Yesterday (Saturday) we had house church fellowship at my home. During last week my intention was to invite a fellow from the local mobile home park we minister at.
Thursday I went to visit with some of the people we disciple and I stopped at this mans home first. He asked me if I would take him to vote on Friday and I told him I would. I asked him if he would come to eat at our house on Saturday and that I would come over and pick him up. He said yes he would.
All of this has stemmed from the scripture where Jesus said, "When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the ressurrection of the just." Luke 14:12-14
I have been dealing with this scripture for a while, because both of the places I have fellowship here in my city and also in Texas where I am from this was not being followed. We (myself included), would always invite people from our fellowship to our homes to eat and vice versa. I never really new any poor because I didn't go out in an effort to reach anyone who was poor.
I know some may say well the scripture is just a metaphor or something to that effect. I say that Jesus said it and we must follow as He wills. Since coming to Conway that very scripture has been on my mind a lot. Especially when we were invited to another brothers home to eat and of course then others were at our home also.
Now though reality has hit me. I have been doing an outreach ministry every week where this gentleman lives. Which happens to be one the most run down areas of the city. You name it drugs, alcohol, prostitution, homosexuality, drive by shootings and of course the poor. It's all there at this mobile home park. The very people Jesus spoke about who would be amongst us.
Now back to where I started this post. Thursday night after having invited this man to my home reality hit me. When I say reality I mean thoughts and flesh were being hammered by concerns. This gentleman is like an adult version of Pig Pen from the Peanuts comics. His living conditions are not very hygenic as well as himself. He is a very gentle and kind person.
Anyway during the night some concerns came to light as I was sleeping. I was worried about how he would make my house and furniture smell and what if he brought some cockroaches to my house. With all of this going on in my mind I felt the deep conviction of the Lord weigh heavily on my heart. The Lord showed me where I still had an ill will towards my friend concerning how he dressed and looked. He showed me that as long as I was going over to where he lived I was ok being around him. Now that I was going to bring him to my "clean" home that I really wasn't comfortable with that. After all of the praying and seeking forgiveness with the Lord I went back to sleep with a peace from God. Repentance! I had to repent of the issue still buried within me.
Friday morning I went to pick the man up and I had the peace of the Lord in my heart. Granted my nose wasn't happy, but my mind was. I took him to run his errands (he doesn't have transportation) and then we went to the public library to early vote where we stood in line for over 30 minutes. Then he was ready to go home.
Saturday evening I went to pick him up and bring him over to my house. Well, when I got there he wasn't home. So I went to where I thought he might be and he was walking back to his home carrying his big big duffle bag full of clothes. He has to walk over two miles each way to wash his clothes. I pulled over and told him to get in. I asked him if he was still coming to eat and he told me he wasn't feeling good and would have to cancel. I told him that would be ok and we would pray for him. I took him back to his house and said, I will see you Sunday. As I dropped him off he to told me to tell my family hello and that he really misses them.
There it is, God used all of that to show me where I still had pride and needed to repent. I urge you as you read this to go out of your comfort zone and see the needs of those who can't repay.
Don't forget the poor as they need the gospel and the love. I feel we have become to complacent with just hanging out with those within our own circle of friends and fellowship and in turn have neglected the very words of Jesus. How are we to reach out to people if we won't go to them and in turn maybe invite them to eat. Jesus did a lot of ministry eating with the poor so shouldn't we? I praise God for showing me where I still had issues concerning this. Praise God!!!