In a cultural climate of divisiveness - political animosity, racial tension, hate-motivated violent crime, religious terrorism - it’s easy to allow fear to overtake us, isolate ourselves from each other, and look out for our self-interest and survival rather than for each other.
Even worse, churches, religious leaders, and the devout often use their convictions as an excuse to be hateful and treat others as lesser. When churches become part of a political lobbying group and fight to call out all things moral, they are reduced to a small-minded constituency and lose their voice in a culture that desperately needs a voice of hope. This religious superiority drives wedges between them and those already marginalized. As a result, too many in our nation and culture have wrongly concluded that God is against them, since they have been told that religious people are against them and may have even experienced that.
Jesus showed up IN poverty, IN a country occupied and lacking political freedom, IN a time of world turmoil, political oppression, distrust, and extreme abuses. Jesus showed up IN weakness, humility, and anonymity. Rather than coming to condemn anyone to death or eternal judgment, He took the sins of the world on Himself and died in our place. He bore our cross, our shame, our guilt, our eternal suffering. He stepped in between us and the trouble we deserved, to offer His love, forgiveness, and hope so people far from Him could and would know the love of God the Father.
As a result, we can confidently say...
GOD IS FOR US, NOT AGAINST. God is for those who are even against him, living contrary to His perfect way of life. God is for OUR city! For your city. For your neighborhood. For your school. For your family. God is for you!