“Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. —Luke 14:23
As we’re heading into Easter weekend, I’m reminded of the greatest reality that you and I have been included on the invite list into God’s family! I love the heart you can feel from God in the verse above, He wants his house FULL!! No one is off the list, no one is excluded. I’m so thankful that God included me!
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” —Romans 8:15 (NIV)
Now, the real question I have to wrestle with here is, “Jesus included me, but am I including others?”
The invitation was never meant to end with us—it’s meant to get through us!
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. —2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV)
God wants to reach your city through you! We have been included and now it’s our turn include others. Isn’t it the worst to be looking at your social media only to find some of your friends hanging out and you weren’t include?! I know I’ve had that, but then the reverse is powerful as well, isn’t it incredible to feel “included” on the invite list? It’s amazing! There’s something powerful about being included! It has a profound impact on our lives. This is what God did for us… He included us. We were separate, we were outsiders and he invited us to the table, gave us a spot to sit. Called us into the family. When we bring people to church and introduce other people to Jesus and they respond to the invite and join the family of God it impacts them in a few key ways:
he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will — Ephesians 1:5 (NIV)
Much of the struggle and dysfunction in the world today is due to people not knowing their identity. Not knowing that they have a loving father who created them and wants to know them. When I’m included into the family, God now calls us a son or daughter and we call him father! We’re not a step child or just a neighbor kid that’s allowed to stay the night, we’re fully adopted into the family and now get full access to the father and all He has!
There’s something stabilizing about a healthy family. When we include others into the family of God, not only is their identity restored but now they have a family to walk with them and encourage them along the way. Our world is full of people who are falling and being tripped up in life with no one to help them.
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. —Ecclesiastes 4:10 (NIV)
The Bible refers to all those who follow Jesus as a family, the Church and in 1 Corinthians 12, The bible calls us a body. Because each following Jesus has a unique part to play as the body of Christ! Too many people attempt to find their value in themselves alone, but we wont fully see our purpose fulfilled until its linked into the full purpose of the body!
So, who are we including? No one deserves to be off the guest list of heaven! All are invited and all are welcome! This Easter and every weekend, “Who are you including?” As the Church, let’s be the most inclusive group of people on Earth!