Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Anyone is welcome. Anyone can come. Any tribe, any tongue, any religion. No one is excluded. All have sinned, but all are welcome. Anyone can come to the foot of the Cross, take up his cross and follow Jesus.
I used to think only special people were really welcome in the kingdom of God. You know who I’m talking about. The pretty people … the smart people … the popular people. The people who’ve been Christians since they were able to talk. Perfect lives marked by wise choices, good decisions and smart moves. They were the ones God really used. A-list people with first-string capabilities. Everything I was not.
I barely made the cut. I flew in under the radar—allowed in heaven, but better seen and not heard. I had already messed up God’s perfect will for life, doomed to live on Plan B (or in my case plan Z) until God called me home.
But God says,
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Forget Plan A. God says anyone is welcome.
Anyone. Broken people marked by sin and shame—welcome. Shattered people scarred by hurt and hardship—welcome. Plain people with common lives—welcome. Anyone may come.
But. we must deny ourselves … of what?
The right to live safe.
The right to stay small.
The right to live unforgiven.
The right to excuse ourselves from abundant life by focusing on our wounds instead of our Healing.
But when we deny ourselves, we indulge the Spirit.
With self out of the way, there is room for the Spirit. Blessing, power and energy flow unchecked from the hand of God to the heart of man. Any man, any woman, anyone who will follow Him.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Cor. 5:17
- Do you believe anyone is welcome in God’s kingdom? Do you believe you are welcome? How can you better live the truth anyone is welcome?
- Is there any people group you avoid witnessing to, or praying for because you believe they don’t deserve God’s grace or love? What can you do to change this attitude?
- Is there anyone, anytwo, anythree or four in your life right now who need to hear they are welcome? How can you share the love of Jesus with them today?
Life is sweet. Anyone may come. Anyone.
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