Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 9, 2019
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8 (NIV)
When we talk about evangelism, one of the challenges we must be mindful of is how often it tilts exclusively towards the personal and private aspects of faith. It is easy to believe that the death and resurrection of Jesus is only significant to the extent that it does something for me personally, even exclusively. As such, we can speak of Jesus like the ultimate self-help book or fad diet!
One of the great sins of our age is thinking that my time, energy, and resources should be primarily directed at things that make me happy. And so the “welcome” and “invitation” of the gospel is primarily filtered through a lens of personal happiness. Yet time and time again in the scriptures, Jesus turns this value on its head and reminds his disciples that they are the sent ones, filled with his life so they can boldly share that life with others.
The gospel says that there is a place at the table for you. No matter how marginalized or unwelcome you have felt in the past, Jesus sees you, loves you, and welcomes you to feast with him. But the full story, which I believe is infinitely more beautiful than mere self-help and personal wholeness, is that we who are invited to the table as members of the family, as we are healed and restored, are then invited to join the Lord in the “family business”.
To his family members, you and me, the Lord says “I want you to love the things that I love and invest your time and passion in the places and people that I am passionate about.” He wants us to look to Jesus and learn to give ourselves away sacrificially and to see those who are on the margins and speak life and dignity over them.
God welcomes you into his family and gives you identity and purpose, but he also invites you to place your personal story in the big, beautiful story of redemption that he is telling over all of creation.
Father, thank you that you invite us in and give us a place at your table. Would you give us the courage to reach out our own hands in love towards others, giving our lives away just as you gave yourself so freely for us? Amen.
How can you join God in the family business this week?
The gospel says that there is a place at the table for you. #wisdomhunters #gospel
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