Jeff Vanderstelt is the pastor of Soma Community church. This is my 7th or 8th time hearing Jeff speak on missional living & the gospel and I am struck by how relevant and meaningful his words are each time he speaks.
You can read a fuller summary of Jeff’s talk at ZachNielson’s blog and below are some of my take-aways and thoughts:
Jeff says that we are MOTIVATED to love because we were first loved and that we love in a SPECIFIC kind of way because of HOW God loved us.
We are a chosen people. If we don’t remember who we were before we were in Christ, we won’t appreciate who we are now in Christ. We will never care for the “least of these” like Jesus did until we realize that we were the least of these.
Who were we?
We are, by nature, children of wrath. We were sin. Enemies of God. Hated.
Who are we, because of the cross?
We are children of God, we are righteousness, friends of God, LOVED….in Christ.
This is part of why I love talking to my children about the reality that they were orphans, like ME, but if we believe in Christ then we are orphans no more… I don’t like using the word orphan to just describe a desperate physical state, because it is also a desperate spiritual state. It is vital that we remember who we were when we were spiritual orphans.
I was really moved by Jeff’s words to love like God because we understand and know God’s heart of love. For the nations to know God’s loving mercy, I need to know God’s heart for his people. Jeff says that knowing the heart of God’s love for you enables and empowers you to love people all around you like brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers. Let’s show the world God’s great love for the fatherless.