God's people are the hope of the world.
He calls us to do good, to work for justice, to help the down and out, to step up for the homeless, to go to bat for the defenseless.
He calls us to be a church family that gets messy by serving people.
What prevents us from being the hope of the world? What causes us not to get messy by getting involved in peoples' lives? Isn't it easier to go to church and to Bible study? Isn't it easier to do anything but get involved?
God confronts His people in Isaiah 1 where His people stopped getting messy serving the world and their community. They were focused on building their own kingdoms not God's Kingdom.
Isa 1:25-26 "I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities. I will restore your leaders as in days of old, your rulers as at the beginning. Afterward you will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City."
This transformation process is not for the soft hearted nor the weak minded. This is painful. It is easier to try and skip this real discipleship process. It is easy to focus on any other way of connecting with God. But, God waits for us to let Him show us our dross. To be with us in His melting pot of discipleship. To let Him remove the sin, selfishness, pride, arrogance, self-righteousness, thinking we can do life on our own, whatever Jesus points out to us. Ouch...
We need to go through this.
God dreams of the day when His people continually let God do this "drossing" process on us regularly so that He can create "The City of Righteousness."
"The City of Righteousness" are the people of God who do the right thing for the community. The people who learn to do good, to work for justice, to help the down and out, to step up for the homeless, to go to bat for the defenseless. The people who get messy with their Fab 5, the 1,000 homes around Southtown, the people in their small group and Sunday School class and anyone whom God puts in front of them. The people who are the hope of the world. God's people whom He calls "The City of Righteousness."
Let's do Isaiah chapter one together. Let's let God transform us. Let's continue to become His City of Righteousness.