Sensational “deconversion stories” make the news, and seemingly threaten to undermine the faith. The Bible teaches us better than that. Certainly, it warns us to expect it and to guard against it. But it also shows us how great our God is, and how he glorifies himself even in the most egregious example of apostasy in history.
The message dealt with the Bible’s teaching that every person is made in the image of God and reflects the glory of God. The message challenged each of us to turn from and stand against the evil of racism. We can no longer act like racism is a problem that was solved in the 60’s. We must continually repent of any racism that creeps up in our minds and hearts. We should seek to stand against racism as it raises its ugly face in our nation’s institution. Why? Because, first, it dishonors our Savior who died for people from every tribe and language and people and nation. Second, because we know every person is made in the image of God. God sees that one human being is worth way more than all the stuff in the world. Jesus said in Mark 8:36 “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” One person, one man, woman, boy or girl is worth more than all the stuff and fame of the world. We should see each other in that way and understand that each person somehow reflects the image of God and should be treated with the utmost respect. Third, we should see every person as a person who needs to come to know the love and forgiveness of God. We should see every person as a person for whom Christ died and who without Him will perish. God graciously entrusts believers with caring for people who are all made in the image of God. Our Lord Jesus expects us to turn from and stand against racism. God help us to do this today and every day.
God sent Jesus to earth and to the cross for us to mend our broken relationship with Him. God did for us what we could not do for ourselves. As we respond to the love of God, each of us seeks to love God back with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. We seek to love Him supremely above everything and everyone else. Then as we love God supremely, we love our brothers and sisters in Christ as Jesus has loved us and live in community with them so the world will see us this and know that we are Jesus’ disciples. Finally, because we love God supremely and live in community with each other, we are also filled with love for our neighbors. Who is our neighbor? Our neighbors are anyone whom God places in our paths whose need we can meet in Jesus’ name. All around us are our neighbors who need to know the love of God and be drawn into these relationships. Following Jesus is all about our relationships: with God, each other and those whose needs we can meet in Jesus’ name.