On a trip to England with my family, I took my children to visit a number of historic sights in London, including Westminster Abbey.
There is an area within the Abbey called Poets’ Corner. This is the resting place for many poets and writers. We saw the grave of Charles Dickens and memorials to Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, and others.
What an honor, I thought, to have your name carved in stone in this location.
Yet, the guidebook explained some poets were not buried or memorialized in Westminster Abbey because of their unconventional lives. They were excluded, although more recently these restrictions have been relaxed.
God, however, is not like this.
God does not deprive or deny access to salvation because we have not met his standard.
God’s gift of salvation is offered to everyone, even if we doubt our eligibility.
You should never think you are unworthy of God’s grace.
If we look at Jesus’ life we see God’s generous nature in action.
Jesus mixed with people whose lifestyles were unacceptable, and in doing so horrified the religiously upright of his day.
Jesus broke many religious and cultural conventions to bring his message of good news to those whose lives were messy.
He spent time with …
the financially unscrupulous (Luke 19:1-10)
women who were morally impure (Luke 7:36-50)
those who had different cultural and religious views (John 4:4-26).
Jesus shows us we should never look at another person and think they are beyond God’s favor.
God’s love is offered to the unethical, unprincipled, unsavory person the same as it is to the person who lives an ethical, principled, and good life.
We have a one-size-fits-all message to share:
1. Reflect on God’s free gift of salvation.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 (NLT)
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,but to save the world through him.
John 3:17 (NIV)
2. Respond to God and his gift.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)
3. Realize the difference this will make in your day-to-day living.
Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Luke 7:50 (NIV)
The message we need to declare is the accessibility to God and his mercy through Jesus Christ. The example we need to give is the far-reaching nature of God’s love to our friends, family, neighbors and the strangers we meet.
Linking up with Susan Mead at #DanceWithJesus, Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup, Holly Barrett at #TestimonyTuesday, Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart, Jaime Weibel at #SittingAmongFriends and Dawn Klinge at #GraceandTruth