You Are Welcome Here
Inspired by Highly Favoured: Our Powerful God’s Covenant with You By Stuart J. Foster
We are relationally wired. It is in our nature to build strong relationships that promote growth, peace, and joy. Everyone wants to be really, truly loved. Some people spend their entire lives looking for love in all the wrong places. The thwarted idea of love that society has created consumes our minds. Movies, books, song lyrics, social media posts, podcasts, TV shows, etc. are filled with topics like love, relationships, and the drama that is often linked to them. It has been psychologically proven that someone’s life will begin to go downhill, in one way or another, without any sort of loving relationship. This type of relationship can be found in a friend, family member, or significant other. In Highly Favoured, Stuart J. Foster highlights the point that crime and suicide rates increase when a sense of belonging or love is nowhere to be found in a given person’s reality. Feelings of loneliness, depression, and exclusion are valid feelings that have the potential to spiral into something much worse than a mindset. We were not created to go through life without some sort of community. We as Christians have the opportunity to act as a vessel for life change when God’s love is shown.
Everyone is a highly favoured, child of God that is made in his image. Therefore, you are welcome here. No one is excluded from God’s love and community (Matthew 5:44). Romans 3:22 and 8:1 tell us that through Christ, ALL people have the opportunity to receive forgiveness and righteousness. Through Jesus, the marvellous covenant connects us to God in a miraculous way. ALL Christians fall under this covenant because it is not conditional. Stuart Foster says that when we are connected to God, we have everything we need. However, he also points out that a disconnection from God presents a lack of our greatest need. We have been given a guaranteed place of belonging by faith. The church acts as an earthly community that promotes unity. There is a great emphasis on church attendance not only because of its representation of the relationship between Jesus and his people, but also because of the great opportunity presented for genuine Christian fellowship. Acceptance, kindness, and thoughtfulness are three key qualities of a people-oriented church. People will know that we are Christians by our love. How do those around you know you?
The mystery of the gospel is that anyone and everyone is accepted. No one is left out. We see the perfect example set by Jesus during his time of earthly ministry. No one was afraid to approach Him because of his gentle spirit, willingness, and acceptance of all kinds of people. He sought out the least of these. We all know someone that feels lonely. In fact, you may feel lonely yourself. No matter who you are or what you’ve done, you are welcome at the King’s table. Jesus has seen it all and he still calls you his. Why don’t we act like this is true of anyone but ourselves? Christians are called to be a good type of different. If we want to be like Jesus, then we should be the first ones to say “you are welcome here”. If we believe that everyone is highly favoured, then we need to act like it.
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