November 22, 2011
[Involvement with people, especially the marginalized, begins with a profound grasp of God's grace. Often our instincts are to keep our distance. But the Son of God ate with them. He's not embarrassed by them. He lets them kiss his feet . He's the friend of the riffraff, traitors, the unrespectable, drunks, druggies, prostitutes, the mentally ill , the broken, and the needy- people who lives are a mess.] -Tim Chester
Oh Father forgive me for forgetting your grace! Forgive me for viewing people as unworthy projects! You ate meals with them, lived with them, walked life with them, loved them. Jesus soften my heart to see the need that's right in front of my face. Warm my heart, tune it to sing your grace, so that you might be praised. I don't tend to like people, I make snap judgements and move on when things get difficult. I prefer to surround myself with people I like and all together avoid ones I don't enjoy. Lord, who am I to decide who fills your church? Forgive me.
I don't want more stories of change because of people following programs or the "church fixes everything" bandaid mentality. I don't want to listen to any holy water scams. But Lord I do want genuine change, full repentance and changed hearts. I want tears and rejoicing, real pain and real worship, by restored, refreshed people. I want cold hearts sparked by the warmth and welcome of your gospel. I want drug addicted bodies to find comfort in God's word. I want the isolated, single, mom to find support and refuge in the care and community of a church family. Lord help me to slow down, to unclutter my life so that I have time to pray, and reach out to the people around me. Somehow use my failed attempts at care for your Glory and continue to teach me what it means to love like you. Because Jesus when I step back not very far, my life was a mess, and it's only through you that I've been redeemed. What a message of hope. Thank you for how your Gospel demolishes every kind of social, racial, global, and language barrier. You are a Holy, loving God who died for broken, filthy, marginalized people, you get the glory.
[For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person-though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.] Romans 5