Have you ever been excluded from something? I almost made a few sports teams. Once I almost got a book contract.
I almost dated a dozen or so ladies before I met Carolyn, but most of them excluded me for one reason or another.
You see, they had exceptions. I was excluded for whatever reasons in all of the above scenarios. The standards were higher than I could reach based on whatever the criteria was that was in play.
Back in the early nineties I dated a lady a few times until she shared this bit of news with me. She said, “I could never marry you because you don’t make enough money to support me in the fashion in which I want to be supported.”
Thankfully, God doesn’t have those kinds of exceptions. I find great peace and comfort in this idea from my favorite writer.
“Christ’s message is this:
for all, without exception.”
That is an inclusive statement if there ever was one. You and I are included in that. We are offered relationship with God himself when we draw near.
Remember this one: “For God so loved the world”. That is an inclusive declaration.
“I have called you by name. You are mine." That includes you and me too.
“If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.” Again, we are included.
He doesn't say to go and wash three times, swim a mile in the ocean, eat sushi or wear a Mohawk haircut.
He simply invites and includes each of us.
That is the great message that I continually present. God invites us into an accepting relationship with Him. First we come to Him, and then He directs what happens next.
We don’t have to change first, and then come to Him. See the difference?
Bring your dirty, full and bulging burlap bag with all the stuff of life inside. Lay it down at the feet of God. Without exception He’ll help sort out your life and guide you down a better trail than you’ll ever discover on your own.
You don’t have to get healed first.
You don’t have to go buy a new shirt or a new dress first.
Come as you are.
P Michael Biggs
One Word at a Time