Encounter: God Is For Us

At Gateway Church in Austin we began a new series called “Encounter: Learning from How Jesus Did Relationships.”  This week at the Third Base Sport Bar, some of those who live in Central Austin got together to watch the service on the internet. John Burke shared. Here are some of his insights:

“Consider: what message do I bring to the people I do live with?

In general, people admire Jesus, but they don’t like His followers. Is it because people who follow Jesus tend to become more like the religious leaders Jesus rebuked rather than becoming like Jesus?

Jesus cared more about people than his reputation. Luke 7:34

People around Jesus could feel that God was for them. Jesus valued people.

The religious leaders devalued people. They cared more about their laws than the people around them.

These questions will help us determine if we are more like Jesus or more like the religious leaders:

1. Do I restore value to people or do I devalue them?

No matter how irritating someone may be, beneath the rough exterior is a masterpiece created by God.  That is what Jesus saw, but the religious leaders only saw the mud and the stains on the exterior.

Simon thought Jesus should never have allowed the adulteress woman to even enter the room much less wash His feet. Luke 7:39-47

We all need God’s love and forgiveness. When we are judgmental, we are seeing ourselves as better than others. We don’t see our own issues accurately. We may not even be as grateful to God for all He has done for us as we should be.

2. Do I hold mercy or judgment in my heart?

We can perceive what is in a person’s heart. What we perceive will determine how we will respond to someone.

Jesus offered mercy to those who need mercy (which is all of us). Is. 61:1-2

Jesus offers restoration rather than condemnation and judgment. What do we offer people?

There is a difference between judging others and helping others make progress. We can rebuke and correct others in a productive and healthy way which still values people.

We judge others so we don’t have to change personally.

What are the rough edges God wants to change in me?”

You can watch this message here in a couple of days and the rest of the series at http://www.gatewaychurch.com/podcast.

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