Welcome to the club

It was 4th grade and I couldn’t wait to be in it. All the cool kids seemed to be a part, and I couldn’t wait untill I got my shot. I just needed to pick an instrument. To this day I still am not quite sure how I landed on this decision, but I ended up picking the trombone. That was my ticket into the club…yep, I was now officially a part of my school band.

Thinking back, it made it a little awkward trying to play the trombone considering that I had a “lip bumper” on my front lower teeth. My orthodontist said that would help to straighten things out. It didn’t work as well as I had hoped. But still, it felt good to be in the club.

When we realize we are a part of the club it makes us feel less alone. It helps us to not feel like we are the only one on the outside looking in at everyone else.

The Bible is stocked full of people that God used, even in spite of the club they were in. Many people we see in scripture would be people who we might group in “the club of the disqualified”.

Some of these people are individuals who I would have written off. Too far gone. Not possible to turn around. No way they could ever come back from where they have been. Israel had an abundance of leaders who fell into that category.

And then it happens. From the club of the disqualified, or the least likely to ever change…God does it. There hearts are turned. They repent. They change. They belong to a new club.

I love how God’s grace has that effect on people.

In 2 Chronicles 33 we read about one of Israel’s most notorious leaders. This guy didn’t just do things wrong. He did wrong things really well! So good in fact that the bible says he was worse than the pagan nations that God had driven out before the people of Israel. His name was Manasseh.

As you read about his life you find yourself thinking, “there is no way this guys is EVER going to turn around…” And then it happens. God does the unlikely.

But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the LORD his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed, the LORD listened to him and was moved by his request. So the LORD brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realized that the LORD alone is God!
(2 Chronicles 33:12, 13 NLT)

God allows the most distant to have a change of heart. The guy who was doing everything wrong, now has an opportunity to join the club of others who had made messes of their lives, and begins to build a new chapter. It wasn’t for just a few people in the bible that this opportunity was made available to.

So you have made some mistakes in life…welcome to the club.
You feel like things are too far gone…welcome to the club.
All you see is failure and you ask yourself, “Is there hope for me?” “Could God ever use someone like me?”…welcome to the club.

Perfection isn’t a requirement to get in. It comes through a changed heart…and that has been made available to all of us through what Jesus has already done. Change can come. There is still room in the club for you.

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