Chocolate on Mondays God's Welcoming Heart Journal Kingdom Hospitality

Chocolate on Mondays: Good News–God’s Welcoming Heart

March 13, 2016
hospitality

 

Paul always knew how to sneak in the Good News. The Good News, the Gospel–is God’s Welcoming Heart.

Last week at Growth Group we read the Gospel–in an epistle–in two different spots. With the million words I speak everyday (I’m an extrovert–I can’t help it) — with the million words–give or take a few–you’d think I could sneak in the Good News midst the million.

Here’s the way I like to say it – often, with coffee and a piece of chocolate cake. (I do love a good piece of chocolate cake.)

Want to come over? God invited me.  I’d like to pass on invitation.

The open home reveals the open heart of God. #freeprintable

 

Paul’s better at it – chocolate or not. Here he is at his best – sneaking in the Good News:

This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.  But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.  All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen. I Timothy 1:15-17 NLT

And again, a couple chapters on:

Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith:

Christ was revealed in a human body
and vindicated by the Spirit.
He was seen by angels
and announced to the nations.
He was believed in throughout the world
and taken to heaven in glory. I Timothy 3:16 NLT

Oh, yeah. Much better than cake and coffee. Words to feed your soul.

Whenever I speak on hospitality I want to get at least this straight–midst the million words:

The welcoming heart of God is the Good News–

He opened His door wide at creation, His arms wide at redemption, His call-wide and clear-at ascension–

And He wants to use your table and mine to pass on His welcome.

I think I got that across at the NWMinistry Conference yesterday in Seattle. At least I hope I did. (Thanks for prayers!)

That’s it. That’s the Gospel – in a letter, in a blog, in a nutshell and in your heart. Check out I Corinthians 15: 1-6 if you want a refresher. (Paul, again. An extrovert? Not sure. But he didn’t waste a word.)

Christ died for our sins

He was buried

He was raised on the third day.

 

Once in, the Good News isn’t meant to stay put. We RSVP and then pass it on. Otherwise God would save us and swoop us up–right then and there–all empty chairs, all at once.

Set an extra place at the table this week. See who God brings. You may need to actually invite someone. They may come — although ninety per cent of those I invite never come. So don’t sweat it. Invite anyway. You know people I’ll never meet. They are yours to invite. Hospitality–God’s welcoming heart–is all about two cups more than just one.

Two are better

 

And I do sweat it at times. Then my ironing friend, Bonnie reminds me: “It’s God who does the real work, Sue.” We all need ironing friends like Bonnie Masten, i.e., “As iron sharpens iron, so one girlfriend sharpens another.” (Thanks, Bonnie. I always need reminding to get over myself.)

Want a reminder of how to sneak in the Good News? Here’s your free printable. Original art by my favorite printmaker and dear sister-in-law, Anne Moore. Check out her art at annesprints.com.

welcomeheart

Click here for your free printable.

PS

For a simple and clear presentation of the Good News, my free ebook is available for first time subscribers this month.

Linking often with these lovely writers:

The Art of HomeMaking Mondays Soul Survival LiveRandomlySimple  TestimonyTuesdays Me, Coffee, & Jesus,  CornerstoneConfessions, CoffeeandConversation,Purposeful Faith Intentional Tuesday Jennifer Dukes Holley Gerth KristinHillTaylor, SittingAmongFriends,Thought-Provoking Thursday Faith-Filled Friday Grace&Truth GiveMeGrace

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7 Comments

  • Reply Mabel Pittman March 14, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Prayed for the weekend conference……and thought of you yesterday as our pastor preached from Acts regarding Lydia…..because she opened her home to Paul and “the others,” all of Europe came to hear the Gospel! Of course, you’ve already alluded to that……that’s why I thought of you. ☺️

  • Reply Bonnie Masten March 14, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Thanks, Sue…as always “iron continues to sharpen iron”, even from afar. 🌹

  • Reply Becky Jones March 14, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Sue,
    I have never thought of you needed to be ironed but we all have our faults. I have watched you for years and have found very little wrong with you. My thoughts and prayers are with you along the way. We all mess up on occasion. Do you suppose your Dear Mom ever did have a mess?
    Love U,
    Becky

  • Reply holyvacationqueen March 15, 2016 at 8:55 am

    I love how you clearly bring the heart of the gospel out in the context of hospitality (and chocolate)..yes we are to invite others in to the party, to sup with our Jesus, to pass on the glory we received. It’s a beautiful thing this kingdom on earth! Aren’t we blessed! Visiting from next door today at #raralink up. So enjoyed it!

  • Reply Vaccinius March 16, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Thank you for this thought provoking post! You inspired me to write an epigram. I call these tetrametric quatrains “locuses”.

    COME

    To sinners Christ is Heaven sent.
    But kindly know you must repent.
    If rationally you will see
    no way The Lord will set you free.

    I posted just behind you on the blog hop of “Sitting Among Friends Blog Party”.

  • Reply sandraj2015 March 19, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Each time I ‘drop by’ your site, I am welcomed and blessed by your words. Visiting from Holley’s, and I love your message “He opened His door wide at creation, His arms wide at redemption, His call-wide and clear-at ascension”. Blessings!

    • Reply Sue March 28, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      thanks, sandra – hope you had a blessed Easter!

    I do talk to myself (a lot) — but I’d love to hear what you might have to say HERE: