I suppose that if Jesus were to set up an office here on earth and have a marquee sign out front it would read "Welcome Sinners". Constantly, and to the point of always making the religious leaders of the day mad, he would hang out with what was considered to be despicable characters.
I know, because I was one of those, and he came and hung out with me on a daily basis. No, not that old, but when I was at my worst point God met me where I was, not where he was, and completely transformed my life. That may be one of the things that make him so approachable - he is down to earth in the way he calls us, He sits with us, talks to us, hangs out with us and clearly demonstrates patience with us.
When we invite him into our homes. and into our battered lives, his mere presence creates an atmosphere of peace and love. The hatred, self-deprecation, shame and all those other things that hold us back seem to fall away when he comes near. But he won't join us unless we invite him to.
In Luke 19 he deals with the corrupt tax collector Zacchaeus by inviting himself over to his house to stay. In Verse 7 the people are all angry and say "He has gone to be the guest of a sinner". Zacchaeus being unfazed invited him over and became a changed man forever.
How many times has God tapped you on the shoulder, or appeared when you least expected him to try to get your attention? For some of us it has been a life long struggle to invite him in because we feel like he belongs with those religious folks who actually keep the rules, not us who are rebellious and "unqualified".
I found out something very important. He calls the so called "unqualified" to be qualified through him and then uses us to attract the folks who were just like we were into his family as well.
His sign is always on, always flashing "Welcome Sinners"!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.