Last week I descended from a bus and a cheer went up. Young men and women lined the entrance to the hotel waving flags and pompoms. They heralded our arrival with shouts of welcome. Walking past the cheering lineup I was embarrassed and surprisingly choked with emotion. Struggling back tears and feeling slightly uncomfortable, we passed along the row of smiling faces into the beautiful hotel lobby. I looked back at the cheerleaders, wondering why I felt guilty and emotional!
“Because you’ve done nothing to deserve it Liz” Exactly! I had done nothing to deserve the cheers and the hero’s welcome, yet because I was with my friend, I was receiving the same benefit and welcome that she was. It was like being with the President or Queen of England as the crowd cheered, knowing the cheering was not for me but receiving the benefits of association with them.
My friend had invited me to join her as a guest at a special event to honor “Owners.” Throughout the day, I received all the benefits and privileges my friend did; complimentary lunch, dessert tasting and an abundance of free gifts. At considerable cost my friend had paid for and earned all the privileges over the years, yet as her friend I was lavished with gifts and entertainment I had done nothing to deserve.
The experience deeply moved me, a demonstration of God’s grace so lovingly and freely poured out on us because of our relationship with Jesus. Every day He loads us with benefits we don’t deserve and we didn’t earn, just because we are identified with Jesus. I thought of the day those of us identified with Jesus on earth will be ushered into heaven with a great roaring welcome, not because of anything we have done, but because of the work our friend and savior Jesus has already done for us on the cross. If I could cry so easily over some cheerleaders – what a day THAT will be!!!
At first it was hard for me to accept the generous welcome and outpouring of gifts, just as it’s hard for us to accept the free gift of God’s love and His goodness to us. It’s hard to receive His blessings without feeling we have to do something to earn them. Yet as uncomfortable as it was, God was reminding me I don’t have to do anything for Him to bless me except to love Him, to accept His invitation, and to be identified as a friend of Jesus.
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are my friends if you do whatever I command you. I no longer call you servants…but I have called you friends.” John 15:13-15
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
What privilege and joy to share this message with women around the world! Would you please pray for our butterflies in S.E Asia, India, Poland, Russia, Kenya, Peru, Honduras, UK and USA who are sharing God’s invitation to enjoy His great love and grace, with women who believe they are unworthy, undeserving and beyond hope.
Pray our butterflies will experience God’s blessing and grace in their own lives, and that many more women’s hearts in these countries will open to receive the free gift of God’s love through relationship with Jesus.
Thank you for praying for Martha who has been ministering with our butterflies in the slums of Mumbai where they were reaching the poorest of the poor last week. God moved powerfully as they responded to Martha’s invitation to drink from the living water, receive the love of God and experienced His power to heal broken hearts even in the slums. Praise God, one lady from a prostitute lifestyle was saved during the meetings!
I pray the Lord will pour out His love, His goodness and His grace into your every need this week and you will experience His undeserved showers of blessings – Just because He loves you and you are identified with Him!
P.S. If you live in Orlando, you are welcome to join us in our office, The Upper Room, every Tuesday at 10am, for worship and prayer for women in our neighborhood and around the world. Address 3925 Peppervine Drive, Orlando 32828
Yours In His love
Founder & Executive Director