Friday, March 20, 2015

The University of Diversity

When I look at the beauty of nature, it's clear to me that God loves DIVERSITY.  Look at how many different types of trees, flowers and animals there are.  All of these embody God's DIVERSE nature but more importantly His love.
Although similar, each is distinct with it's own differences and uniqueness.  Fish live in water and have the ability to swim and get their oxygen from the water. Yet, they are DIVERSE in their color, size, swimming patterns, etc.
We can see DIVERSITY in everything God's hand touches.
Look at the people around you. We are all similar yet very different.  DIVERSE in size, skin color, shape, temperament, gender, age and ideas.  God placed in each of us the ability to produce a DIVERSE population called "mankind."  Every people group, with their unique characteristics, came from Adam and Eve.  Our very existence reveals God's fingerprint of DIVERSITY!
Jesus told His church to "GO TO ALL NATIONS" and "PREACH TO EVERY NATION and KINDRED and TONGUE and PEOPLE!" (Matthew 28:18 / Revelation 14:6).  God intends to remove all BARRIERS to INCLUDE everyone! His INCLUSION demonstrates His extraordinary love for EVERYONE.  His example is our example.  We must reflect His love by embracing DIVERSITY!
We must not LOSE God's desire and heart for a DIVERSE family. God's love belongs to everyone and He wants His church to reflect this value for all individuals, not matter how different they may appear.
Our church should reflect the DIVERSITY of creation. When we demonstrate how HIGH, DEEP and WIDE His love is to the world...we are reinforcing the fact that in God there is neither Jew nor Greek, no bond nor free, no male or female (Colossians 3:11).  In other words, within the heart of God, RACE, STATUS, GENDER - neither any human characteristic that makes us different from each other - DOES NOT EXIST!
Our uniqueness, as humans, speaks of how COLORFUL God's palette really is!  Together, we are a beautiful portrait of His family.  We are an extension of His creative imagination but most of all we are a representation of His unconditional love for all.
God knows exactly what He's doing!  He created ONE CHURCH with various cultures. Look at the 12 Disciples...each had their own personalities, backgrounds, spiritual challenges, etc.  They had various issues that arose from their DIFFERENCES.  Early on, the church was put to the test on handling issues arising from DIVERSITY (i.e., the issue of eating of meats offered to idols - 1 Corinthians 8:4-8) of culture.  The Apostle Paul admonished the Corinthian church to be SENSITIVE to their brother and sister by understanding one another's culture and upbringing.  He does NOT make the issue a "right" or "wrong" but rather an issue of LOVE and CONCERN for your brothers or sister.  SAMENESS was not the goal...but rather living PEACEABLY in love with one another was.  Paul knew that LOVE would be the GREATER WITNESS to the world!
“Diversity” is not limited to ETHNICITY and COLOR but has a larger scope of definition that exceeds human characteristics. His church must be INCLUSIVE of DIVERSITY in gender, age, disabilities and ideology. 
  • Do we (the church) make room for the DIVERSITY God has created within the church?  
  • Do we embrace women as equal partners?
  • Do we make all ethnic groups feel welcome and whole in the church?
  • Are we sensitive to and do we make accommodations for people with disabilities?
  • Do we embrace those with differing viewpoints?

Perhaps DIVERSITY is the greatest CHALLENGE facing the church!  How can we live together as ONE FAMILY and embrace, VALUE, APPRECIATE, CELEBRATE and most importantly LOVE our differences?

Can we preach (live) the gospel by accepting DIVERSITY; by accepting God's heart of unconditional love?

My dear FAMILY (brothers and sisters in Christ), we must sincerely love each other and recognize that God’s family is multicultural and DIVERSE. 

We may not reach the same conclusion on our viewpoints, but can we trust and surrender to the Spirit of God to lead us into truth—the gospel of love? 

Are we patient with one another and the Spirit, to allow God to do His work within His family (individually and collectively)? 

Is there enough of God’s Spirit of unconditional love within us to tolerate our individual differences and to see each other from God’s eyes and heart? 

Is there a point where we can meet together on our similarities and unconditionally accept our differences? 


I believe the point that bridges all divides is CHRIST! 
  • Christ in you (and I), the hope of His glory (Colossians 1:26-28). 
  • God invites and desires all to sup at His table; and He has a seat for each one; for you and me (John 3:16).
Thank God we are seeing more people (and churches) graduate from the school called "FLESH UNIVERSITY" and are now enrolled in the UNIVERSITY OF DIVERSITY!

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Power of Percolating

This past weekend, I learned that if you are going to brew coffee in a percolator, give yourself over an hour for the water to heat, the light to turn on & the strength of the grounds to brew. If you rush it, you'll have watered coffee with no strength.


When you allow time to process itself, you'll achieve clarity, strength & maturity.

How many times have you felt pressured to make a decision when you knew you should wait or you were pushed to hurry up because of someone else's impatience? Over time, I've learned not to make hasty decisions.

I want to encourage you to sit still and wait before you make big decisions that impact you, your family and others.

Waiting has benefits. (Isaiah 40:31) 
  1. Renew your strength 
  2. Mount up like Eagles 
  3. Run and not be weary 
  4. Walk and not faint.

While you wait, be... 
  1. productive
  2. proactive
  3. persistent 
  4. prepared
Also, be honoring and pay attention to the details. Cross your T's and dot your I's. You can't expect promotion if you can't even do the last assignment well. You must always leave something better than when you found it.

Often, God is using the percolating process to sanctify areas of our life that just won't get sanctified if we insist on a microwave mentality. Most people fall into this category. We want things NOW not later. We want it OUR WAY over God's way. We want it FAST not slow.

But the old saying is often true, "good things come to them that wait."

Are you willing to wait on....
- that relationship?
- that ministry?
- that business deal?
- that purchase?
- that move?
- etc

It's when we get in a hurry that we end up frustrating the grace of God in our life. We get the cart before the horse and forget about the preparation process. When we do this, we forfeit the longevity of a promise because we sabotaged it with our misguided zeal.

Zeal is good as long as it's guided and monitored. Left unbridled, it can be offensive and behave itself unseemly - refusing to follow protocol while hiding behind the guise of "I must work while it's day."
  • Learn to wait on the edge of your seat. 
  • Learn to wait with sugar & cream on hand.
  • Learn to wait for the light to turn in your favor.
  • Learn to wait for the full strength of what God has promised.

Wait and you'll witness a seamless blessing unfold in your life.