Pastor Jeff Knott of Grace Church in Port Hope Ontario continues with “Run with Horses: A Sermon Series Through Jeremiah” with “Embracing Exile”:
I’m blown away by God’s patience and His willingness to forgive is excessive, but there are times in history and times in our lives when God says, “Enough is enough” and He brings correction and He brings disruptive change.
God doesn’t bring us to that painful place just to leave us there; He brings us to that painful place so that we will be restored. Discipline happens to people that are cared for.
You can be God’s person, called, appointed, and anointed, offering light and life in the situation that you are in even if the people around you never recognize who you are or why you are there.
Choose to love where you live – that’s tough advice, but is the way forward when we find ourselves in change and dislocation.
It’s choosing to say, “This is the context of my life presently. It’s not ideal and it’s not idyllic, but this is where I find myself and it’s here in which I will love and choose to love.”
Attitude is everything when it comes to change. If you’re not bendable, you will break.
It’s to learn that in this day and age in which we live, we can’t continue to fight against it, we have to embrace exile.
You’re not going to get prayer back in school, but can we get pray in kids’ hearts?
The church doesn’t have a mission, the mission has a church.
We’re God’s workers in the world; we are those agents of reconciliation and it starts with prayer. Prayer for our community no matter how badly they treat us.
We’re here to be salt. We can’t fight them in meanness or in mean spiritedness; we’re here to serve.
Make a noise for good; make a noise for God’s grace.
Kindness leads people to repentance.
We are sent into this world to bless it.
The church on the margin is a wonderful opportunity for the church to shine – to remember that our reliance is not on government or social standing or political power or political opportunity, but the church has it’s power because we’re here by the power of the Holy Spirit and we’re here to love and bless.
God’s in control of the Canadian church and our circumstances over our lives; God is sovereign.
You’ll find God in the midst of the challenges and changes that are around us.
God was never content with the nominal Christianity that was in Canada. It looked respectable, it looked right, but it had lost its first love. God is putting us through a season of change so that we learn once again that it is in Him we trust and not look at the cultural trappings of what essentially is a dead religion.
There are three responses to exile:
- Fortification – where Christians what to protect what we had
- Domination – where Christians want to bring back Christianity to the forefront
- Accommodation – where Christians want to blend in
When we lose who we are in Christ; when we stop making Christ the foundation of our lives, we have nothing to offer the world.
God’s mission in the world is that the knowledge and the grace of the Lord Jesus would be known in every corner of our globe.
Let our response be shalomification – peace-makers in the world; that’s our mandate.