Is there room for four?

 

I wonder how much room we have made in our lives to love the fourth group of people. Most of us do a pretty good job loving at least three groups. We love ourselves, we love our families and we love our friends. The fourth group is a bit more difficult to love. They are people who are different than us by religious beliefs, social customs, skin color, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and gender.

For the most part we have formed counter-cultural communities, called churches, and invited those people into our tribes who were willing to act like us, think like us, and behave like us. We do go out from time to time and attempt to reach the lost world, but mostly we are content to retreat to our safe circles and love the three.

To me, this is the very reason we are losing the culture wars and why the church looks more like the world than the world looks like the church. Jesus told us we are salt and light, but also warned us that we could lose our saltiness and we would be tempted to hide our light.  I am ready for a salty, radiant tribe of people called New Lifers to go find the fourth group and influence them for Jesus, using words only when necessary. That is the heart and purpose of the new sermon series I am calling “Change the World.”

But no matter how eloquent I am and how often I remind myself and the church that we are to go make disciples, we will never really change our city unless we love those in the fourth group. This is what Jesus modeled to us and this is what made the religious community of his time so furious. The religious community was convinced of their spiritual and moral superiority and had completely rejected the idea of loving anyone who was different. Jesus really loved sinners and spent a lot of time with people who were rejected and despised, even asking some of them to be his disciples and apostles.

I want to look more like Jesus and act less religious. I hope I make some new friends soon and I hope they are different than me.  I am going to take the challenge to be salt and light and make room for the fourth group of people.  I want to really love those who are different than me and I pray that New Lifers join me on this new journey that could literally change the world.

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2 Comments

  1. Pastor Brady, I’m with you on this 100%. I’m looking forward to the rest of the sermons.
    From a evangelistic view the question is: is the barn ready for the harvest? Or from a parental view: do we really want more children? Having work with setting up and prepare for evangelistic campaigns for and with Churches in the past, this was always the crucial issue for the campaign to be effective. Like get the Church prepared by prayer focused on ‘praying new people into the Kingdom of God/Church(es), organize follow up, here I don’t just only talking about new believer’s classes,but also people who could commit to be ‘spiritual parents’ for the next 3 or more, fully committed and available to the new believer. Each person or couple only taking on 1 – 3 people at the most. Anyway, when the whole Church is involved, focused on reaching people to get born again, to fully get them into the family of God. I was truly blessed when I got radically saved and got into a wonderful caring church family, looking back over the years I realize, the main reason I loved coming to Church as a new believer was that the people there, young and old were excited to me and the other new believers. The Church was also in revival, lots of people getting saved, healed and delivered, of course, that made everything so exciting and different to what I and others thought of what Church was like … So, let cry out for a visitation of God, city wide revival, let it be a bit messy or a lot as long as God shows up and he will when we yield to His ways. Like William Booth put it: it is better it is boiling and boiling over, than it is not boiling at all! Thank you Lord!

  2. Dear Pastor Brady, I so appreciate your thoughts on Sunday….regarding what I understand to be the heart of Our Father….to reach out to those outside of our socioeconomic environment and to reach out to the poor, the oppressed, the widows, the orphans, the prisoners, the bound, the lost, etc…
    I was so encouraged reading Psalms 102 this morning. The Psalm tells us that God will arise and have mercy on Zion. I understand Zion, to be a designated place where His Presence dwells.
    I believe Colorado Springs is a Gentile Zion so to speak, and that God is priming this City for incredible things, where His Presence will be so strong, that we won’t even have to say anything, that people will encounter the Presence of God and not even be able to stand. I believe this City will be a City of Righteousness where the pure in heart minister to Him and others. For it is the pure in heart that will see God, that will behold His power and His glory in the sanctuary….Psalms 63:2

    As an added comment on Sunday’s message, I believe we need to be praying that God will position His saints, as He sees fit to establish the kingdom work. “For the Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory. He shall regard the destitute, And shall not despise their prayer. This will be written for a generation to come, That a people yet to be created may praise the Lord. For He looed down form the height of His sanctuary, From heaven the Lord viewed the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoner. To release those appointed to death. To declare the name of the Lord in
    Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem.” Psalms 102:16-21 I believe some of us are gifted with gifts that are more directed toward building up and edifying the body, and I believe some are gifted in areas of evangelism, outreach, etc…Lord position your saints as You see fit for the advancing of
    Your Kingdom work. I have pondered this week the different roles we are called to in the Body of Christ, that He sets the members in place as He sees fit, but all of us with the same heart, and mind, move in concert to reach the lost.

    One last thought that I have, and speaking to myself…is to be cautious of a possible pride mentality of those of us up North having it together and having something to offer to others other than Christ. I know for me, the Lord is teaching me, Preach Christ crucified, and this alone, not man made tradition, cultural ideas, just the Power of the Cross. The ground is always level at the cross, and we minister to our brothers and sisters, even if they don’t know yet that they are our brothers and sisters in the Lord. God Is So Good and I am so excited for the days ahead in this city. Lord grant us Your Heart to serve those you bless us with to minister to. Thankyou Pastor so much for the way you reflect the Heart of Our Father. Lord grant us Your strength to do Your will. kathy walton

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