What do you see here?

A picture is worth 1000 words. This safe has been through a lot. Image credit: “safe” – © 2007 Paul Keller – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

It has been through a tremendous fire with a lot of heat which is what did all of the damage to it. The fire was particularly hot but the safe was not breached, it seems that it was capable of still being locked even though the outside was scorched and then discarded. I see an analogy of our country and the state of religion in it.

Christians, whether black or white, have taken the heat from people who follow Islam and from people who don’t follow any religion at all. We have not been broken, we have not stopped being Christians but there are some who are discarding their belief in Jesus or their religion. Why is this happening?

Is it because of the state of our country and its economy? Is it because of the state of relations between the so-called “races” of people in our country? Now, before anyone gets all bent out of shape, the reason that I have races in quotes is because God did not make us this way! God created mankind! We are all the same race, whether your skin is white or black, yellow or brown or any shade between those. Our main difference is cultural. There are cultural differences between most everyone on earth regardless of where you may live.

We are brought up by our parents and grand-parents into a culture, regardless of where you live. You may be brought up in a community in Chicago or Detroit or New York, but your culture will be in line with those that you are around.

Christian’s, regardless of race, should follow Jesus’ example. He didn’t pay attention to the cultural norms of his people, He spoke to women and to Samaritans which other Jews actively avoided. He healed lepers, he touched them which no one in His culture would do. We are to be His hands, His eyes, His feet in our time because others need to know Him. How will they know about Him if we don’t take Him with us through our actions or our words?

How can we possibly fulfill the commission that Jesus gave us to take the gospel to every nation and tribe if we don’t do it? If our cultural differences keep us apart and separate us into “us” and “them”, how can we show each other the love of Christ?

At the beginning of this post there is a picture of a burned safe which had been discarded. It did what it was supposed to do because it protected the contents to the best of its ability from the fire. That is what Christians are supposed to be doing too…protecting others from the fire of hell by telling them about the love and forgiveness of God.

Then, telling them about what Jesus did for each of us regardless of our skin color or our race or our culture. He did it for all of us and if you need to know what “it” is I am going to tell you: He took the punishment and the torture of being apart from God as well as the punishment of the cross for our sins!

God loves each of us, and it doesn’t matter which culture we claim or what skin color we have but in order for us to be considered a child of God and forgiven, we have to accept Jesus’ sacrifice and believe that it was for us because it was! The way that the world has everyone thinking is about groups of people and we need to look at each other as individuals. Each of us is unique and different but we are all the same in God’s eyes!

The contents of that safe may have burned up, but it did its job as well as it could. It may not have been designed to take as much heat as it looks like it was exposed to, but we are. Our character is molded by our culture and that character is what we should be showing the world. If your character and your ability is modeled after Christ, then they will see Him and that is the best that we can do as individuals because we were created to be mankind and have a relationship with each other and with God.