“If a person puts their trust in God, it doesn’t matter if that person is a Jew or a Gentile. There is only one Lord, and he is generous to everyone who asks for his help. All who call out to the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:12)
Food For Thought: When you were a kid, did you ever have the humiliating experience of being the last one chosen when sides were being formed? The captains were choosing sides, and then there were two—you and some other poor chump were the only ones left. And that other poor chump was selected—and he felt like a million bucks, but you were left standing there all by your lonesome. You were the leftover; it was painfully obvious that you were the chump of all chumps. And the unfortunate captain who inherited you didn’t even bother to call your name. She just turned to walk with her team to their side of the field, and you just kind of fell in step at the rear.
Cliques and clubs—we all hate them, especially if we are not in them. We deal with them all of our lives: In the nursery school sandbox, on the playground in grammar school; in Junior High everyone who was anyone was invited to the party, and you were not; in High School it was either in with the jocks and the cheerleaders or hanging out with the nerds—and you were usually at home with the nerds. And to your dismay, those cliques didn’t stop when you donned the cap and gown. As an adult, you faced cliques in your social circles, the good ol’ boys club at work, and sadly, even in the one place where no cliques shouldn’t be—at church.
But the clique and clubs you faced were nothing compared to the one we find in the Bible. The worst, most exclusive clique of all developed among the Jews in Bible times. They had been chosen as God’s people, and it was his plan that through the loving relationship they had with him, the Gentile world would be provoke to holy envy, i.e., they would want what Israel had. From the beginning, it was God’s desire that all the people of the earth would be blessed (saved) through the children of Abraham.
But Israel forgot that. They became prideful in their sovereign election as God’s people and exclusive in their attitude toward a lost world. Rather than becoming good news ambassadors to the rest of the world, they clung tightly to their little secret way of gaining and keeping favor with God—through the observance of the Law of God. They became the 10 Commandment Club.
However, God interrupted that little clique and busted up their little club by sending Jesus to tear down the wall that divided Jew from Gentle; at his death he obliterated every obstacle that prevented the Gentile world from access to his presence. The Jewish faith no longer held a monopoly on favored-nation status with God. Finally, anyone could be in the club—everyone had the opportunity now to gain right standing with God.
Here’s where it stands now: All who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. You don’t get in because of your heritage, because of your observance of religious rituals, or because you have somehow made yourself worthy. You are in simply and only because you call out to God for help—you place your faith in Jesus Christ to save you. When you do that, you become a full-fledged member of God’s forever family—chosen, adopted accepted, sanctified, given a mission and gifted a destiny. And here’s more good news-membership is free. Your fees have been paid in full forever by Jesus Christ.
That’s the Good News! And you have the assignment of telling others that the clubhouse is now open to anyone who will call upon the name of the Lord.
Prayer: Lord, today someone is waiting to receive your invitation—and I am holding it in my hand. Help me to be sensitive—aware at all times that the invitation of all invitations has been committed to me, and those you are calling will only hear it if I do my part as the messenger. When I am sitting at my desk and the phone rings, or when I am at the doctors office or stop by the grocery store and there’s suddenly an unexpected opportunity to engage someone, open my eyes to that one whose heart is ready to receive the Good News. Lord, forgive my exclusive attitude, and help me to be an ambassador for the open door club!
One more thing… “You can take nothing greater to the lost world than the impress and the reflection of the love of God upon your life. That is the universal language.” —Henry Drummond