Paul always knew how to sneak in the Good News. The Good News, the Gospel–is God’s Welcoming Heart.
Last week at Growth Group we read the Gospel–in an epistle–in two different spots. With the million words I speak everyday (I’m an extrovert–I can’t help it) — with the million words–give or take a few–you’d think I could sneak in the Good News midst the million.
Here’s the way I like to say it – often, with coffee and a piece of chocolate cake. (I do love a good piece of chocolate cake.)
Want to come over? God invited me. I’d like to pass on invitation.
Paul’s better at it – chocolate or not. Here he is at his best – sneaking in the Good News:
This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen. I Timothy 1:15-17 NLT
And again, a couple chapters on:
Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith:
Christ was revealed in a human body
and vindicated by the Spirit.
He was seen by angels
and announced to the nations.
He was believed in throughout the world
and taken to heaven in glory. I Timothy 3:16 NLT
Oh, yeah. Much better than cake and coffee. Words to feed your soul.
Whenever I speak on hospitality I want to get at least this straight–midst the million words:
The welcoming heart of God is the Good News–
He opened His door wide at creation, His arms wide at redemption, His call-wide and clear-at ascension–
And He wants to use your table and mine to pass on His welcome.
I think I got that across at the NWMinistry Conference yesterday in Seattle. At least I hope I did. (Thanks for prayers!)
That’s it. That’s the Gospel – in a letter, in a blog, in a nutshell and in your heart. Check out I Corinthians 15: 1-6 if you want a refresher. (Paul, again. An extrovert? Not sure. But he didn’t waste a word.)
Christ died for our sins
He was buried
He was raised on the third day.
Once in, the Good News isn’t meant to stay put. We RSVP and then pass it on. Otherwise God would save us and swoop us up–right then and there–all empty chairs, all at once.
Set an extra place at the table this week. See who God brings. You may need to actually invite someone. They may come — although ninety per cent of those I invite never come. So don’t sweat it. Invite anyway. You know people I’ll never meet. They are yours to invite. Hospitality–God’s welcoming heart–is all about two cups more than just one.
And I do sweat it at times. Then my ironing friend, Bonnie reminds me: “It’s God who does the real work, Sue.” We all need ironing friends like Bonnie Masten, i.e., “As iron sharpens iron, so one girlfriend sharpens another.” (Thanks, Bonnie. I always need reminding to get over myself.)
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Linking often with these lovely writers:
The Art of HomeMaking Mondays Soul Survival LiveRandomlySimple TestimonyTuesdays Me, Coffee, & Jesus, CornerstoneConfessions, CoffeeandConversation,Purposeful Faith Intentional Tuesday Jennifer Dukes Holley Gerth KristinHillTaylor, SittingAmongFriends,Thought-Provoking Thursday Faith-Filled Friday Grace&Truth GiveMeGrace