The Gospel is for ALL {Is YOUR Gospel for All?} {Day 1 of 31}

Driving home after school drop off, asking God for wisdom, I land on Kari Jobe’s song You Are For Me.

I immediately transform into Kari Jobe, singing at the top of my lungs, remembering to keep at least one hand on the wheel.  (Don’t judge; we’ve all become rockstars in our cars at least once in our lives;)

As I exit the interstate, there’s a homeless man standing at the ramp’s end.  Actually, there’s almost always a homeless man or woman standing at this particular place.  As my van stopped at the red light, my heart paused too.

homeless-man

Are you for him, God? 

I know you’re for me.  I do. I certainly needed reminded today because lately I’ve not felt you’re for me.

But, are you for him?  The homeless guy at the freeway exit asking for food and/or money?  Are you for him, God?  Because I look out my window, headphones in my ears, money in my wallet, gas in the tank, food in my refrigerator, and computer in my backpack, and I see him…dirty, hungry, sad.  No window to look out.  No fridge full of food.

I know the answer to this question.  God and I have been around this way before – many times this bleeding heart has asked God about poverty.  I KNOW God’s presence and love isn’t only evidenced in the material.

Still…

It just feels like God is more for me.  And I tell Him so.  Not in an angry way, but in a “please, God, be for that man too” way.

And in my soul I hear…Sarah, the gospel is for all.

I am for all. 

This is true.  Jesus died for all.  He bore the weight of my sin and yours and the homeless man on the corner’s.

He is for the one who gossips about you.  He is for the Bible memory verse champion. He is for the one who bullies your child at school.  He is for the homeless and oppressed.   He is for the church lady.  He is for prodigal son and the faithful son. He is for the doting husband and the cheating husband.  He is for the ones who love you and the ones who despise you. He is for the ones who love Him and the ones who are far from Him.

He is for all. His gospel is for all.

And if the gospel I believe or the gospel you believe excludes ANY of the ALL?  It’s not the gospel.  If your gospel does not apply to the homeless man and the rich man, then it’s not the gospel. If your gospel defines blessed only as a state of outward appearance and not as a state of inward joy, it’s not the gospel.

The gospel we believe, live, and share must be for all.  When we add to it to suit our own culture and lives, viewing it through our own North American lens, then we are dangerous.

Is your gospel – the one you believe deep in your soul, the one you live out of – for all?  Do your beliefs about Jesus and his death and resurrection fit the homeless man and you?  Can you apply your gospel to yourself and those living without clean water in Africa?

If not, beware.  Beg God to open your heart and help you understand His good news in a new and fresh way.

34 Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. 35 In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. 36 This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all…They put him to death by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him to life on the third day… Acts 10-34-40

23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. Romans 3: 23-26

He shows no favoritism. His gospel is for all – in every nation. We all fall short, but our just and fair God declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

Amazing grace.  Thank you, Jesus.

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Comments

  1. I was all in until the very last line of this article written as if it exemplifies grace which is the exact opposite of grace…”our just and fair God declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. Amazing grace. Thank you, Jesus.” That’s an ultimatum not a statement of grace which boils down to “Believe like this or burn in hell.” Grace is a relinquishing of expectations and maybe something that only God CAN fully grasp. We see waves of it expressed all throughout the Bible, unfortunately overshadowed by the more legalistic ideas laid forth in some of the writers of the new testament who also, obviously wrestled with these ideas. And why does this article only use examples of folks that may be on the “outside” as individuals who are morally suspect (cheating husbands and bullies) or hopeless?. What about those who are just as comfortable with their “Jesus”, with their idea of God and the scriptures even though it is direct contradiction of yours? Are they welcomed in your house of worship in Grace or will they need to change their faith to line up with yours? Is this really grace? What if that cheating husband got his house in order but decided that it wasn’t necessary to his faith to believe in the physical resurrection of Christ Jesus or a Theistic idea of God? Would he still be welcomed to fully participate in your church under this idea of grace? What if that homeless man found the help he needed through people in your church and regularly attended with his boyfriend and eventual husband? Could he still function in your church at all levels of leadership that he desired? How far does this seemingly idea of grace reach? And if there is a limit shouldn’t we call it something other than grace?

    May we continue to grow together as one body.

    • MUCH food for thought here, friend. MUCH. I appreciate your comment. I pray that I am always open to understanding and discussing. While I have no immediate response, I do plan to ponder and would love to continue the conversation. Indeed, may we continue to grow together:)

    • And…while I know it’s not exactly what you meant…I am thankful that you pointed my out my use of only those who are morally suspect. or only those who live on what culture defines as the “fringe” – the gospel is for me…and for those the uber religious…for the one who thinks he/she has it all together and for the one desperately needs hope. I often (in my own prejudices) forget the church lady needs Jesus and the gospel just as much as the cheating husband.

  2. Sure do love you, beautiful friend. I REALLY did enjoy this post. Any dialogue about grace is good dialogue I think. Keep seeking and loving and growing.

    • I sure do love you too, Big Dave;) I think dialogue is key…we shall keep seeking and loving and growing together:)

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