If Jesus is risen, then there is a place for me.

by Pastor Pete Panitzke on April 21, 2020

Does a prisoner have a place in God’s family? Does a woman have a place in God’s family? Does a coward have a place in God’s family?
 
If Jesus has risen, then I, a prisoner, have a place in God’s family.
 
In Galatians 3:19-4:7 (read it here), Paul says that we are all prisoners. The purpose of the Ten Commandments is to make it clear to each of us that we are prisoners of sin. (Find the Ten Commandments here.) As you meditate on each commandment, admit to your God how sin has imprisoned you. Then go back to Galatians 3:26-27 and celebrate that in your baptism, you have been freed from your sins and made a part of God’s family. “You are no longer a slave, but God’s child, and since you are a child, God has made you also an heir” (Galatians 4:7).
 
If Jesus has risen, then I, a ___________, have a place in God’s family.
 
As we begin our reading about God’s heroes in Judges (read Judges 3-5 here), we will see that they are unlikely heroes. There is Ehud, a deceiver; Deborah, a woman whom God uses to bring about victory; and Barak, the coward who hides behind Deborah’s leadership.
 
What makes you an unlikely hero? A character flaw that makes you a prisoner to sin? Fear and anxiety that can become paralyzing? A woman who feels dismissed because of her gender? A man whom others dismiss as unable to make a difference in your family, in your church or in your world?
 
If Jesus has risen, then we have a God who has the power to use unlikely heroes like us to accomplish his purpose. He has made a place for each of us. Celebrate this truth by joining Mike Westendorf in singing, "You Made a Place for Me" (find the music video here).

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