Mark Hoffman: I’d like to introduce to you our guest speaker. He has been coming to this church for probably 25 years, I would say, so he has had something to speak into this church many times, and he has had a profound effect. His name is Jim Gilbert. He is a worship leader. He has a number of CDs and albums. He is an author. He has written a number of books. Some of those you can order on the back table following service, and he is a missionary statesman, meaning he has traveled all over the world, and I don’t know how many countries he has been in, perhaps he’ll share it, but he is just an international figure if you will, a statesman for the body of Christ, and he’s got a great message for us. Would you welcome Jim Gilbert?
Jim Gilbert: Thank you very much. Actually, I did count up the countries recently. Cuba, which I have you to thank for because you guys got me going to Cuba; that was #60. That doesn’t count airports; it is just actually places we have ministered. And then Iraq was #61. So I have no idea where #62 is, but I kind of hope it is a little easier than a couple of recent ones have been. Anyway, I’m glad to see you. I’m tempted to say I’m glad to be home. I’ve been tempted to change my last name to Hoffman or Deyling or something because I am never more at ease. I’m not shining anybody on. I don’t patronize, and I can be pretty frank at times, as you know, but it’s because I love you. I am never more relaxed than if I’m sitting with Mark and never more excited than when I’m sitting with Dave. There is a yin-yang thing going on in that family. I never feel uglier than when I’m hanging out with Deylings. Although, Jim, when you were up on the screen and you have the checkered shirt and the big beard, I was expecting a Home Improvement lesson for a minute. I saw Dan a second ago. Shane, you sounded so good man. That was just wonderful, wonderful music and really good songs. I wish I could be here Thursday, (referring to the live worship recording) but my name is not going to be on the cover, so I’m not. I have to fly back to the other side of the country in time for the next hurricane. Florida now on our license plates it says, “Welcome to the plywood state.”
I do want to get straight into this. I just want to say hi to you. I will mention, as Pastor Mark did, there are books available; however, I didn’t bring books with me to put on a table this time. But they’re available from your bookstore. The most amazing thing is that more than 200 people in this church have at least bought Storm Chaser: The Terry Law Story, if not read it. So, thank you for buying it. It’s up to you whether you read it or not, but a lot of you are already familiar with the book Storm Chaser. Now, there are just a couple thousand of you left who need to get right and purchase that book. There is another one called Unmasking ISIS: Defeating the Terrorists Who Want to Destroy the World that really will inform you in ways that you need to know because I promise you while they may have been defeated in Mosul, there are problems here, and you need to be educated. I don’t want to say prepared like I’m expecting some attack or something like that, but you need to educate yourself with regard to why there is a group of people in the world that hate you for what appears to you to be no good reason, but they have their reasons, and it’s just a good idea for you to know about it. I also want to tell you just one other thing, and I’m going to dive into this message. A couple of years ago a friend and I from opposite coasts, I live in Florida, he lives up in San Clemente, we began something that we just call the Worldview Guys at worldviewcourse.com. We put together a course called the Worldview Course that I think Micah 68 is getting ready to go through with Neil. Anyway, the other guy in the Worldview Guys is Mark Nauroth, would you stand please? He is half my age. You would never ever put us together, but he is the guy that reads books on papyrus. I’m not kidding. He’s the guy that taught himself ancient Greek. He’s high tech and I’m high mileage. I’m the guy quoting the British version of Sherlock and Seinfeld episodes, and he’s quoting Anselm and all the church fathers. We just have everything backwards, but everything works so well when we’re together. There is this synergy that just somehow happens. I’m so happy that Mark is here, and I wanted you to meet him. In fact, we’ve got something called the Worldview Course. If you want to know about it, you know what he looks like now, just corner him and he’ll tell you about it, and then you’ll buy it and life will work well. I want to dive into something with you, and I begin with a question: Who in the world are we? No, really… Not just who are we, but who in the world are we? In 1 Peter, Chapter 2, the most famous passage of 1 Peter, where Peter said this in verses 9 and 10 of the 2nd chapter.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, …. for you once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
