“For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” Ephesians 2:18 NIV
Have you ever known someone who is a people watcher? They can sit for hours not interacting with anyone and just watch the people go past them one after another. The people watchers I have known have been both introverted and some extroverted. They have appeared to be outgoing and some have been shy. It really has less to do with where they draw energy as it does their true interest in people. One I know can sit and watch what people are wearing and be fascinated in what that potentially says about the person. Another friend is more interested in the body language of each person and the potential meaning behind the body language. There is something about watching people that interests some. Personally, I enjoy watching how people interact with each other. It seems some people are always happy while others seem more concerned. Some people are talking a mile a minute while other people can walk along side by side not saying a word. It is truly interesting to see how different people are in the world.
This is true in general. People are different. Some of this has to do with the environment in which they grew up. It has to do with nature and nurture. There is also an element of how each of us is made or wired by God. Scripture tells us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” [Ps. 139:14] This same Psalm helps us understand that God is the one who created us and knew who we were before we were even born. God made us with certain attributes, talents, and gifts. One of the greatest things God made in us was a need for God. This is why sin is such a great problem. It separates us from God. God created us for community with God and with each other. Part of the mystery of the Gospel is that we need God. Those who understand this, and by grace have come to know their need of God, place their faith in Jesus as the Lord and Savior of their life. We were created for relationship with God. Yet, because of our sin we are separated from God. Only Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross can solve our sin problem. It is because of Jesus we are saved. This is what makes it possible for those who follow Jesus to be saved.
People of mystery claim Jesus—first and foremost. We are not United Methodist, Baptist or any other denomination first. We are Christians—followers of Jesus Christ. People who know Jesus as Lord and Savior know it is only because Jesus was willing to shed his blood at Calvary. Followers of Jesus also know the peace that comes from a relationship with Jesus. Lastly, followers of Jesus are superbly aware of their citizenship in the family of God. This comes before anything else in life once you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ. Followers of Jesus Christ are first children of God, joint heirs with Christ. Followers of Jesus are forgiven and free because of Calvary. Followers of Jesus are at peace because of their right relationship with God the Father and the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Followers of Jesus are citizens of the kingdom of God.
How does being a person of God change your perspective on life? How does it change the way you approach your marriage, your family, your work, your neighbors, and your community? The reality is being a follower of Jesus should change everything in your life. As you begin your day each day this coming week, ask yourself this question, “How will I demonstrate that I am a person who claims Jesus today?” The answer could be that you will claim forgiveness and forgive others. The answer could be that you will work to be at peace with yourself and others. The answer could be that you will remember your citizenship is in the kingdom of God and live by those standards in all that you do. Hopefully, we are living this way every day. However, it doesn’t hurt to be intentional about it and remind ourselves each day that we are people of God who have experienced God’s grace through a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
This Sunday we continue our message series entitled “Mystery.” We will look at the way Jesus makes it possible for us to be people of mystery. I hope you will join me this Sunday at 8:15|NINE45|11:15 for worship. You can also go to SAUMC.NET and join us via livestream. The best is yet to come. I love you all and can’t wait to see you in church!