Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Spending time with Riff Raff

A neighbor once complained that our food pantry was attracting riff raff. That made me smile. It reminded me of the time that Jesus was accused of being a friend of tax collectors and sinners.

It was true. One Jesus disciples, Levi, was a tax collector. They were considered as undesirable as prostitutes and thieves. They were excluded from religious services and social events. Their testimony was not valid in court.

Upon accepting Jesus' call, Levi threw a big party for his fellow tax collectors and friends. He wanted them to meet Jesus and the Apostles. His friends would have been outsiders but they all needed Jesus.

Levi had only been a believer for a short time but he is so concerned about the condition of his tax-collecting buddies that he takes a risk and throws an evangelistic party. The veteran spiritual leaders – highly educated, thoroughly trained, well-seasoned – missed the entire point of what Levi and Jesus were doing at this party.

Levi demonstrated the relational concept of soul winning. Like Levi we each have a circle of friends and acquaintances whom we can invite them to a church event that they might find interesting.

Would you dedicate Friday nights to Jesus? Plan a night of board games and snacks and invite an unchurched family so you can get to know them. Include another Christian family. As you spend time together and as God leads, you can move conversations deeper into personal matters, and finally into spiritual matters.

Create opportunities to hang out with unchurched people by becoming involved in community groups, school organizations and local politics.

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders;
make the most of every opportunity.
Colossians 4:5

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