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Compel them to come in!

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So often, rather than compelling people to come into church, more and more, the church wants to send people away. Have a problem with addiction? You're sent to the Salvation Army. If you're hungry, you're told where the nearest soup kitchen is. On the verge of homelessness? They'll direct you to a shelter. There are actually churches that prepare lists just for this purpose.

While there is nothing wrong with providing resources, as long as the church is helping support those organizations financially, it does speak volumes to a single mother, at her wits end, seeking help from the church she attends, only to be given a list of potential resources.

In scripture we are told of a large crowd that had gathered to hear Jesus speak, it was getting late, and the people were getting hungry. The disciples suggested that Jesus send them away. I can almost hear the disciples thinking 'Send these people away, it's late! And we don't want the responsibility of having to feed them!' Even though the disciples had seen Jesus' miracles, their laziness and unbelief in God's provision was easier - just send them away.

What did Jesus say? "They don't need to go away, you feed them!" Upon hearing this, the disciples began to make excuses. I am sure Jesus rolled his eyes. Oh maybe not so that anyone could see it, but there had to be times, like this, where He wanted to.

Jesus told them; bring what you have to me. And He prayed and He asked God to bless the small amount that He had. God did bless it, and He multiplied it and as the scripture states; they all ate and were satisfied.

Let's stop sending people away; let's compel them to come in!

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