2 Responses to Saved for Community (Podcast)

  1. freedalyn greene July 13, 2017 at 11:38 am #

    Great message, Doug. While you were speaking I thought of passages from 1 Peter and Hebrews.1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen generation , a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light v.10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God.” This implies that our identity as people of God takes precedence over previous local, national, even personal identities. To be a child of God is not less than to be an individual, nor does it mean uniformity, but to find one’s fullest purpose and identity in relationship with other children of God, for the good of the Kingdom of God.

    Hebrews 11:13 “these all died in faith not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on earth.” Sometimes it seems people gauge their faith by the efficacy of their prayers, yet the author of Hebrews declared that it was faith that enabled these people to persevere in obedience to God despite negative consequences, because their vision was not limited to their lifetime alone.

    We take for granted that salvation is of individuals, perhaps in reaction to national religion, state churches that required attendance rather than faith, ceremonies rather than transformation. This ties in to the idolization of celebrities, not seeing that everyone is dependent on the ongoing social structure and culture whether you agree with it or not, you are not self-made: you received your education from teachers, read books written by others, benefit from technological inventions of others, rely on others to maintain law and order, etc.

    I believe people are so afraid of being swallowed up in a huge organization, society makes us feel like cogs in a machine and the reaction is to emphasize what’s special or different about me, to minimize the degree I rely on others, to look down or accuse those who don’t fit in. Jean Vanier speaks of exclusive and inclusive groups. I think a lot of people have been hurt by exclusive groups, so they either are wary of all groups or form their own exclusive group. After all, the church has splintered into so many sects and denominations, that the original call to be the family of God is obscured.

    If we are called to be a blessing to the nations of the world, we must humbly repent of our pride as Americans, as well as any spiritual pride we might have, and cry out to God to cleanse and purify us that we may be vessels of blessing. Psalm 51:17 the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and contrite heart–these O God, You will not despise.
    Psalm 10:17-18 LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart;You will cause Your ear to hear, To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more.

    God is faithful to His promise. We must remember that His promise is much bigger than me or my group: indeed He is my Abba Father, but he is also Almighty God, Ancient of days, Supreme Artist of a virtually infinite canvas. May I be content, no, honored to be ‘merely’ a brush stroke of such a masterpiece.

    • Douglas Bursch July 13, 2017 at 1:28 pm #

      Thanks for the listen and as always, great thoughts and added perspective. Much appreciated!!!

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