God is waiting to throw a party

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I commission you all today as ambassadors of the Gospel of Welcome. What that means is that you are representatives of a message of good news about God. This is important because most people have an impression of God as bringing bad news to us all in the form of judgment. This is unfortunate because God has been improperly represented for quite some time. But that is precisely why you are so important. You are changing that.

The biblical word for “gospel” simply means good news. And why is it good news? It is good news because it is the opposite of what people think is bad about God. God is not all about judgment. He is all about love, forgiveness, acceptance and empowerment. Yes, He is the judge, but He’s already taken out His judgment on Himself in the form of His Son, Jesus, whom He punished on the cross precisely so He wouldn’t have to punish us. So, in fact, we are doing Him a big disservice when we think of Him as that angry old man in the sky who is ready to stick it to the next guy who sins. We are completely discounting Christ’s death on the cross. We are basically saying He died in vain.

Our message is that God is not mad anymore. He’s waiting like an anxious father, out on the front porch, staring down the driveway to the road below, looking for any sign of his children coming home. He’s waiting to welcome us — to rush down the driveway and smother us with an embrace even before we can get a word out. Then He cleans us up, dresses us in His royal robe, and — the furthest thing from anyone’s mind — throws us a party. Does that sound anything like the God most people have been envisioning? No it doesn’t.

So that’s why you are so important. You are here to spread the good news about God to people who have it wrong, and the easiest way to do that is to tell your own story — how He met you and welcomed you home and threw you a party.

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9 Responses to God is waiting to throw a party

  1. Just shared your post of encouragement with all of our on-air staff at the 4 CRISTA media radio stations… so grateful!

  2. There’s a line from a song off Sara Groves new music, “You are waiting, in the driveway, as I come down the street. I can tell by your movements, you’re not angry, you are waiting there for me…every night for a year, you have met me here, just an image in my mind…” Funny how important it is and emotional it is to think God is waiting on us, and he’s not mad at us, just waiting there for us.

  3. And happy birthday to Anne!!

  4. cehall406 says:

    Growing up I always knew God as being a “loving God” and not a “vengeful God”. I still do to this day and try to live through him.

  5. Sandie says:

    Your reference to the Prodigal Son reminded me of a message I sent to you that pertained not only to Chandler, but to all of us. We are all the Prodigal Son and we have all wandered far and wide seeking everything but the truth found in Jesus. Then comes that moment when we get a wake-up call, we repent and begin the journey home – and all our journeys are convoluted and even seem to go backwards at times. Jesus is our Savior, but not yet Lord of our life. Then we get another wake-up call and make Him Lord also – never realizing that we have to make that decision every single day for the rest of our lives – because of our free will that is still tainted by our old sin nature. Hence the convoluted journey home. We are never alone, because He met us the day we repented and turned toward home. As believers we inhabit a strange reality – we are saved and we are actively being saved, at the same time. It’s interesting to note that the Father didn’t wait for the Prodigal to get cleaned up before he adorned him with precious clothing and jewelry. Remember, they were still a long way off when he met him. Kind of how Jesus’ blood covers our filth with his righteousness. And He does that every single day until the day we walk up the steps to the front porch, He opens the door and we are Home. The day we see Him face-to-face is the day our filth is irrevocably washed away. Because of my failures as a believer, 1 John 1:9 is a comfort that keeps me headed Home. Blessings and hope to you and your family…Courage also.

  6. TimC says:

    LOL! The message on Sunday morning was about the father who was full of grace and his two sons, one who repented of his sin and returned, and the other who got angry because the father showered grace on the one who repented. The angry son wouldn’t even enter the celebration.

    And of course, the question is: which son am I?

  7. bobnearseattle says:

    While many see the Prodigal Son story as having a (mostly) happy ending – a heavenly reunion of sorts – I’ve always read it as sort of a cliffhanger.
    And, in this day of frequent movie sequels and reboots, I’ve often wondered what “Part Two” of the story might be.
    After the reconciliation, the party, the hopeful reunification of brothers and family, etc. –
    what next? What happens the next morning and the days after that?
    Will everything be “Kumbaya” or, after the “glow” has faded, will the family return to their former ways, attitudes, and differences? If so, will there be another “redemption” moment?
    How would Jesus have written chapter 2 or told the epilogue of that parable?
    Whether we identify with the role of the younger or older sons, I suppose He could have purposely left it up to each of us to write the remaining chapters of our stories….

    • Sandie says:

      Bob – until that day we see Jesus face-to-face, we are saddled with our own sin nature. So there is constant struggle between the new and old – so eloquently expressed by Paul in Romans Chapter 7. I liken my path to heaven to my old days boating in open water…I know where I started, and I know my destination, but because of the vagaries of open water (tides, wind, other boaters, rocks, islands, my equipment, weather), the path is not a straight line…life in Christ is much the same. Again, I hold to God’s promises:
      John 10: 27-29
      He will protect us and allow nothing to snatch us away from Him.
      1 John 1:9 (written to believers)
      He knows our weakness and proclivity to fall short and has made provision for it.
      Phillipians 1:6
      He began the good work in us and has taken on the responsibility of seeing it through until we are complete, finished, perfected.
      There are many more verses that give me day-to-day hope, but these are my ‘go to’ foundation for my faith.

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