God had to shake Peter to get him to take the Gospel to the Gentiles because he was so utterly Jewish in everything that he did, and the Gospel was for the Jews, etc. He had that kind of locked-in worldview, and the Lord really dealt with him about it. But his template for looking at the church was Israel, and he could have been speaking to any Jewish audience when he said, “Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people,” because he had called Israel, as you know, from the family of Jacob. He had called Israel, and then they were slaves to the Egyptians for 400 years, then He had delivered them into the Promised Land, they had become a nation, but then they had disintegrated at a certain point. I want to take you and show you in Israel’s history how God reconstituted them as a nation that had fallen apart. We live in the midst of what people describe as “cultural collapse” and it is true. We are in the midst of a cultural collapse in our nation, and yet we are not beyond hope. I think anything God does in the way of judgment that leaves you breathing is redemptive. There is always hope, and there are too many people that are so busy prophesying darkness and the next round of darkness in the world that they are not shining their light. We are meant to be a city on a hill whose light cannot be hidden. But how does God make us into that? How does God make us into “a people.” It doesn’t just say once you were not God’s people; it says “once you were not a people.” Peter is talking about an identifiable distinct people of God. Look, we live now at a point in the life of the church where the word “Christian” has become this very nebulous term. Where the word “church” has become a very nebulous term. You hear people say, “I’m a Christian,” or you hear people say, “I go to such-and-such church.” And you don’t know if it’s a real church, if it’s a cult. You have no idea what they are talking about. If somebody says, “I’m a Christian,” you have no idea if they bought into universalism or if they are real narrow minded or if they are politically correct. You don’t know if they are hooked on grace or hooked on faith or they are some part of an emergent church, and you have no idea what they are emerging from or into because it is like anything goes. We have no definition left. We are supposed to be an identifiable people to the world. And as I looked at the way God restored Israel after He brought them out of captivity in Babylon, their second captivity, and when they had been exiled… when I looked at the way He brought them out and over the span of about a century, rebuilt them as a nation, I saw the way that God was working in them. Now they weren’t very good at cooperating, but it did not change His plan. He had a way of bringing them back. There were certain priorities that He had in bringing them back as a nation.
Israel, once a people, disintegrated when they turned to the State for their primary identity.
Let me say this: Israel began to seriously deteriorate and eventually disintegrate when they demanded a king. God Himself had been their king, and He wanted to be their king. He wanted to be their head of state. He had chosen them that way, and He wanted them to be a whole nation of priests to the rest of the world; that was the promise He had given to Abraham. But they decided they wanted a king like all the other nations around them, and they began to put their identity into the state. Let me say it another way: They began to find their identity and their purpose in the government, and when you do that you are a culture in trouble. Mark and I have worked with a group that tests Christian high school students and tests their worldviews against what Scripture says, and I can tell you that the normal thing now, even amongst Christian kids, is to say, “Well, it’s the government’s job to do such and such.” Whether you’re talking about healthcare or education or retirement or whatever. There are so many things in life that you and I have been told for more than a generation that that is the government’s job, we should expect them to do that. In a broad way, Christians have begun to believe that. In a broad way, certainly our nation has embraced that idea and more and more we find ourselves in this so-called culture war where people find their identity more and more in red and blue, in Republican and Democrat, or in progressive, or they are feeling the Bern, or they’re on the Trump Train or whatever. More and more people find themselves at odds, and nowadays you’ll get hated just because you voted for so-and-so or you’ll get assumed to be a racist just because you’re a member of a particular party or you’ll be assumed to be some moonbeam person because you’re a member of the other party. We find ourselves identifying in the wrong ways. As Christians, we are supposed to find our identity in Christ. I’ve told you before, the Bible says our citizenship is in heaven. That doesn’t mean where we’re headed. The Bible does not say you go to heaven forever when you die. Heaven comes to Earth. Read Revelation 21. It is right at the end of the book. Go to the end of the book, go one block left, you’ll see Revelation 21, and it shows God coming to Earth to live amongst His people forever. Heaven envelopes Earth. Heaven comes to Earth eventually. We get heaven, but we also get Earth. Heaven wasn’t designed to be an alternative to a planet gone bad. I better get back into history now. I’m getting so excited I’ll launch into another sermon. It’ll be a bunny trail; I’ll blame it on the anointing. Anytime preachers ramble, they blame it on the Holy Spirit and hopefully something good happens out of it.
How did Israel lose their way as a nation? How did they wind up disintegrating? When they demanded a king, God gave them Saul. Basically with Saul they got what they deserved. You really want a king? Okay, he’s going to be a tyrant. By the way, the mark of tyranny was a tax rate of 10%. I would consider that profound relief, but it was a mark of tyranny. Then He gave a second king to them. He said, “Well, if you are going to have a king, I’m going to at least give you a lesson out of this.” And He gave them a man after His own heart named David who really prefigured their true king, Jesus. David was followed by Solomon, and then Solomon’s son Rehoboam became king. Rehoboam, however, was a weak person, and he had a general named Jeroboam. So you had Ray and Jerry, and Jeroboam decided he was going to try to take over. I don’t think he had the courage, this is speculation on my part, but at least I admit it. I don’t think he had the courage to try to tackle Jerusalem, and so he left the counties of Judah and Benjamin, he left them alone, but he took the other 10 counties in the north of Israel. He split the kingdom into the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom. Israel was split in two. He didn’t want them making an annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem, so he decided he would invent a bastardized form of Judaism and make his headquarters in Samaria. If you’ve ever wondered why the Jews despised Samaria, he put golden calves in 2 different places in the Northern Kingdom and made his capital city Samaria and had this paganized form of Judaism. The nation was essentially no more when Jeroboam split it. And then 119 years after he split it, the Assyrians came in and conquered the Northern Kingdom, and they were scattered all over what is now northern Iraq, the Nineveh Plains, and Kurdistan. They were scattered all over there. The Southern Kingdom was still functioning for a while, but 150 years later, in 586, Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians conquered the Southern Kingdom. They took Jerusalem. They took people into exile for 70 years. Now Israel didn’t even exist anymore. The way the Babylonians did it was like the picture of the little fish being swallowed by a big fish being swallowed by a bigger fish. What happened was the Assyrians conquered the Northern Kingdom, then the Babylonians conquered the Assyrians, and then 50 years later after that, the Medo-Persians conquered the Babylonians, and along came an emperor named Cyrus. Now I just took you from 1050 BC to 539 BC. Cyrus became their king. Israel, or what used to be Israel, became part of his empire.
How in the world is God going to put His nation back together again when His people are scattered all over what is now southern Iraq, northern Iraq, and Syria? How is He going to put them back together again? Well, about a year after Cyrus became king, God gave him a dream. Now there is nothing to indicate that Cyrus was a godly man, although he was known to be a benevolent dictator as opposed to a mean guy. So, he generally gave reward for people when he conquered them, and it was wise to cooperate with him because it was profitable for you. He had a pretty good reputation relatively speaking to most other dictators, but God gave him a dream. In fact, the prophet Isaiah referred to Cyrus as “God’s anointed” and used the word Messiah. He is the only person besides Jesus that that word is ever used about in Scripture. That is how important he was to God’s plan. God gave him a dream that he was letting the Jews go back to Jerusalem, but God gave him a dream, and he realized that the God of Israel was the true God, and so in letting the Israelites go back to their homeland, he also commissioned that the temple would be rebuilt in Jerusalem.
ZERUBBABEL, EZRA, NEHEMIAH
For the next century after that is the way that God reconstituted His nation, particularly through 3 different men. You may have heard of all 3. You’ve probably heard of at least 2 of the 3. But they were men named Zerubbabel, say that 5 times fast, Ezra, and Nehemiah. The easiest way to remember it is the word “ZEN.” It’s how Israel got it’s Zen back I guess. But Cyrus commissioned Zerubbabel to accompany his fellow Jews back; 49,800 Jews left Babylon and went back to Jerusalem, and here they are going to a place that has been lying in ruins ever since the Babylonians had conquered it 70 years earlier. Jerusalem has been laid waste for 70 years. The walls have been torn down, houses ransacked, etc. Other tribes have moved in. You’ve got Canaanites there, Samaritans there, and now here the Jews are coming back, and you wonder how is the Lord going to start? Because He has delivered them now. How is He going to start rebuilding His people because they are supposedly His chosen people? He sent Zerubbabel back to rebuild the temple, and this shows the fact that the heart of a godly culture is worship.
Zerubabbel restored worship as central to Israel’s identity.
The priority for God is that He is at the center of the culture. If you’ve ever heard what is called the Shorter Westminster Catechism, at the very beginning of the catechism it asks, “What is the chief end of man?” And the answer is, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” The reason we were created, according to the Shorter Westminster Catechism and it is actually I think the right answer, was to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. You were created to be a worshiper. Your greatest ministry in life is not going out to the people. Your greatest ministry in life is going in to God. Now I’m not saying that what you have to do is change your lifestyle where you become one of those prayer-warrior types. Forgive me if you’re a prayer-warrior type but I’m going to make fun of you. You know somebody who goes into a closet for 3 days and fasts and prays and then comes out and pretends they enjoyed it. I grew up as a pastor’s kid, and when I heard about prayer warriors, I just thought these are the people who are too eccentric to watch Monday Night Football anyway. That is just the way I thought. I had a very bad attitude toward intercessors. Forgive me now, but I’m just being honest. I had a really bad attitude. I appreciate that type of person but I was never that type of person. What I’m talking about when I say God created you to be a worshiper is not to say that your personality is going to change in some dramatic invasion-of-the-body-snatchers way or you become one of the pod people from the old movie, but that God has created you in whatever personality He gave you. I promise you, you are the only you He made, and you can be thankful for that, but at the same time not get hooked on it, because you’re not the center of the universe. He is.
We worship as a distinct PEOPLE.
So, He has created you first of all to be a worshiper. But can I say this to you in another way? I’d like you to listen to that in the plural. Because if you are going to be “a people,” then I don’t want to gear this message to you as an individual as much as I want to gear this message to you as a people. God created you as a people to worship Him as your first priority. That is the most important ministry you have as a people. What does this mean? Amongst other things, it means that when you miss a Sunday, the place is really not the same without you. It’s not like it is just an option to be there, it’s a convenience to be there. If you are the people of God, then be the people of God come together. Because there is power when you come together with one voice to worship God that is absent when you are in a thousand different homes and aren’t in church. It is important that you worship God at home, but it is very important that you come together. Whether the world hears you or not. Whether you are doing a live album or not. It’s important that you come together and magnify Him with one voice because He made you to be a people who have worship at your core. In any culture, whatever is at the core, is the god that those people worship. In fact, the word culture comes from a Latin word for worship, but we use it about penicillin and we use it about sourdough. Why? Because in both cases, whatever is at the center transforms everything around it. Jesus compared the Kingdom to yeast for that reason. He said that wherever He puts us in the world, the Kingdom of God that is within us is meant to spread from us to transform our surroundings. It is important for us to have that core established or we can never be yeast in the world. We can never spread His Kingdom, His culture, to the rest of the world. So, we have to have at the very center of our reason for being worship. I want you to understand something about this. Worship is a far more holy exercise than we realize. It doesn’t mean we can’t have fun. It doesn’t mean we can’t sing fun songs. But as we were singing that song, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy” a while ago, this thought came to me: If we ever really get the intent of that song, we are probably all just going to fall down, and it’s going to get silent. If it really hits us like the way grace hit John Newton. ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved; When you really begin to see what God’s grace is, it will scare the hell out of you. That is theological language. Get with it. And when we really realize that God is holy, it is probably going to stop everything in its tracks. It certainly did with John when he had the revelation. He has created us to have Himself at the core.
The Samaritans decided they wanted to help Zerubbabel in rebuilding the temple because it was a big project. It was supposed to be a 6-year project, and they tried to help in rebuilding the temple, and Zerubbabel refused. “Why?” they asked. “We worship the same God you do. We are Samaritans. We worship the God of Israel.” Haven’t you had people say, “Look, we all worship the same God. We may call Him by different names, we may do it different ways, but it’s all worshiping the same God.” It just so happens that the Samaritans used golden calves and engaged in idolatry, and it wasn’t true worship. Zerubbabel said, “No, sorry, you can’t help.” Of course then they got angry. They spread bad rumors about him. There was a 16-year delay in finishing the temple because they sent false rumors back to Persia about them. But the fact is worship is an exclusive thing. It doesn’t mean we are haughty. It doesn’t mean we are snooty. But we have to realize when God says, “I have chosen you. You are a unique people. You’re a royal priesthood. You’re a holy nation”… we have to adopt that identity, and there is a part of us then that becomes reserved only for Him. There is a part of worship that becomes absolutely exclusive. Now I’m not saying that so you’ll start saying, “Okay, you can’t stay for this, and you have to leave.” It is not that kind of ridiculous thing. I just want you to understand that He wants us to be identifiable. He wants us to be distinct.
