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Come to My Home

Posted by Troy Ready on

Global Partners Emphasis is one of my favorite seasons in the life of Greater Portland Bible Church. It provides us an opportunity to reflect on God’s faithfulness, to celebrate how He is currently moving among our city and the nations, and it inspires faith for the future of His Kingdom expanse! Our church truly is unique in that we have massive, church-wide participation in supporting 18 different Global Partners around the world!

This year our theme is Invitation from the King and centers upon Luke 14:23, “The master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.’”

From 2009 until 2013, our family was sent by GPBC to be representatives of Jesus in Central Asia among a Muslim people group and spent the first few years being “learners.” Learners of language, learners of culture, and learners of how the gospel would best embed within the heart of the nation. Over time, one of the unique cultural aspects that stood out to me was the typical greeting. It would go something like this, “How are you?” “How is your family?” “How is your health?” “Come to my home!”

Now, similar to American culture, those initial questions were often met with simple (and not necessarily true) responses, “I’m good,” “My family is fine.” However, if you accepted the invitation to be a guest at their home…well that’s where the deeper life and conversations would happen. Inevitably, joining them at their home meant sharing a meal, which also meant increased trust, intimacy, and an opportunity for the light of Jesus to be on display.

In a similar way, the King of Kings invites us to dine with Him! Not a “once in a lifetime” meal, or even just on significant occasions. Rather, He is ALWAYS inviting us to Himself, to be with Him, know Him, and grow in our amazement of who He is! This is truly incredible if you think about it…What other “king” makes such an invitation?

As the King is constantly inviting us to Himself, so we have the joy of inviting others into our homes and lives. I so appreciate Pastor Greg’s consistent encouragement and modeling of inviting neighbors and families into our homes.

This, however, also reminds me of a heartbreaking story that I heard a few years ago about an exchange student who studied at Portland State University. This young man had arrived from the Middle East, full of energy, excited to study and to experience what life in America was like. After three full years within the city, he graduated and was taken to the airport by an Uber driver. As the student exited the car and began to walk away the driver shouted out, “Hey, you forgot to get one of your suitcases!” In reply, the young man said, “That’s alright, you can have it.” Amazed and a bit confused, the driver responded, “Well, what is it?” The young man then held back his tears and shared that it was full of gifts he had brought from his home country. He had, in fact, packed an entire bag full of gifts to give to all of the families that would be inviting him to their homes. And after three years, the bag was still full. Not a single invitation had come.

Sadly, this stands in stark contrast to the Luke passage where the Master is COMPELLING people to “come in, that my house may be filled.” And so, may we be those that both accept the invitation from the King as well as those that are inviting others to His table! I’m hungry and ready to feast on what He has prepared for us in these coming weeks and season ahead.


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