Do you remember the last time someone gave you a gift? Not so that you would provide them with a gift in return, but just because they love everything about you? Take a look at the words found in Ephesians 2:8-9 Paul’s call in this passage is not for us to focus on who is ‘right,’ but why God is good. Jesus calls us to live a lifestyle of love towards all—both in word and deed. In what ways do you believe God has called you to love others? Take some time to pray about ways you can bless others with the gift of Christ-like love this week without expecting anything in return.
As you read over Ephesians 2:14-18, consider your thoughts towards others who follow Jesus but don’t share your personal beliefs. Then ask yourself: Am I trying to build walls of division or hostility upon the rubble of the barriers that Christ came to tear down? What would it look like for me to hold space with those who do not share my personal beliefs? As you pray today, think of those you disagree with and lift them up to the Lord. Ask the Lord to break down any walls that may be keeping you from showing them kindness, love, or grace and symbolically take a step forward to cross over those walls.
We see in Galatians 3:26-27 that we are all in Christ Jesus—children of God—if we have placed our faith in Him. How have you placed your faith in Him? How do you walk out that faith daily? Consider inviting a friend who shares differing beliefs with you to join you for coffee/tea and ask them those same questions. Not to condemn. Not to judge. Ask them simply so that you can understand someone else. As you close out your time together, pray for them, and ask the Lord to bless them in their faith journey just as He does in yours.
At Eikon, we’re consciously going to walk into the difficult space of belonging and inclusion, even in spite of our difference. Mark 14:12-25 shows us that Jesus had room at His table for everyone. Would you consider doing the same for others? This upcoming Sunday, we will have a special luncheon for potential Small Group leaders. Would you take some time to pray and consider if this is something that God is leading you to participate in? However, the Spirit leads you, we hope that you are able to grow in a flourishing faith community that always leaves room at the table for others.
In his book, Us vs Us, Andrew Marin states, “… the LGBT community and people of faith can come together in an embrace – even as the rest of the world banters on about how such an embrace can never happen. Love can still heal wounds. Love can still conquer hate. Love can still change the world. Even today.” Take some time today to read over 1 John 4:19 and reflect on God’s love for you. Create some space for prayer and ask the Lord to give you grace and courage to show that same love to 5 different strangers that cross your path this weekend.
TALK IT OVER
- What does family dinner typically look like at your house?
- When was the last time you invited someone over for dinner?
- What are some things you’ve learned through this series thus far?
- What does it mean to be a child of God?
- How do you typically respond to those who believe differently than you do?
- How have you been able to hold space in kindness with those who believe differently than you?
- In what ways are you able to reflect the love of Jesus to those who believe differently than you?