A Place to Call Home – Covenant Relationships & Diversity
Pastor Ricky Texada
Sunday March 19, 2017
Theme – Covenant Church appreciates diversity and honors covenant relationships because these are things God has demonstrated in His creation.
Honor in covenant relationships
- Covenant Church’s core values declaration includes the statement, “We honor in covenant relationships - We encourage, love and champion one another—committing to exhort and challenge each other towards growth in Christ.”
- A covenant is a strong agreement between two individuals for the mutual benefit of each.
- It is not possible to do the will of God if we are not in covenant agreement with someone else. Psalm 92:13 says, “Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.” Each of us must be firmly planted in a place, along with other people.
- God delegates authority to different people. Therefore, we must have strong relationships - one to another - to be useful in the Kingdom.
Covenants are God’s idea
- Because God initiated numerous covenants with His people, it is our responsibility to embrace the concept of covenants.
- The most recent covenant with the Body of Christ was declared by Jesus when He instituted the Lord’s Supper. Luke 22:20 says, “Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.”
Our response should be to have covenants with each other
- We need covenant relationships with each other in order to fulfill God’s will on the planet. Romans 12: 4-5 says, “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”
- It is impossible to love God and not have relationships with each other.
- Matthew 22: 37–40: Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
We have to work at maintaining our covenant relationships
- Ephesians 4: 1-3: I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
- At Covenant Church we interact in our covenant with each other by:
- Encouraging each other
- Championing each other – we are advocates for each other
- Exhorting one another to live a holy life
- Challenging one another – we hold each other accountable.
Covenant Church appreciates diversity
- Covenant Church’s core values declaration includes the statement, “We appreciate diversity - We find value in people, their stories and their unique gifts—empowering them to leverage who God has made them to advance His Kingdom.”
- Our church is blessed with a rich diversity of members.
- God is the author of diversity. He loves diversity. The very earliest Christian church described in Acts 2 was obviously very diverse in its make-up of different types of people.
- Our different gifts and experiences make life better and enable us to see different perspectives.
Our response to diversity
- We must be committed to the concept of diversity among us. Our love for one another will enable us to rise above adversity.
- We must be intentional to employ diversity throughout our church ministries.
- We must deal with our own fears, hurts, and previous experiences and not take offense because of them.
- Our citizenship in the Kingdom has more value than the temporary world events that cause division.
Reflective Questions for A Place to Call Home: Covenant Relationship and Diversity
- Think back on one of your first experiences at Covenant Church. What were your feelings about that experience? Did the experience reflect well on God’s Kingdom?
- Pastor Ricky said no one should be working alone in the Kingdom; we need each other to do God’s work. What are some practical things we can do to maintain our good relationships with each other?
- Why is it important our different ministry groups at Covenant Church reflect the diversity of the larger congregation?
- How successful have you been at focusing on larger Kingdom values during this time of division and anxiety in the world?