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09.28.18 ( Jennifer Elrod )

To Be Welcomed

“Holy spirit, You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord”

I have loved the worship song, “Holy Spirit, You Are Welcome Here” since it first came out. I loved thinking about and asking the question of what did it mean to welcome the Holy Spirit. As a new believer, we invite the Holy Spirit into our lives.

I often think about the differing meanings between being invited versus being welcomed. When I think of being invited, I think of arriving at someone’s home. When you arrive, you knock, and the host  answers the door. It is like going to someone’s home for the first time. It might feel awkward. You might not know where to walk, where to set your purse, or where to sit.

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Matthew 25:35-36

When I think of being welcomed into a home, I think of my friend Kerry’s home. She is the most hospitable person I know; I always feel welcomed and at home. When I arrive at her home, I walk right in and make myself comfortable. I throw my purse in the corner, grab a drink from the fridge, and pull up a chair at the table. There is always a seat for me. I have a guest room with my name on it, in the case that I need a break or am too tired to drive home. I feel welcomed in Kerry’s home, I feel loved and I feel completely free to be myself. There is nothing better than feeling loved by someone’s welcoming - when you feel welcomed, you have a sense of peace about where you are and who you are.

As believers, we are called to not simply invite the Holy Spirit into some areas of our life, but to welcome the Holy Spirit to invade every single area of our life - from the workplace, to our friendships, dating or marriage life, into every one of our conversations. I believe sometimes we invite the Holy Spirit into only specific areas of our life, while in fear that it might truly invade every space.

Ask yourself, how can I welcome others in, versus simply inviting them? Instead of simply inviting others to coffee, a dinner party, or church, how can I welcome them into my life and into doing life with me? After all, the entire Bible is about how God welcomed all of humanity into relationship with Him through His son.

“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” Romans 15:7

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About the Author
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Jennifer has been a part of ONE&ALL for over ten years. She received her Masters in Management from APU and currently works for APU as a program manager. In her free time, she loves writing Yelp reviews and traveling. You will know her by her laughter, Jennifer also has a huge heart for social justice and racial reconciliation and loves anything Joanna Gaines.

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