Unified Not Uniform

June 13, 2017

This morning we had family devotions with our kids and talked about the day of Pentecost from Acts 2. Although many things were discussed, one main theme that we focused on was how when the Holy Spirit came, the believers who were there began to speak in all the different languages of people that could be found throughout the city.

How amazed the people were to hear about the hope of Christ in their native language. It showed God’s design that all men, of every background, would be drawn to him.

We then discussed our recent move to our new neighborhood, right in the heart of our city, and why we believe God asked us to move here. We shared with our kids that although our last neighborhood was amazing (we still love and miss our old neighbors immensely!), we felt God was asking us to go to a place where diversity amongst the people living there was paramount.

My husband finished our morning by reminding our kids, “as believers in Jesus we are unified in our faith, but we are not uniform. God is calling all men to himself regardless of age, race, social class, or language. That’s why we’re here, to share the love of God with others who don’t look or act or even think like us.”

My kids nodded agreement and I smiled. I couldn’t be more proud of the way my husband is leading our family.

Often, being a Christian is seen as a downfall, a negative—sometimes justifiably, but we’ve decided we’d rather be a family that is known more for what we are for than what we are against.

And what I thought would be a huge sacrifice—this moving to a new space—has really been nothing less than a blessing. Many of our new neighbors are different from us in many ways, it’s true, but they are kind and interesting, engaging and unique. Living here and getting to interact with the people around us has given us nothing short of joy. We are seeing the value in others, somehow understanding more fully the love that God has when he looks at people, while at the same time getting a greater glimpse of his grace for all of us.

We believe, without question, that God is for every person—no matter who they are or where they are from. That the body of Christ, the Church, is much more diverse than people who just look like, act like, or even think just like me.

We are called to be unified in our love of Christ, but not uniform.

If we are only willing to be with people who look like us or think or act like us, how does that mirror the love of God, the kingdom that he is building?

This week I challenge all of us to spend time getting to know someone who, on the surface, appears different from yourself. Look for the good qualities, the value or the potential, you can find in them.

Let’s be people who are for one another instead of against. Let’s be a people who celebrate our diversity, rather than being afraid or opposed to it. Let’s be a people who exemplify God’s love extravagantly, to all people.

Jesus said: "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:32

This week we are once again linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee and Holley Gerth

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