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Archive for July 28th, 2022

God Is For the World

MEDITATION:

Written by Rich Villodas, a contemporary pastor and author. This is an excerpt from his book “The Deeply Formed Life.”

God is for the world, period. This truth makes or breaks our understanding of mission. To deny this assertion is to see God in a fundamentally different light than the light revealed in Jesus. Yet that different light is the default mode of much of Christianity. We are often known for what we are against rather than what we are for…But any conversation regarding the nature of God must begin with him being for all. Mission for a Christian must begin not with human fallenness but with God’s posture toward the world. When we see people with a “Make America Great Again” hat, we can see them from a posture of God’s commitment toward them or from the perspective of our own boundary making. When we see a woman of color with a #blacklivesmatter T-shirt, we can see her through the lens of God’s heart of mercy toward her or reduce her entire humanity to a hashtag. When we see an immigrant, we can see him through the lens of God’s tender love or through the lens of fearful scapegoating. God’s posture toward the world is always for us: “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16). This is the definitive Bible verse declaring God’s committed love toward us. By entering into human history, God made a very clear declaration, saying in effect, “I don’t want to exist without you.” Does God exist without us? Of course. Does God want to exist without us? Not a chance. God is for us. This is the foundation of mission. How can mission that is consistent with Jesus be established on the grounds of judgment, disgust, and “othering”? Actually it can’t. Missional presence takes on the posture of the God and Father revealed in Jesus. God didn’t need creation or company, but out of divine generosity, he brought creation into existence not to subject it to bondage but to have it feast at the table of goodness. To affirm that God is for “us” is to confess with clarity who is “us”. If by “us” we mean fellow Christians—especially those who believe as we do—then that “us” is much too confined. The “us” that God is for always extends to all people and to the entirety of creation.

PRAYER:

Written by Leslie White, a contemporary author.

Dear Lord, today may I be a faithful light that points the way to You, the true light of the world. Amen.

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