Ezra restored God’s Word as central to Israel’s mindset.
Well, now the Jews had a problem. When they finally got the temple rebuilt they had a problem. They didn’t know what to do with it. You know when I was 5 years old I lived in West Virginia in between 2 big hills. I didn’t learn to swim, but I could run ridges like crazy. I had 2 little buddies, Tillman and Pat, and the 3 of us went up on this flat spot on the mountain where we used to meet together and just talk, you know the way 5 year olds talk. It didn’t take long. We decided we would have a club. So, they elected me the president because I was the local preacher’s kid and Tillman was the vice president and Pat didn’t like the word secretary so we named him something else. We had a club. Five minutes later we dissolved it because we didn’t have anything to do. We didn’t know what a club did. The Jews didn’t know what to do with the temple once they built it because frankly they didn’t know that much more than the Samaritans. They had some idea, and there was probably some form of priesthood working in some way, but generally speaking, they were not “a people,” and even though they had the temple, they didn’t know what to do with it. They really didn’t know what worship was. For several decades, the temple sat, and then God brought them a scribe named Ezra. Now they have in God’s eyes, at least they know, whether they are practicing or not, that worship is to be at the core of their culture.
No substitutes for what God’s Word actually says.
What is the next thing God wanted to do? He wanted to gird their minds with His Word. So, he brought them Ezra to teach them what the Scriptures said. Now look, I’m preaching to you a topical sermon right now, but I can tell you topical sermons, books about the Bible, all kinds of thematic preaching, romantic worship songs, there is in the long run no substitute for what the Bible actually says. There is a joke among seminarian students, an old joke, that a seminary student went out and bought a Bible because he hoped it would shed some light on his textbooks. We get things a bit backward, but the truth is there is no substitute for what it just actually says. So here comes Ezra, not with a bunch of seminars on how to be a true Jew or whatever the seminar would have been, and he came along and just instituted the public reading of God’s Word. He stationed interpreters because actually they were speaking a different dialect by this era from what the Scriptures were written in. He stationed interpreters throughout the crowd and had them there to interpret difficult passages and to explain and to teach when necessary. But Ezra brought back the Word of God. You see, people cannot act like God’s people if they don’t know what God’s people are to act like, what God’s people are to live like. Jesus said, “You really love me if you abide in me, and my words abide in you.” Not “and my words show up casually in your life once a week” but “my words abide in you.” In Deuteronomy 9, if you look at that passage, it tells parents and grandparents that they are to constantly all day long from the morning when they get up to the night when they go to bed be teaching their children what God’s Word says about the world around them, what God’s Word says about the way life works. It wasn’t the job of a county board of education. It wasn’t the job of a local pastor. It wasn’t the job of a local youth pastor. It wasn’t the job of a sweet guy with puppets. It was the job of parents and grandparents to fill their children’s minds with what God’s Word said because you see we cannot obey something we have not read. If we are going to truly be the people of God, then we have to be dedicated to His Word, to Him, and the proof of our dedication to Him is that we let ourselves become a dwelling place for His Word.
By the way, let me say this, I get in a hurry and I start to speak more forcefully because I’m in a hurry. I think what I’m telling you right now is just a clarifying word for what God is already doing at Foothills and hopefully around town in the church. It is not like this is some remedial word to a bunch of people who just don’t get it. Normally when I come here I don’t have any information ahead of time because if God wants me to give a prophetic word, I don’t want you to think that I was somehow filled in with all kinds of information ahead of time. But this time before I came, I thought it was really wise to go online and listen to Mark and to Dave and some of the messages they have preached recently. I was listening to Dave talking about the integrity of Scripture, and I was listening to Mark talk about humility, and I just saw this wonderful thing that God has been doing amongst you, and then I got here and realized there were more than 500 of you showing up night after night for prayer this past week. That is a wonderful thing. I can tell you, if you want to keep a building nice and empty, you just announce a prayer service around the United States in a lot of churches. It is a wonderful thing that God is doing amongst you, but I want you to see more clearly why He is doing it. He put worship at the core of that culture, then He put God’s Word in their minds.
