What do you do when someone rings your doorbell? Our family usually goes through one of several responses. We will either freeze in place, pray that the other family member will answer the door so that we don’t have to, crack the door open just wide enough for us to size the other person up, or open the door wide open. But it usually depends on who is waiting outside. If the person is a salesperson or a political candidate, we might choose not to open the door; but if the person is a friend of the family, then we welcome them with open arms.

When the doorbell of the Church rings, many Christians respond in a similar way. If we don’t like a person because they look different, are from a different culture, have a different skin color, or have hurt us in the past, then we are reluctant to open the door of fellowship to them. This ought never to be characteristic of the Church. We should gladly receive others, for Jesus Christ has received us into His family. As recipients of His mercy, love, and forgiveness, we should gladly embody these attributes in our relations with others.

The doorbell is ringing. There are real people with real needs, feelings, and burdens standing outside. It could be a church associate going through a difficult time after a family member’s death. It could be a close friend who just lost his or her job. Perhaps a neighbor just needs someone to care and listen. Maybe a member of your family has made some bad decisions and hurt you — but now they want another chance. Will you open the door and receive them as Christ received you? Pray about ways you can share Christ’s love with the people God brings to your doorstep today.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.