October 13 Message from Pastor Nick – “God’s people accept others, and speak blessing into their lives”

God’s people accept others, and speak blessing into their lives. Pastor Karen spoke about the virtue of acceptance and blessing last Sunday.  She mentioned that to accept someone doesn’t mean you have to agree with them.  This is counter-cultural at this point.  

In a world without God,  the most important stuff – life, love, who we are and what we are made to do-  are subject to our own beliefs, experience and desires.  In many areas,  we are asked in our post-christian age to agree with each other’s own understandings by default.  You don’t have to be friends with them,  or do good things for them, but you do have to agree with their self-understandings.

The God of the Bible did not do this.  In the beautiful verse in Romans,  where Paul is talking about God’s deep acceptance,  he says “While we were still sinners,  Christ died for us.”  God calls you and me sinners.  God says there are right and wrong choices.  The Bible says that our beliefs, experiences and desires are warped by what Paul calls the “sin nature”.  They are not final and only say about what is true, because that is reserved for our loving Creator.

 In a world where we are creating by a loving Creator who has purposed us, has a plan for us, and desires for us – in such a world,  we as faithful people will disagree with people, even at times with those in our own church.  But if we are modeling God,  then we will still demonstrate deep and abiding acceptance of those people with whom we disagree.  

Too often,  because Christians have feared being “weak” on sin,  the church has been focused on making their disagreement known.  Focused on what people are doing wrong.  Made people feel unloved and unaccepted because they didn’t meet the expectations of their Christian parents,  or their church’s pastor.  

But God demonstrated his love in this,  that while we were still ‘intent on being wrong'(sinners),  Christ died for us.  Christ’s blessing was not contingent on us acting first.  It was based on what we did,  but who he was.  As I said in a sermon,  he choose to act first to bring restoration even though he was entirely the grieved party and humanity entirely to blame. 

So, look to speak into people’s lives with words of blessing regardless, or maybe even especially,  whether you agree with their beliefs, self-experience, or desires.  Find ways to show love and affection that is not contingent.  Worry less about whether you are sending the right message about sin, and worry more about whether you are sending the right message about God’s love.  It is ok for God’s people to name and believe that some things are right and some things are wrong.  It is not ok for us to not name what is right and blessed in the people God puts in our sphere of influence,  even when they are in the wrong. 


Pastor Nick

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