When I lived on Long Island, I would often serve with an organization called Lighthouse Mission. The Lighthouse mission exists to feed the hungry and help the homeless by sharing Gods love in practical ways.
Lighthouse Mission shares Gods love with a Saturday morning kids clubs. The goal of their clubs is to reach kids with the love of Jesus. They bus in kids from homeless shelters, kids living in extreme poverty, kids who the only meal they will receive that Saturday is at the lighthouse mission.
One Saturday I was helping and working with the older kids in 4th and 5th grade. I was walking from kid to kid to see how they were doing on their craft project and I sat down at the end of the table in an empty chair. I started talking to the kids and I don’t even remember what I said but I said something to a girl across the table from me and she looked at me and said, “You don’t know me.” I introduced myself and she said it again.
It was obvious she had no interest in sharing even the smallest detail about her life. I don’t know exactly what was going on in her life, but I knew it wasn’t easy and I knew she was exactly where she needed to be.
She was right. I didn’t know her, but Jesus did, and He still does. He knows everything about that girl. He knows exactly what she is going through and exactly what she needs. I was so thankful that someone invited her to the Saturday kids club at Lighthouse Mission.
Maybe you have invited someone to church before and they responded in a negative way. Or you offered to pray for someone, and they said no. Maybe you tried to share your faith and the person you were sharing with wasn’t interested. After those kinds of experiences, you may have felt like giving up. I know I was having second thoughts about going back to the Saturday kids club.
In Luke 14:12-14 Jesus says this: “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
What does Jesus want us to know? That people are lost and hurting without Him, burdened by a world that pushes selfish motives and they are often forgotten. So, don’t give up. Invite people to church, pray for people, and share your faith even when its hard, intimidating, and sometimes awkward.
Because one day when Jesus comes back some of those people who said no at first will have said yes and will join us at the resurrection of the righteous because you didn’t give up. You extended an invitation, said a prayer, shared your faith and went back to the Saturday kids club.