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Birdwell Lane Church Of Christ
1616 E. 11th Pl
Big Spring, TX  79720
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This Week's Bulletin Article


     Isn't it nice to be invited to things? It makes you feel like part of a group. I think at some level we all want to feel like we belong.

     How did you feel when you wanted to be part of a certain group but they didn't want you? Maybe it was the fact that you didn't look just like them, or dress like them, or have a good enough job, or drive a good enough vehicle.

     Sometimes we might be born into certain groups. We grow up learning the things that our group knows. We are taught to do things the way that our group does them. We get very comfortable in our group (since that is all that we have known) and we tend to dismiss those who are not in our group. Even worse, we may come to look down upon people that are not a part of us.

     Some people who are not in a particular group will work really hard to earn the chance to get into that group. Whether it means making more money or exercising and perfecting a certain skill, some individuals will dedicate their time, abilities, and means in order to gain access to a desired group. When they get in, they may have a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction based upon everything they have done. The irony, sometimes, is that they then start to look down upon others. The very people that they used to hang out with are now considered beneath them because they are not in the group.

     This is nothing new. In fact, Jesus dealt with many different groups while he was here on earth. You might think that since he is the Son of God, then he would have come just for all the really good people. Well, in fact, some of the harshest statements made by Jesus were told to groups that were thought of by others as the really good people. Surprisingly, they were also the most religious groups.

     Among these groups, the ones which drew the most criticism from Jesus were the scribes and Pharisees. Not only did they pride themselves on how well they kept the Law of Moses, but they also added their own rules and traditions to God's law and they looked down upon and rejected people who were not part of their group.

     The good news is that Jesus invites everyone to be a part of his group. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says, Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (ESV).

     To anyone who thinks that they are worthless and will never be good enough to be in any kind of group, Jesus says, "Come to me." To anyone who is working so hard to make themselves become acceptable to certain groups, Jesus says, "Come to me." To anyone who is piling on more rules and regulations because they think it will make them more acceptable, Jesus says, "Come to me." Even to those who reject him and look for groups as far away from God as they can, Jesus says, "Come to me."

     What an invitation! The greatest part about it is that it is for everyone! Now that Jesus has died to redeem humanity and has established his covenant, there are ultimately only two groups - those in Christ and those outside of Christ. Which group are you in?

Greg Surles
Birdwell Lane church of Christ

Preacher: Greg Surles

- - Ministry Purpose Statement - -
Teaching, Training and Transforming Lives Into
The Image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29)