Friday, 10 July 2015

Persona Non Grata

Proverbs 5:21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and He ponders all his goings.

       Persona non grata literally means "an unwelcome person." Thank God, we have all been welcomed into the kingdom of God and none of us are unwelcome. As a matter of fact, we have all been invited to the Lord's table and His eternal gracious life. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
      All of us come under the category of whosoever. There are so many invitations from God to live a God-filled life of blessing and joy. Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. God has extended this gracious gift of eternal life to anyone who will accept the Lord's love. He has made it clear over and over again that we are loved and welcomed into an eternal relationship with Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are the only ones who can make ourselves persona no grata by refusing the gift of salvation God has given us freely and by insisting on walking in constant disobedience to God's word. 
      Jude 1:19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. Can this life choice be repented of? Yes, however, insisting on a rebellious lifestyle will become harder to repent of as the rebellion becomes part of your very being. Rom. 1:39 And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong.
What more can God do to extend His love toward us? What more can He do to say "You are more than welcome into my kingdom." Someone might say, "If you only knew the evil I have done. What can God do with me?" Newsflash, I might not know what evil you have done but God already knows all about it and is willing to forgive you if you ask Him to do so. That is the power of Jesus' blood and the love of God's heart toward us all. Heb. 8:12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.
      There are no unwelcome people in God's eternal plan. 2 Pet. 3:4 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. Will there be some changes that will happen in our lives when we do ask Christ to be our Lord? Oh, ya, you betcha! The Lord will mold, guide and nurture our souls into what His eternal vision is for our lives. Isa. 64:8 Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
      God has used all kinds of people who would have been deemed persona non grata by the everyday folk in the church today. We read of Rahab the harlot. Josh. 2:1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there. She hides the spies from the king and lies to the king as to who they were. Josh. 2:4 Rahab had hidden the two men, but she replied, “Yes, the men were here earlier, but I didn’t know where they were from. 

      Rahab was rewarded a blessing for believing the story of God and God's chosen people. Josh. 6:25 And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had; and she dwells in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. Isn't it interesting that a person can walk a hundred steps away from God but will be forgiven with just one step back to God. Rahab was not an unwelcome person, but through believing in God with what information she had about the God of Israel, she was saved.
      It may look helpless for a lot of us who have been praying for family members and loved ones for years. I say, "Do not stop praying or believing for them who seems to be doing all they can to be rejected by God." God wants none to perish and all mankind to come to repentance, including some of the miserable people we have been praying for every day of our lives. 

      Don't give up on your sons and daughters that seem to be lost with a heart of stone. Don't give up on praying for your parents who think you are a Christian fanatic. Don't stop praying for the friends that have rejected you because you would not agree with the sinful lifestyle they had chosen. Don't stop believing in the power of the Holy Spirit to change any heart for God. Everyone is welcome to the love that God has for all man. Rom. 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Don't stop believing and praying for all the people God has put on your heart no matter what mess they are in. Amen!