All Access Pass: An Irrevocable Invitation
It's hard to be different.
I know, because I have and will always be different. I say weird things, think weird things and you should see some of the things I wear.
I've been called eccentric and a variety of other words that mean, "Hey, you're not like the rest of us."
Sometimes, it's comforting to know you march to a different beat, but other times, it feels very lonely to be in the "not like us" category.
When I was a kid, I didn't really notice I was different. I was just whoever I was and everyone else was my friend. (In my head, at least.)
It wasn't until about third or fourth grade when I realized there were lines drawn in the sand, so to speak. Some kids were popular. Some kids were smart. Some kids were rich. Some kids were poor. We all had little groups we were supposedly aligned with, but I never really understood why.
I guess I still don't.
I think it can be the same when it comes to Christianity. I know what it's like to be looking in the window at a picture of warmth and togetherness and think, "Where do I fit in that?"
I can see how folks who don't go to church and don't know the Lord might have the same feeling about faith.
They look at us Christians speaking Christian-ese, talking about the Holy Spirit, singing praise music and walking together toward Christ - and they just might think, "I don't see where I can squeeze in."
Friends, if you're looking in the window of a church, and you're not sure you see a spot for you, I can tell you right where you belong: right in the pew beside me.
I don't care what you've done, where you're at in your life or what you think the state of your soul is.
You belong right there next to me.
Want to know why?
Because Christ didn't care what I did, where I was or what the state of my soul was. He knew every sin, every thought, every step and every breath I took - and yet he still reached out his arm and embraced me. He reached out both arms, endured the torment of nails piercing his skin just to be able to embrace you and I today.
As he lost his life to gain ours, he didn't say "I'm dying for your sins, except for you."
In his suffering, he said "It is finished."
And friends, it was. It was over and done with right then and there. If I, the lowly, different, eccentric sinner that I am, could be found worthwhile of grace and love by My savior, then you surely have a place at the table of the Lord.
Paul explains in Romans, saying that through Christ's sacrifice for us, we are washed clean.
"Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men." Paul writes in Romans 5:18.
I am issuing you a non-revocable invitation to accept that seat. The seat of freedom. The seat of mercy. The seat of peace and compassion.
But friends, you must also know that it is the seat of love and forgiveness as well. It is the seat of repentance, of tender understanding and of quiet reverence for our Lord
Won't you sit down? Right here in your humanity, in your brokenness, in your sadness, anger, pain and strife? Sit down right here in your misery, your self-loathing, your confusion and your guilt.
I promise you, those and more will all fall away when you accept that invitation and take a load off your world-weary body.
Sit down in the seat that was prepared for you and you will find healing. Just like I did.
But you might say, "But your life isn't always perfect. You still have struggles."
You'd be correct in that statement. I am human. So, no, my life isn't perfect - but my savior is.
He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, and he remains by my side even when I stumble.
Rather than kick me when I'm down or berate me for my downfalls, he gently helps me up and gives compassion and healing.
He is my rock, my mighty fortress and my undoubted stronghold. As the old song goes, "I am weak but he is strong."
Yes, Jesus loves me. But friends, I have to let you know this secret that you might not have been told yet: he loves you too.
All of you. Your whole self. He's got a way to clean up your scrapes and bruises. He's got a way to get you standing up straight again.
He adored you so much he decided to take on your suffering for you and gave his life to win yours. Then, as if that wasn't enough, he went to his Father's house to prepare a place just for you.
And there are many rooms in his Father's house. Rooms that have been destined to be the dwelling places of the multitudes.
All you've got to do is sit down.