Just a few short weeks ago I sat down in church, ready to worship and learn. There was someone sitting next to me I didn’t recognize, which isn’t uncommon for me.
Nothing different. Nothing unusual.
But then it was time to greet each other. And I felt this nudge. You know the one. The Holy Spirit was nudging me to do more than just say Good Morning. How many times have I ignored that nudge? How many times have I brushed it off as nothing?
I turned to the young man and said hello and asked his name. I asked how long he’d been coming to Rejoice!. (I’ve learned not to say, “are you visiting?” because inevitably I say that to someone who’s gone to church there longer than me!) His answer surprised me. He was there because he’d been once before, months ago, under very different circumstances. And our church had moved him at that point so much, that as soon as he was able he came back.
He had quite the story and past. All I could think was, this guy needs to get connected. He needs a small group and some strong Christian men around him. I introduced him to a couple guys I knew would embrace him. He got plugged in with some awesome people, even spending time with them outside of small group. He even ended up with a new, full-time job with a great employer, who happens to be a Christian, who is ready to invest in his life and encourage him along.
I don’t know what the future holds for this young man. He has a lot to overcome. But I do know that, as a church, we did exactly what God has called the church to do. Wrap our arms around the hurting and lost, speak life into what was once dead, fill people with the truth and with Christ’s love. A motto at our church is,
“1 > 99
Lost people matter to God, and so they matter to us.
We strive to be a church that unchurched people love to attend.
Jesus sends us out, to the ends of the earth, to share the good news of Jesus.”
Luke 15:1-32, Acts 1:8
We believe whole-heartedly in this motto and strive to live it out. Do we fail? Absolutely! Do we ignore the Holy Spirit’s nudge? Yep, we’re all guilty of it.
But when we listen…just stop and listen…and then obey the Holy Spirit, God can accomplish mighty deeds!
Sometimes I just marvel at God’s goodness to people. Only he can orchestrate something like this. Only He can put the right people in the right places at the exact times He needs them. And only He can nudge us to do what’s right even when it’s out of the ordinary. Only He can set people free from the chains of this life!