THE RAGAMUFFIN GOSPEL: 25 YEARS OF WALKING WITH JESUS
(August 2014 – Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)
To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.
INTRO TO SPEAKER: This month, I am celebrating 25 years of walking with Jesus! It was August 1989, in a farmhouse outside of Lacombe, Alberta, where I first met Jesus… This message shares one of the most powerful, profound truths I have learned about God – His amazing grace and unconditional love.
“Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” So He spoke this parable to them, saying…” (Luke 15:1-3, NKJV).
THE DRAMATIZED STORY OF THE PRODIGAL SON: (Based on Luke 15:11-32).
Cast: The Father, The Son Jimmy, The Son Johnny, Three Cool Friends
It was a beautiful summer day! The Father was sitting around the dinner table with his sons, Jimmy, and Johnny. The Father said, “My sons!”
Jimmy said, “Yes, Father?”
Johnny ignored his dad. Johnny said, “I’m not listening!”
The Father said, “I want to give you some very important advice. If you want a happy life, don’t waste it partying or drinking whiskey, and most importantly, never eat bacon!”
Jimmy nodded and smiled, “Okay, Father!”
Johnny said, “No way! Father, I want my share of your money now, instead of waiting until you die.”
The Father was shocked, but sadly, he agreed to divide his money between his two sons. A few days later, Johnny packed all his stuff, but before he left the house:
The Father said, “Son, no matter where you go or what you do, I will always love you.”
And so, Johnny ran far away from home, where he wasted all of his money on wild living. He made three cool new friends. The four of them partied. They danced. They drank whiskey. And they ate bacon! However, Johnny’s money soon ran out, and when it did, his three cool new friends run out, too, skipping merrily away, saying, “See you later dude!”
So Johnny was broke: he had no money, no friends, and his Daddy was far away. Then Johnny became really hungry. He asked a farmer to hire him to feed his pigs. Think about it! Johnny wasn’t even supposed to eat bacon, and now he was taking care of pigs. Johnny was so hungry that even the food he was feeding the pigs looked good to him, but no one gave him anything.
When he finally smartened up, he said to himself, “At home even the servants have lots of food, and here I am, dying of hunger! I will go home to my Father and say, Father, I have been a really bad boy. Please take me on as a servant.”
So he returned home to The Father. And while Johnny was still a long distance away, The Father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, The Father ran to his son, hugged him, and kissed him. His son said to him, “Father, I have been a really bad sinner! I partied, I drank whiskey… I even ate bacon!”
But The Father said to the servants, “Quick! Bring the best clothes in the house and put them on him. And kill the fat old cow so we can have a BBQ. We must celebrate, for my son was dead and has returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.” So the party began.
- Got saved, went to Surrey, BC to attend Bible College at Christ for the Nations.
- Talk about experience in the first church I attended while there: You couldn’t be real there. If you struggled with sin, you kept it to yourself.
- The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning (and All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon).
- Revolutionized my understanding of Christianity!
QUOTES FROM THE RAGAMUFFIN GOSPEL:
“(The Ragamuffin Gospel) is not for legalists who would rather surrender control of their souls to rules than run the risk of living in union with Jesus… (it) was written for the bedraggled, beat-up and burnt-out. It is for the sorely burdened who are still shifting the heavy suitcase from one hand to the other. It is for the wobbly and weak-kneed who know they don’t have it altogether and are too proud to accept the handout of amazing grace. It is for inconsistent, unsteady disciples whose cheese is falling off their cracker…
“It is for poor, weak, sinful men and women with hereditary faults and limited talents. It is for earthen vessels who shuffle along on feet on clay. It is for the bent and bruised to feel that their lives are a grave disappointment to God. It is for smart people who know they are stupid and honest disciples who admit they are scalawags. (It is) for anyone who has grown weary and discouraged along the way.”
- Since I first read this book in 1996, I have read this book over ten times. If I find a really good book, I will sometimes read it a second time. This book is powerful!
POWER QUOTE #1: (Morton Kelsey).
“The church is not a museum for saints but a hospital for sinners.”
- This quote was revolutionary for me!
- Church is not a place where we come to dress up and pretend our lives are perfect!
- It’s a place to admit we struggle with sin, and love, accept and forgive one another.
POWER QUOTE #2: (Thomas Merton).
“A saint is not someone who is good but who experiences the goodness of God.”
MORE QUOTES FROM THE RAGAMUFFIN GOSPEL:
“Any church that will not accept that it consists of sinful men and women, and exists for them, implicitly rejects the gospel of grace…
“Often I have been asked, “Brennan, how is it possible that you became an alcoholic after you got saved?” It is possible because I got battered and bruised by loneliness and failure, because I got discouraged, uncertain, guilt-ridden and took my eyes off Jesus. Because the Christ-encounter did not transform me into an angel…
“This is the God of the gospel of grace. A god, who out of love for us, sent the only Son he ever had wrapped in our skin. He learned how to walk, stumbled and fell, cried for his milk, sweated blood in the night, was lashed with a whip and showered with spit, was fixed to a cross and died whispering forgiveness on us all.”
BIBLE TEXT: The basis for the teaching in The Ragamuffin Gospel.
“9 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him. 10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matthew 9:9-13, NLT).
Encouragement that no matter what you have done, you are loved by God!
Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/