love them into the Kingdom of God.
Luke 5:31-32, “Jesus heard about it and spoke up, ‘Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I'm here inviting outsiders, not insiders—an invitation to a changed life, changed inside and out.’”(MSG)
Mark 2:17, “When Jesus heard this, he told them, ‘Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.’” (NLT)