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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Safe Space

I see it used as an advertisement for gym memberships: "Come to our judge-free zone," they say. They aren't addressing the consumer's drive to be healthy or fit. Instead, they are honing in on the thing that might keep them from coming at all: Judgment. The condescending looks of others. The feeling of being emotionally unsafe. They know that if they present themselves to the public as a 'safe space', they will have more people at least consider the option to join.

Jesus' invite to us is not with a finger pointed, but rather a hand extended. He presents Himself as a Safe Space for us:

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭NLT‬‬. http://bible.com/116/mat.11.28-30.nlt

Can you hear the gentle, non-judgmental tone in His Voice? He's speaking as one who understands the human condition and heart. He is speaking as one who has gotten down on our level and is saying,"Listen, if you come to me, I'm not going to judge you. I'm not going to beat you up and make you feel like a loser. Instead, I'm going to give you rest for your soul. I AM the Ultimate Safe Space that you've been looking for, except my Space is called the Secret Place."



Thursday, November 17, 2016

Our Message

What is your message to others? Is it filled with just 'goodwill' or 'happy, feel-good' thoughts? In the passage below, it tells us what the theme of our message should always be: "Come back to God!" And isn't that what the entire Bible so eloquently says? Through its prophets, through the teachings of Jesus, through the beautiful poetic words of the Psalms? The Message has always been the same: "Be reconciled to God.  Draw near to your Father, your Abba. Come in closer." If our message isn't thoroughly laced with it, we are missing the heart of God.

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And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:18-21‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/2co.5.18-21.nlt