god uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
BUT NOW IN CHRIST JESUS YOU WHO WERE ONCE FAR AWAY HAVE BEEN BROUGHT NEAR BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST.
You can learn a lot from an ordinary mom.
Growing up, my mom was always inviting everyone to stay for dinner. She fed our friends like it was her job. There were five of us kids, and never much to spare, but she was always turning two small cans of tuna and a loaf of bread into a feast. So, as long as you were okay with beans and tortillas or hot dogs and mac, there was a plate for you. Every day, friends and stragglers walked home from school with us for lunch. I remember my mom tiling the counter with slices of bread and slapping on the peanut butter, peanut butter, peanut butter, jelly, jelly, jelly. It was the familiar beat of her heart spread out before us—loving the cool kids and the odd ducks equally—doling out chips and love to fill us up. At the time, I was often embarrassed by her inclusive love—sitting in judgment over her liberality with my siblings’ friends. “Doesn’t she even know what that kid is like? A dork, a bully, a player, a weirdo…” Oh, but she knew. She was fully aware of who she was including, and she did it on purpose. What she wasn’t aware of was how it was forming me into the woman I am now—a mom like her (I hope) who always keeps an open seat at the table, along with an extra bag of chips.
This is the essence of our verse.
Jesus invites everyone in—all of us, near and far. This is his heart for you. For me. For everyone. Right now. And there’s excitement and urgency here that I don’t want you to miss. Heaven itself rejoices when one more outsider comes and sits at God’s table (Luke 15:7). And we should too! Let’s read about the amazing transformation that happens when we accept God’s invitation.
“...remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. BUT NOW in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.” —Ephesians 2:12-13
ON THE PODCASTNatalie & Vera are diving into Ephesians 2:13 and talking about how to talk to share the gospel with your kids. Don't miss out on this episode, and be sure to check out the FREE Easter download on our site!
(CONTINUED FROM ABOVE)
Do you hear that? You were far off, you were separate, alienated, a stranger. You were without hope and without God in the world. BUT NOW. NOW something happened, something that changed everything. NOW the miraculous has occurred. NOW the unbelievable wonder of your salvation has come. NOW Jesus has brought you near. Those things that you were have come untrue. You have a new right-now reality. NOW you are “in Christ Jesus,” and it’s simply amazing. You have been brought near, and there is no “far away” anymore. And this invitation is for everyone—not just you or me, but any who would come to the table.
So, who can you invite?
Who’s waiting, a stranger out in the cold, longing for an invitation to sit at the table? We all have someone, someone who longs to be invited in. I posed this question to our Dwell team this week, and I had no earthly idea of the heavenly work our ladies are up to. I choked back tears listening to each woman’s story of bringing someone in—someone hurting or alone, someone struggling to know where they fit in, someone exhausted and angry at God—all of them invited in. Here they were doing just what Jesus had done for them, bringing in the “far away,” giving them a spot in their hearts.
We’re all just ordinary people.
I was struck again with this fact: God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things—things that make the heavens burst forth with singing. We tend to think only people on platforms do real ministry. But that simply isn’t true. The most important opportunities God gives us are with the few, not the crowds. No one ever says the most impactful person in their life is some prominent author or speaker or influencer. They always point to someone who loved them, someone who took the time to welcome them in and bring them near. I know it’s true, because the most important people in my own life aren’t famous people, but ordinary people like my mom, who showed me how to open up my table and my heart to anyone who needs a place.
HEY, THIS SUNDAY IS EASTER. SO HERE'S MY CHALLENGE: WHO WILL YOU INVITE TO EASTER DINNER?
Thanks for reading,
Meet Natalie,Dwell co-founder
Hi there, I'm Natalie. I'm so glad you're here. I'd love to connect with you and hear more about what God is doing in your life!
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