On Wednesday, I started re-posting a 4 part series that dives into “FOR / WITH / ONE / IN” as we’re exploring those topics at church this month. Hopefully, it’ll help you think deeper as we walk through the series on Sunday mornings!
Check out Part 1, “God Is FOR You” here.
Check out Part 2, “God Is WITH You” here.
God is ONE OF His people. And it was intentional. Truthfully, the very concept of God being ONE OF His people is ridiculous. So ridiculous in fact, that only an all-knowing God with a broad view of time could have possibly come up with it.
Since before time, God has existed outside of time in the form of three persons – Father, Son and Spirit. He created a world for His people and then walked in the garden with them. He commissioned the building of an Ark and then inserted His presence into it. He mandated a tabernacled and then met His people in it.
From the beginning, God has met with His people. But there was always a plan for more. There was always a need for deeper intimacy. It’s never been enough for God’s people to worship Him from a distance. A relational God desperately wants relationship with His creation.
He wanted it so desperately, in fact, that He came to a manger and lived out a divinely ridiculous story… He experienced the thrill of being born. He learned to walk. His parents potty-trained Him. He went to school and learned math. His dad taught Him how to build with wood.
How divinely ridiculous is that??? The Creator was birthed. The Creator wore diapers. The Creator studied for tests. The Creator was taught to create.
God is ONE OF His people. “This [Jesus] of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.” (Heb 4:15) No longer was He sitting on a throne while His people were walking on dirt. In the person of Jesus, He was sleeping under the same stars as His followers. He was eating at the same table as His followers. He was swinging the same hammer as His followers. And that makes all the difference…
God is ONE OF His people. And because He is one of His people, the Church is called to be one of their community. The Church doesn’t just meet in a neighborhood, it understands the neighborhood. The Church doesn’t exist outside of “those people” down the street, it is ONE OF those people. The Church thrives when it intimately knows the culture it lives in. The Church only grows when it understands the culture it wants to impact.
The Church is ONE OF its community. It’s the only real way discipleship happens. There is no growth – no change – without relationship fueling the need. The Church was created to be ONE OF the culture its preaching to.
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