Adult Education for Fall
by Pastor Scott
Have you ever been excluded from something? Most people have at least one story of feeling excluded. Many of those stories come from the younger years. Maybe you weren’t invited to a birthday party of someone’s house, when everyone else was. Or maybe you were left standing on the
sidelines during a ballgame or a gym class. But people of all ages can relate to being left out of a conversation or an event.
I think we handle the feeling of being excluded better as we age, but no matter how young or old you are, exclusion is
certainly one of the worst feelings a person can experience. These feelings are magnified if you are someone with mobility or health issues, disability, or poverty. You may already feel like you don’t fit in so being excluded just increases those feelings. Exclusion is something that is very
painful and unwanted and can lead to increased alienation and loneliness.
How does God feel about exclusion and what does He ask of his people when it happens to us or we see it happening to those around us? In our Bible study on Sunday mornings we’ve begun to look at the book of 1st Peter. Peter wrote
this letter to encourage Christians that were being treated very unfairly. In our study, Kyle Idleman asks us questions like, “When have you felt left out or excluded from something in your life?”
No one likes to be rejected at any time of their life, whether it’s at school, in the workplace, with friends or family. And there will be times, if you are living as a Christ-follower, that you will feel left out.
But it is even worse when we, the people of God, exclude others from our community of faith. Making someone feel like an outsider is about as far from loving our neighbor as ourselves as God would ever want from any of us. But all of us are guilty of it at one time or another.
The amazing thing about God and His word to us is how He guides us all with a pastoral warmth–leading us all with a message of hope in the middle of a very dark world. This is the message that we are to bring to the world, both in our words and in our actions. And it starts with getting our heart right with God.
Whenever we reach out in love to those around us, we run the risk of being labeled–and at times, being excluded. We may have a desire to share our faith with others, yet in our
minds we just know we’re going to be rejected or even laughed at. But God wants us to know we’re doing the right thing in His eyes by doing all we can to reach out to the lost and inviting them into the family of God. No one is excluded from the Good News. The Kingdom of God is available to all and “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be
saved” (Romans 10:13).
First Peter is a strong and reliable word of God that will give a person comfort and peace, especially in times of suffering. When you’re feeling like the world just doesn’t understand you, it’s essential to remember that God does understand, and He loves you very much.
If you have time on Sunday morning, come and join us in the East Room in the basement at 9:30a.m. It’s a time to reflect on God’s Word and how that Word will guide us through our daily lives.
In Jesus’ name,
August 19, 2022
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