Illuminate: Restoring Lives
Our church wants to be a people who find those in financial need, physical need, spiritual need, encouragement, and who just simply wants to see something new in their life and help connect those needs and wants to God and his love for them. In the sermon on the mount in Matthew Jesus says plainly, "ask and it will be give to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." -Matthew 7:7
We all have wants and desires for our life. When we have decided to follow Jesus, those wants and desires are filtered through the word of God and His call on our lives. However, before we come to know Christ and follow Him, those wants and desires are only filtered through what we have seen, experienced, and known.
It isn't our job to judge with a Jesus lens those who don't hold the same values. Neither is it commanded in scripture to disregard those who don't or won't follow our rules. In fact, Jesus had his harshest words for those who considered themselves the best God-followers; Chief Priests, Teachers of the Law, and the Pharisees. When Paul writes his letter and condemns those who read them for their behavior, the letter is written to Jesus followers. We tend to use those letter to judge the world's behavior. I say all of this to simply say we need a new set of eyes for the world. Eyes that are filled with grace, mercy, compassion, and love.
There are people in our community and our world that are simply hanging on and need something more out of life. We hold in our hands and our hearts the ONE who can do that for them. He is the RESURRECTED ONE who is constantly restoring our lives and wants that for everyone. Eventually, upon His return, He will restore ALL things. He will restore all of creation. Until then...we become His ambassadors to the world, restoring lives as we engage in our community and the world with the message of God, the heart of Jesus, and the direction of the Holy Spirit.