You Are Included, and You Are Wanted

Hands open

“All whom My Father gives (entrusts) to Me will come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out [I will never, no never, reject one of them who comes to Me]” (John 6:37, AMPC, bold emphasis mine).

I had a conversation with my dad not too long ago about the beliefs a certain denomination holds dear. While their doctrine is slightly different than ours, they love Jesus with all their hearts and believe on Him as God and Savior. My dad and I agreed that, even if they are somewhat biblically off in part of their understanding, they still have the most essential things right.

Dad expressed it like this: “When those individuals get to judgment day at the end of their lives, there is no way God is going to say to them, ‘Too bad. You got this one tenet wrong. You can’t come in.’ On the contrary, He is going to examine the fruits of their lives and take great delight in the way they loved Him. With arms wide open and the hugest, loving smile on His beautiful face, He will exclaim: ‘You served me passionately! You believed in My Son! You walked with Me! Well done, precious, faithful child. Welcome to My house; come! Come share in My overflowing joy to have you home!”

As I reflected on our conversation, Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. He whispered exuberantly, “I am not an exclusive God. I am inclusive! I am always looking for the tiniest hint that a human heart is turned toward Me – to honor that one’s desire for Me, and to lend My aid in their search for Me.

“My eyes run to and fro throughout the whole earth, searching out spirits that are reaching out for Me. I rush towards them intimately and give them strong support in their pursuit of My heart. I long to include; never to exclude. I will never, no never, reject one of them who comes to Me!” (2 Chron. 16:9).

Jesus is not on the lookout for the wrong things we do, in order to chastise us. Rather, He is on the lookout for each and every tiny and huge expression of our lives that shows that we desire to honor Him… attentively watching for every action and word that He might celebrate, encourage, and strengthen. He is like the parent whose small child proudly brings him a sheet of paper decorated with colorful scribbles, and His face lights up with pride and delight in that little one. No, the work presented is no earthshattering masterpiece. But it fills up His heart to overflowing.

Even when our attempts to serve Him are feeble and weakened by the painful seasons of life that sometimes handicap our efforts, He welcomes and profoundly rejoices in them. It’s not what we are accomplishing that steals His heart; it’s the fact that we want to be with Him, that we yearn to please Him.

“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory” (Matt. 12:20, NIV). If the reed of your faith is bruised, He will hold you until it heals. If the wick of your passion is smoldering, He will gently nurse it back to a roaring flame. He will not let go of you until He rights the wrongs that have happened to you, and tenderly, zealously delivers you to victory over your enemies.

Jesus loves to celebrate your triumphs, both the little ones and the weighty ones. He also cherishes the privilege of carrying you through your darkest nights. In whatever season you find yourself in, remember. You are His most cherished treasure. He always wants and welcomes you. He will never, no never, turn you away from His waiting arms.

“Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go” (John 6:37, MSG).

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What are some practical ways that we can imitate God’s inclusive, welcoming, loving nature?