Ken Hemphill: VALUING EVERY PERSON AS A GIFT OF GOD

How do you view daily interruptions?  You know what I mean.  You have a large “to-do-list,” and in the grocery store, you run into a neighbor you haven’t seen for a while.  Or maybe you are running a little late for an important event and an old friend you have been praying for just seems to show up in your path?  Do you see such events as divine interruptions and wonderful opportunities for showing someone love and sharing Christ, or do you see them as an unwelcome intrusion into your already over-crowded calendar?  How did Jesus respond when the woman with the issue of blood grabbed His cloak while He was on the way to heal the daughter of Jairus, or when He was approached by unclean lepers?  When we read the Gospels, it appears that much of Jesus’ day was totally unscripted.  Upon closer examination, we discover that Jesus treats each “unscripted” moment as a gift from the Father.
           

Let’s try another approach to the same question.  How do you respond when you encounter that neighbor who has been a thorn in the flesh?  Do you find yourself trying to avoid the people in your community who aren’t very loveable?  How about those folks whose lifestyle is contrary to everything you believe?  How did Jesus respond when He encountered a woman who was living in adultery and had already dispatched five husbands?  How did He respond to a tax collector who had taken advantage of his position for personal gain? 
           

What compelled Jesus to value every person as a gift of God and to see each interruption as a kingdom moment?  Let’s learn from the Master Himself.  You may recall that Jesus’ “rather unusual” behavior often caused members of the religious establishment of His day (Pharisees and scribes) to complain that He spent too much time with sinners. 
Could our problem be that we spend too little time with sinners to be effective in reaching them with the Good News?  When was the last occasion you intentionally spent time with a lost friend with the goal of building a bridge for sharing the incredible good news that God loves them so much He sent Jesus to die for them?  Perhaps you have been intimidated or even “turned-off” by the thought of evangelism.  You don’t feel gifted to share, or you think evangelism is pushy and presumptive.  Don’t quit reading, I think you will like the Velcro approach which is taken from the life and teaching of Jesus.

Let’s take a moment to sit at the Master’s feet.  We will study Luke 15. 

Ken Hemphill is the author of several books related to Sunday School. He will be speaking at several of our All Star Sunday School Training events. We have several dates we are looking for dates in the Fall. See http://allstarsundayschool.com/