You get us ready for life: you probe for our soft spots, you knock off our rough edges. Psalm 7:10
By this time a lot of men and women of doubtful reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” Their grumbling triggered this story. Luke 15:1-3
Jesus saw the innate potential in all people. He preferred to reach out to those on struggle street more than the well-to do. He did everything with compassion, and a heart to lift up those that were down-trodden.
This bit in the Psalms reminded me of a prophecy that a prophet named Fergus Mcintyre once gave me. He said, “God is by no means finished with you yet, you are going to go through the making of the man of God.” There have been many times in my life where God has probed me in the soft spots of my life, he has tested my character and many times I’ve been found wanting, he has knocked off some of my rough edges, and still has a lot more to chip away at. He loves us too much to leave us the way we are. He leads us through a process of sanctification, being set apart from the world, being molded into his image.
One of the awesome things about God is that he wills that none perish. He shows no favouritism. Where the world favours the rich and famous, the Lord favours no-one.
Someone recently asked me who is the target market for New Hope Brisbane. I really struggled with that question. The answer is in this passage… Sinners. The three stories in Luke 15 are about lost people. Lost people matter to God. He wants us to reach out to them, no matter what they look like. He wants us to treat them like “old friends.”
Reinhard Bonnke said, “The church that doesn’t seek the Lost is lost…”
Father, at the table of my life, may there always be room for Sinners. Amen.