Every life is chipped, marred or cracked, yet finds it’s true beauty and purpose when perfectly fitted in place by an artist. We love watching the God redeem lives, re-write stories, re-new all that seems lost or broken.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
We Are Diverse
Our world spends a lot of energy dividing people. It’s the way we size people up and assess who they are, what they think, etc. The Bible’s point is how we’re all pretty much the same. Every single one of us has the same problem – sin. We fall short of God’s plans for us. Our pride wants to categorize people, but Christ-like humility says, “I’m just like you. I need redemption too.” That attitude of humility and dependence on Jesus allows the Holy Spirit to take all the differences in style, temperament, cultural preference, etc. and unite us in our diversity.
Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins… All of us used to live that way… But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that… he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead… So God can point to… all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:1-7 (NLT)
We Are Authentic
Life is messy. Mistakes are made. People blow it. Authenticity demands that we love each other just the way we are. Authenticity also demands that we honestly and humbly help each other become all that we should be. Authenticity demands acceptance. Authenticity demands growth. God loves and accepts us exactly as we are. God loves and transforms us into who he has called us to be. Authenticity lovingly and patiently strives to live inside the tension of acceptance and growth.
But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith… and you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives. Jude 20-23 (NLT)
We Are Empowered
Everybody knows people have unique talents, skills, and strengths. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit gives special gifts and abilities, too. Many Christians have served Jesus for many years but have not taken seriously the Holy Spirit’s empowerment of their gifts – both natural and supernatural. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to ignite His people to serve with power and effectiveness.
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4:10 (NLT)
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all… A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 1 Corinthians 12:4, 7 (NLT)
We Are Engaged
Jesus said that the world would “hate” his followers, but he didn’t want His disciples to avoid or escape that hatred. Instead, Jesus prayed that his followers would be safe inside (not removed from) the culture that hated them. Jesus prayed that we, His followers be SENT into the uncomfortable culture. Jesus has not called us to assimilate, fight, or withdraw – we’ve been called to engage the world.
The world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one… Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.” John 17:14-18 (NLT)