God’s people were indistinguishable from the pagans around them. But you know, even after Ezra, they were still full of compromise. They were learning God’s Word, yes, but they were living in the world, and they were of the world. You know the Bible says we are in the world but not of it. Well, they were in the world and of it. They were intermarrying with Samaritans. They were intermarrying with Canaanites. They really still were not a distinct people.
Nehemiah restored Israel’s “face.”
Nehemiah heard about this. Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the Persian emperor. He was the most trusted man. The cupbearer was the guy who tasted your food to make sure it wasn’t poisonous. He is the canary in the coalmine, right? He is the guy that is putting his life on the line for the emperor with every bite he takes and every drink that he takes. A very trusted man. The emperor liked Nehemiah, and he saw that Nehemiah at a certain point was in a period of prolonged depression, and he asked him what was wrong. Nehemiah spoke about his homeland that I don’t think he had ever been to. He talked about Jerusalem and the fact that it was still lying in ruins. They had the temple rebuilt. The people were building homes, but the city was just lying in ruins, and he wanted to go back. Now I’ve got to be careful when I say this phrase. He wanted to go back and build a wall. The news has so conditioned us to think about walls in black-and-white terms. Nehemiah was commissioned by the emperor with funds to go back and rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. Why was that so important? A wall around Jerusalem represented the “face” of Israel. A wall was not considered a barrier except to those who were up to evil deeds. To everyone else, it represented protection. When Nehemiah went back and he recruited the people to build with him to get going on rebuilding the cultural infrastructure, what he was doing was taking God’s Word and putting into practice what they had learned from Ezra. It is one thing to say, “I worship the Lord all the time, and I just stay in the Word.” I’ve had people tell me, “I just stay in the Word all the time. I don’t even watch the news.” Now here you’re inheriting the Earth, and you are so irresponsible you don’t even watch the news? Excuse me? Is the Scripture going to tell you what to do after there is a hurricane in Texas if you don’t know about the hurricane in Texas? Is the Scripture going to tell you that there is going to be rain that ruins your garage sale on Saturday? We have a world around us and we need to know about that world. Of all people, Christians are more responsible, not less, to be involved in society around them. Now this is where Foothills has excelled and not only has God used you in this way in a wonderful way, but He has also used you to be a model for other churches in this city. But I want you to see what He’s doing because He wants to replicate what He has done among you, not franchise it, but replicate it in other places. Nehemiah was taking God’s Word and the priority with worship at the center, with God’s Word in their minds, and saying now let’s put this to practical use here. The first thing they were doing was rebuilding that wall.
The wall was designed to attract people to the city, not repel them.
It was designed to let good people in and keep bad people out. It wasn’t just protection. It was identity. We are to be an identifiable people. Not by some physical wall but by the wall in our character where God has built us up as a people. Nehemiah had all the people working around the city, building in front of their own homes to protect their own homes. That is why they were so motivated to do it; a nice capitalist enterprise there. They were so motivated to do it because they were building up in their own interest and in their neighbor’s interest as well. Do you know why God put you in the neighborhood where you live? Because he loves that neighborhood, and He put you there as a seed, as a little bit of leaven. Jesus said the Kingdom of God is like yeast that a woman puts down in a measure of meal, and it begins to transform what’s around it until it has leavened the entire measure of meal. The whole lump, He says. That is the Gospel. Why did God give you a job where there are so many unbelievers around you, and the air is just blue with language? Why does He have you there without a lot of Christian fellowship around you in such an ungodly job? You don’t like the atmosphere. Neither did He, so He put you there. That is why you work there. God gave you to your neighbor to live next door to them because He loves that neighbor, not just because He wanted you to have good equity, although it ain’t bad. He put you where you work because He wants that company to see that blessing is going to come from godliness. You are a person of destiny, but you are a person of destiny not just as an individual, you are a people of destiny, and God has called you as representatives of His to be identifiable to the community around you with a heart of worship, with a mind filled with His Word, and with hands ready to rebuild whatever you see that is broken. That is who you are.
Now Israel could be A PEOPLE.
- Worshiping Community
- Educated in God’s Word
- Culturally distinct & attractive
Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.