@robertkwendt || lead pastor
Becoming a father was one of the greatest experiences of my life. As I saw my little son enter into this world and breathe his very first breath, I was overcome with joy. Here he was. The day had come. He was my boy!
But the reality is, he really wasn't and isn't mine. He's God's. God has a plan for him. In that moment, God even revealed a calling for him. He would be a boy who grows into a man.
When we think of the term "sex," we must understand that it is not just an act but is also how we were biologically made. When we come into the world, God gives us a calling. He calls us to be male or female (see Genesis 1:26-27).
we are made in the likeness of god
As we understand our calling as male or female, we must embrace the reality that God made us in his likeness! No—we do not look like Morgan Freeman. We do not physically have the same features as Jesus. We do not have the image of God in the sense that we look just like Him, but we are made in His likeness.
Through Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God the Father (we call this the Trinity), we see God's beauty. Three in one and one in three. We see how God is I AM. We see how God lives in perfect community. We see how Jesus was with the Father in the beginning, but he humbled himself to come and save us by coming to earth (see John 17:1-5). God lived in perfect community.
He created Adam and Eve to live in community as well. When we are made in God's likeness, we are called to live in community with one another. We are challenged to embrace the reality that we are created with differences, yet we are made to compliment one another. While made male and female, God created both and He loves both. We are His children and are called to love Him and love one another.
We are made in the likeness of God. We are made to live in community. || tweet this ||
jesus empowered men
One of the most frustrating things is to walk into a church on a Father's Day Sunday, and then listen to a pastor preach about how men need to step up and take more responsibility. I have witnessed this many times where a pastor beats up the men for not being a good enough father, husband, friend. The funny thing is, it's as if the message is geared toward the men who aren't in the room rather than those who are.
We must recognize that we are all in process. We're all on a journey of becoming more and more like Jesus. So we must understand that, while we are far from perfect, Jesus empowered men in the past and desires to empower men still today.
In Mark 3:13-19, we see how Jesus took twelve ordinary men and empowered them to go out and preach. He even gave them authority to cast out demons. They were not perfect men, but they were empowered men.
Men are not perfect. But Jesus empowers imperfect men. || tweet this ||
jesus empowered women
A very powerful story in the Bible is one of how Jesus empowered a Samaritan woman (read passage here) who was labeled by society as a prostitute (she had had 5 husbands). There were several cultural oppositions to their encounter:
- She was a woman.
- She was a Samaritan
- She had five husbands.
No Jewish man would have even considered talking with the woman—the Samaritan women, even—but Jesus not only talked with her...he empowered her!
When Jesus revealed himself to others, he would often say, "Do not tell anyone" (ex. Mark 7:31-37). However, after his encounter with the woman at the well, he didn't say to not tell anyone. In fact, she went away and began to tell people everywhere!
Jesus empowered women when he walked the earth, and he empowers women still today.
No Jewish man would have even considered talking with the woman—but Jesus not only talked with her...he empowered her!
jesus has men and women on one team
Jesus didn't favor men or women. He came for both!
In writing to the Galatians, Paul says, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise" (Galatians 3:28-29 ESV).
With Jesus as our leader, we are on one team. There is no room for division, for fighting, for bickering—but there is a place for unity. When we understand the idea of teamwork and being united as one, it changes things.
But not only are we on one team, we are all given a calling to love.
As we go through our weeks, the challenge should be—how can we love those around us? Instead of creating division, let's work for unit. God gave us a unique calling at birth; but with that calling, we're challenged to work together to love the world around us.