Luke 19:1-10 (NIV)
There are some things that you just don’t throw away, and in life, God has that same understanding. The reason you are here today is that there were some people that wanted to throw you away. They said you would never amount to anything, but God looked down on you and said, “I know what I created, I know where they are right now may not be where they’re gonna be, but because I have created them and I have a purpose for them, I’m not going to throw them away.” Because God did it for you, you must learn how to do it for someone else. Sometimes in your Christian walk, you get saved and become self-righteous, and think you have it all together. Just because you’re saved doesn’t mean you won’t have struggles. You still have some obstacles to overcome and things that you wrestle with. You can’t give up on other people or throw them away because they’re not where you are. Their journey is not your journey, and you must appreciate the process.
The wealth of the righteous is stored up, and there are some wicked people that are holding on to what God has promised you. Isn’t it amazing that God will make your enemy bless you? God will use people that want to see you fail to be placed on their fours with a blanket on their back for you to step up on. God will use your greatest opportunity and obstacles to promote you to places you never thought you could go. Think about the people that closed the door on you or told you, you would not get to certain points and places in life. There are some people whose greatest ministry is to see you fail. Learn how to use opposition as motivation and use it to push you to go further.
Even when you do wrong God can order your steps in such a way that he places you in the right places to be seen by the right people. God has a way of seeing possibility in things that you think have no potential. Thank God that you serve a God who is not governed by the opinions of people concerning you. There are people who say that you don’t deserve what you have all because of what they know about your past. There’s a reason the past is the past, it is behind you. If God wanted it before you then he would have called it your present or your future. He calls it your past because he wants you to understand how to leave some things behind. You don’t have to throw it away to leave it behind. Just because time passes between you and some people doesn’t mean you throw them away; it is just a distance that’s created between some people in your past. You talk about loving people from a distance, but you still try to keep distant people in your immediate circle.
Welcome Them. In order for the kingdom to be advanced and increased you must stay connected to people that aren’t saved. Today’s evangelism looks different. You say you’re saved, then let people observe your life. The greatest witness you have is not a pamphlet or tract, but it’s how you live out your Christian life. Sometimes you want to cut people off but hang out with your friends that aren’t saved. It will keep you humble and remind you that you’re not perfect and that you are a recipient of grace you did not deserve. If you can learn to walk upright and properly before them, then they may inquire about the grace you received. When unsaved people or people who are not in respect of God, when they get around the presence of God it changes your mindset.
You must learn to extend the same grace to others that you received, and not just throw them away to the side and say they’re wicked. The reason some people you invited to church don’t show up yet is because when they look at your life, they don’t see the grace. In reality every day your life ought to reflect the grace and mercy of God. When they look at your life they should see what God has done, without you saying a word. There should be something radiating off you that exhibits grace. Sometimes you get so super saved. Why do people think when you get saved your life now becomes boring? Just because you’re saved doesn’t mean you can’t have fun in the name of Jesus. If you have to hide it, then don’t do it. You don’t need to unfriend nonbelievers and unsaved people, because they still need grace and the Jesus you have. But they’re not going to come to Jesus by your condemning and judging. The way people will want to come is because they see your humanity. Your struggle is your struggle, and it will be with you until the day you die. The enemy intensifies what you like.