Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming close to him to hear him. The Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, â€œThis man welcomes sinners, and eats with them.â€ Â Â Â Â Luke 15:1-2 (WEB)
Tax collectors, sinners, Pharisees, and Scribes… and the disciples. What a group! These are the people that Jesus was directing His teaching through the stories of the lost sheep, lost coin, and prodigal son and family. Jesus had an important message. Did the listeners hear? Did they hear His truth or what they wanted to hear? Did they accept what Jesus had to say? Those are questions I should be asking myself every time I read Godâ€™s Word and hear His teaching.
â€“ Do I welcome sinners or just sit with the â€˜goodâ€™ â€˜cleanâ€™ people? No matter what my age, am I following Jesusâ€™ command to make (or mentor) disciples for Him? Do I invest my prayers, time, and talents to build His Kingdom?
â€“ Do I support missions/ministries/outreach/evangelism or do I just want the church to serve me? Do I rejoice at the lost sheep that come home? Does my support include Bible study, new believer friendly worship, and compassion in the pew as well as on the street?
â€“ Do I come close to hear Jesus? Do I come to worship expecting to meet with Jesus? Do I come to Sabbath worship with Bible, pen, and paper because I expect to hear words to study and impact the week ahead? Do I encourage those who bring that word, whether ordained or laity? Do I enter into worship with my focus on the One I worship or do I care more about who sees me worship?
â€¦ â€˜Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But it was appropriate to celebrate and be glad, for this, your brother, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.â€™â€ Â Â Â Luke 15:31-32 (WEB)
God desires, wants to give me all that He has. May I celebrate all that He has for me to receive! I was lost â€“ Now I am found.