Friday, April 22, 2011

Culture of forgiveness

The importance of understanding what God offers us in Christ, do we take it for granted? Or do we deeply live in a state of forgiveness and repentance? Recently I have again been reminded of God’s goodness and how He reconciles all things to himself. We often judge our value or worth by results or numbers. But in the face of what some might deem as failure can we still find God’s pleasure in us? This Easter season should magnify the purpose of Christ’s sacrifice. That in the midst of our failures and our strivings to perform…His love is based upon Jesus not our performance. To do the will and good purpose of God means to live in a state of repentance. That living in forgiveness means living in God’s presence working hard not to obey rules, but draw near to Him.

Living in a foreign culture and a community like ours here at New Hope we definitely experience the need for grace. In much of Africa there is baggage that comes from colonial times where the whites ruled/oppressed the local population. Additionally educational background and experience can easily give whites an appearance of being superior. Combine that with an African culture that puts the “Chief” or leader in a place of being un-touchable or un-human can create a separation between us and the locals. We have seen that in-order to be effective in our ministry it requires a deep humility and constant evaluation of behaviors and attitudes. To be ever aware of how your words and actions can be mis-interpreted and actually hinder what God is doing.

Thus the reminder that it truly is about God’s grace and the need to allow His love and character to flow though us. May God’s goodness be experienced by all in this resurrection season.

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