We can become so much more. We can accomplish so much more. Simple faithfulness to God and each other could bless our cities.
The Bible is full of stories of people who couldn’t stay where they were. The Old Testament Story of the Nation of Israel began with a guy who couldn’t stay where he was. Adam couldn’t stay in the garden. Noah couldn’t stay on dry land. Abraham couldn’t stay in Haran. Lot couldn’t stay with Abram. Jacob couldn’t stay in Canaan. Moses couldn’t stay in Egypt. Then he couldn’t stay away from Egypt. Soon after, Israel couldn’t stay in Egypt. Of course, the day came that they couldn’t stay in the wilderness either. Then one day they couldn’t stay in the promised land. Eventually they couldn’t stay in Babylon. Sometimes you just can’t stay where you are.
God moves His People. It’s always been about a people, not a place. BUT, we all need identity, belonging, and purpose.
1 Peter 2:5 (NLT) And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.
1 Peter 2:9 (NLT) …you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
A Place To Know
Do You Know that You are God’s Very Own? God picked you. He’s nuts about you. He loves loving you. A couple of weeks ago I was texting with one of my sons early in the morning. His day wasn’t starting off that well. This was my counsel, “Take some time and let Father God tell you how much He loves you, and how awesome he thinks you are.”
So many think God is beating them down, but He’s not. Your echo chamber is drowning Him out. The scriptures printed above describe God’s thoughts about you.
Do You Know that You are Priest-Kings? You are the Priests. You are the Holy ones. YOU! You offer the sacrifices. You make your place Holy. You are so much more than you think you are.
1 Peter 2:11 (NLT) Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.
Do You Know that You are Not From Here? The day you realized that you are not God, that you need a God, your citizenship was moved. You rebelled against the kingdom of darkness. You were rescued from the grasp of Hell. You were born again of new blood, a citizen of a new place!
How does anyone have an ordinary faith and not know these things? Dead religion makes us beggars. It puts us at the mercy of the professional clergy. It makes us forever sorry and always in trouble for we know not what. It bludgeons us with guilt and shame.
God forbid you should be free to serve God in love, peace, and power. You might get it wrong, because the ‘professionals’ never get it wrong (that is sarcasm).
It’s never been about being right or getting it right. It’s always been about mercy, grace, and righteousness granted – never earned.
Galatians 6:9-10 (NLT) So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.
A Place to Be Known
Do You Know That You Are Part of Something?
You are part of a Family. We are a family of moms, dads, grandparents, brothers, and sisters. Not to mention (but now mentioning), weird uncles, crazy aunts, and strange cousins. Family has never been about social acceptability. It’s identity, ancestry, and story. We are related to people we would never choose specifically because we need people we wouldn’t choose in our lives.
You are part of the Ekklesia. But this is so much more than that. It’s the family of God. We are ambassadors and missionaries. We are warriors and champions. We are peacemakers in a world gone insane.
We bring to this world what it could never have without us…our home town, our culture, and our Kingdom which is God’s Kingdom.
John 14:1-3 (NLT) “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.
A Place To Start
We Are Going Home. We are not staying here.
I’m a homebody. I like my bed, my pillow, my chair, my dog, my kids all in their nest, where I can keep them safe and where I can take care of them.
But, I miss my place. I miss the place Jesus had prepared for me.
Jude 1:23 (NLT) 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.
We are Taking Every Soul Possible with Us. Salvation isn’t merely a decision. It’s a new life. We are not interested in converts. We aren’t pursuing decisions for Christ. We are pursuing disciples of Jesus. In the process, we are rescuing friends, brothers, sisters, and warriors.