• Love Story 1 – God shows love first, giving us life and offering us salvation. (image of God, value, not me first)
  • Love Story 2 – God’s love story includes unity, organic, spiritual. (God-shaped image,-redeemed, strategic connect)
  • Love Story 3 – God’s love story includes creativity, benefit of community working together, body of Christ

Love Story 4 – Revelation 7:9-10 God’s love story includes all people. God’s love is available to everybody, everywhere.

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” – John 3:16-17  God showing love first.

“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” – 2 Peter 3:9  Speaks to God’s desire.

God’s love story has always included people from every nation, culture, and ethnicity. God’s heart for the future.

“All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” – Genesis 12:2-3 God’s promise of love to Abraham.

“In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all— the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship. People from many nations will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.’” – Isaiah 2:2-3

“He will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence,” – Matthew 25:31-32  Jesus speaking to what the future will be like.

“They sang a new song with these words: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God.’” – Revelation 5:9-10

“’After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar, ‘Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!’” – Revelation 7:9-10

“Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.” – Revelation 22:1-2

Jesus made it clear to His followers that the mission would take them to people from every nation and ethnicity.

“The Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it,” – Matthew 24:14

“Go and make disciples of all the nations,” – Matthew 28:19

“You will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8

Here we are reading about God’s big picture purpose and how the followers of Jesus responded to his guidance. In this way we see an church model that is urban, multiethnic, emotionally healthy, spirit-filled, and missional in practice.

  • Urban
  • Multiethnic
  • Emotionally Healthy
  • Spirit-Filled
  • Missional Practice

As we follow Jesus, we should shift away from individualism to a community mindset and value system.

Prejudice is wrong.

Paul confronts Peter over changing his habit of eating with Gentiles when Jewish believers arrived.

Paul connects the dots after his favorable meeting with the leaders of the Jerusalem church, followed by this interaction with Peter at the church in Antioch, seen in Galatians 2.

“My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? If you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin.” – 2 Peter 2:1, 9

“We are designed to reflect God’s character of love that embraces all humanity.” – Rev Dr David Ireland

What should we do?

  1. Pursue a shared peace. (shalom)

“Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” – Romans 12:18

“Let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.” – Romans 14:19

“Let us pursue what makes for shalom and for mutual upbuilding, building each other up, adding value,”

  1. Following Jesus together. (personal, private, and yet shared experience)

“You must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever!” – 2 Peter 3:18

  1. Living on the mission Jesus gives. (fulfilled joy in sharing)

“You will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8