Ezekiel 3:17-21 NKJV “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.” (emphasis mine).
by Ryan Duncan
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28
Once upon a time, there lived a wise and righteous king who cared deeply for his people. In order to ensure that his kingdom prospered, the king summoned one of his servants and gave him this decree,
"Go and stand at the door of the palace. If someone comes and asks to see me, open the door and allow them in so I may speak with them."
So the servant went and did as the king commanded. People came from far and wide to see the king. Some were rich men, some were great scholars, others were from noble families, and when they asked to see the king the doorman gave them entry. Then one day a poor beggar came to the palace door and asked to see the king. The doorman looked him over and frowned.
The beggar's clothes were dirty and torn, he wore no shoes and was unpleasant to look at.
"Surely my king would not wish to meet with such a man as this," the doorman said to himself, and turned the beggar away. Soon the doorman began turning others away; people he deemed too poor, or too sick, or too strange. When the king discovered what was being done he summoned the doorman to him.
"Why have you been turning people away from the palace?" the king demanded angrily. The doorman was surprised and replied meekly, "My king, I was only performing the duty you gave me."
"Your duty was to open the door for those who would see me," said the king, "not decide if they were worthy to do so."
It's unfortunate when we behave like the doorman in this story. We style ourselves the "Watchmen on the Wall," and if we see someone who doesn't quite fit our definition of worthy, we slam the door in his or her face. But God's grace is not ours to give away, and true forgiveness belongs to Christ alone. Our job is to open the door that leads to Christ, through prayer, through friendship, and through service.
Matthew 5:14-16 CEV You are the light for the whole world. A city built on top of a hill cannot be hidden, and no one lights a lamp and puts it under a clay pot. Instead, it is placed on a lampstand, where it can give light to everyone in the house. Make your light shine, so others will see the good you do and will praise your Father in heaven.
Remember, we all stand on equal footing at the door of Christ's mercy.
Luke 14:15-24 CEV After Jesus had finished speaking, one of the guests said, “The greatest blessing of all is to be at the banquet in God's kingdom!” Jesus told him: A man once gave a great banquet and invited a lot of guests. When the banquet was ready, he sent a servant to tell the guests, “Everything is ready! Please come.” One guest after another started making excuses. The first one said, “I bought some land, and I've got to look it over. Please excuse me.” Another guest said, “I bought five teams of oxen, and I need to try them out. Please excuse me.” Still another guest said, “I've just now married, and I can't be there.” The servant told his master what happened, and the master became so angry he said, “Go as fast as you can to every street and alley in town! Bring in everyone who is poor or paralyzed or blind or lame.” When the servant returned, he said, “Master, I've done what you told me, and there is still plenty of room for more people.” His master then told him, “Go out along the back roads and make people come in, so my house will be full. Not one of the guests I first invited will get even a bite of my food!”