Supposing someone walks into your church. They are not dressed the way people in your church normally dress. In fact, as you look at them you, can’t help yourself from making a snap judgment. They look like a bit of a loser.
We need to show love to those who enter our churches. Why? Because that’s what Jesus did. Jesus never worried about whether people were, what society would call, losers. Some of his best friends were uneducated fisherman, Matthew 4:18-22. Two, Matthew and Zacchaeus, were former tax collectors, who as far as the world was concerned were less than scum because they collected money for the Romans and usually cheated people in the process, Luke 5:27-30 and Luke 19:2-10.
Some women were looked down on and condemned by society, Luke 7:37-50 and John 8:3-11. One woman was a Samaritan, John 4:4-42. Did Jesus care? Not a bit. In fact when challenged about the company he kept, Jesus declared these to be exactly the kind of people he gave to save, Luke 15:1-32.
Are we as openhearted as the Lord Jesus? Do we judge too much by appearances?
In a previous church we attended, there was a young man who often came barefoot to church, and who wore all manner of strange outfits. Yet he was one of the most godly young men and had a positive impact and rapport with many teenagers. Those who took the time to get to know him, knew he was dedicated to serving the Lord and bringing others to know Jesus or know Him better.
Surely our aim should be always to make people welcome in our church firstly, and then the help them get to know Jesus or come to know Him better. What can you do to make people feel more welcome in your church?
Bible verses from The New American Standard Version
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