Monday, February 27, 2012

Hope Lives Kickoff - Guest Post by Amber Van Schooneveld

To kick off our read through of Hope Lives: A Journey of Restoration, I asked Amber Van Schooneveld, the author, to write a guest post to prepare us for this journey.....

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Ephesians 2:10:
"For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
We are God's workmanship—we are each a unique piece of art that God himself lovingly crafted. But we're also not like some useless vase to set on a shelf, doing nothing. God created each piece of art for a purpose.
He has work for each of us to do—good work that will bring God's love and hope and beauty to this earth. 

That's so important. Because when so many people think about poverty, they can get mired down in the ugliness of it all. And there is a lot of ugly. It's often easier to turn our faces away from the immense need in the world around us because it can be overwhelming in its depravity and cruelty. We'd just rather think about something else.

This verse is a beautiful counterpoint to the ugliness of the world: Yes, there are so many needs in this world, but God is weaving a story throughout history of redeeming that world. It's a story that you and I are a part of—he prepared our part in it before we were ever born. He first rescued us, and now we have the great honor of bringing his help and hope to the rest of the hurting world.

This perspective on poverty is such a relief and a blessing. It's so easy to clench up when we hear about the needs out there. That familiar feeling of guilt and obligation tightens our stomachs. Sometimes it's easy to respond with a knee-jerk, not out of love or compassion, but out of a guilty desire to just do our token good deed so that we can not think about it anymore.

God is doing something bigger than that. God has crafted you, and he has crafted a story for you to be a part of. Those "good works" aren't an obligation to check off, but a grand invitation to be part of what God is doing as we follow Christ and become ever more like Him.

So remember that: responding to poverty isn't about doing your duty or being a "good person" or alleviating your guilty conscience. It's about God's desire to use his piece of art—you—to be a part of His story of redeeming this world.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...