OUR VISION - VALUE
The vision of King's Church Cockermouth is to love Jesus and make Him known - we do this by:
Being secure in Christ
Knowing who we are individually
Church in the Community
Here we look at how we value ourselves, other people and cultures and the things that we do on a day to day basis. Jesus tells us that the two greatest commandments are to Love God with all our heart, soul and might, and love our neighbours as ourselves (Matthew 22 v 37-39).
The Bible tells us that we were once at war with God, and with ourselves, and therefore with others around us. The gospel is a gospel of reconciliation, primarily bringing us peace with God himself, then with ourselves and those around us.
Knowing what God thinks about us, who we are in Christ and the value He puts on us leads us to value everyone he has created, the creation around us and the work he gave us to do.
However, many of us are taught to be negative about ourselves, to believe things that simply aren't true about ourselves. We often carry pain from comments made to and about us, this can lead us not to valuing who are.
Here we set out some of the truths the Bible teaches, and how we can apply them to our lives.
Ephesians 2 v 10 says:
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
This verse has several really important principles:
We are created by God the Father himself. We are not accidents, not tolerated, but incredibly and wonderfully made by the Father Himself. God doesn't make mistakes, therefore, you too are made just the way that God intended. It is sin that spoils us and mars the perfect image of God that we were intended to be.
We are in Christ Jesus. We have a position that is unassailable. It cannot be changed. We are in Christ Jesus, and He stands before that Father, he is seated in heavenly places, He is the Father's well beloved. And because He is, so are we.
We have purpose. God has intentionally prepared work for us to do, work only you can do. It is amazing that God chooses to partner with us. this gives great value and purpose to our lives, and to the things we do.
Finally, we have the choice as to whether to believe this or not. We can walk in these truths and fulfill the purposes that God has for us, or we can choose to disbelieve God and agree with the lies our enemy tells us.
Each one of us has a calling and a destiny. Jeremiah reminds that God has plans for us, plans for our blessing, for a future, for a hope - a sure and certain hope.
At one level, this gives us hope for our eternal future. Jesus has redeemed us for our eternal future, and it is a sure and certain hope.
At another, God wants to bless us in this life, to give us a future and a hope. Our new life in Jesus is meant to be an adventure, a romance, a story that is intertwined with his.
Our calling includes our spiritual position in Christ. it includes our spiritual gifts - each one given as a gift by the Holy Spirit. Each one of us is gifted by God, and we are asked to treasure them, nurture them and exercise them. It includes the activities we do, work, rest and play.
Our calling is both short term, and long term. What we do today is part of God's calling for us right now. It is important, and has great value. It helps us bring God's Kingdom on earth, and brings God's love and mercy into the world around us. but we also have a calling to our future too. God gives us dreams, hopes and vision for the future. That could be the exciting adventure of living in the same town for years, or the exciting adventure of moving to another country. Whatever it is, it is God's called for you, for your life, for your future, but it is all for God's glory.
Because our ultimate purpose and calling is to bring God pleasure and glory, to draw attention to Him and to His Son. It is to show His perfect wisdom and power, to bring Him praise.
RESPECT, DIGNITY AND HONOUR
1 John 3 v 1 says:
Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God, and so we are.
This is the incredible respect, dignity and honour that God has given us - we carry His name, His character, His nature.
And Jesus has reminded us that we should love our neighbours as ourselves.
This starts with ourselves. God wants us to learn to respect ourselves, to give ourselves dignity and honour - we should think rightly about ourselves.
This leads us to think rightly about the people around us. God has given each person dignity we are made in His image, and all people are image bearers. And so, as we see people around us, we are looking at God's workmanship. This means that we should treat everyone with dignity, respect and honour. Just as we love God, we love the people he created in His image.
Jesus tells us that when we give people water, food and show care in different ways, we do it to and for the Father. Amazingly, as we give dignity, respect and honour to those around us, no matter who they are, we give the same to god himself, it is an expression of our worship to the Father.
And so, no matter who they are, what life choices people make, their attitudes or habits, the mistakes they've made or the way they live their life, our privilege is to respect and honour them. To love and care for them to the best of our ability and to give them the dignity God intends.
So what is our response to all this to be?
Let's worship the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and so fulfil the greatest commandment. As we seek Jesus' presence in our lives, the Holy Spirit draws us closer to Him, and makes us more and more like Him each day.
We are now loved! We know this by believing all that God has said about us, reading the love letter - the Bible - he has given us. We can choose to believe the truth, that we are His children, His workmanship, his people. That we are intentionally and wonderfully made in His image, that he sent His Son to bring us peace with the Father.
We can learn more about our calling, what God wants us to do right now, and where God is leading us in the future. As we learn about His calling, we prepare, we learn, we persevere and we act.
Finally, we learn to love the people around us, our families, our church, our friends, our colleagues. We learn to give them dignitiy, respect and honour. We can learn to offer them love, encouragement and car, to consider them in our decisions and to prefer them before ourselves.
In loving people, we bring God's kingdom into their lives - they see a living demonstration of the love of the Father for them. What an amazing purpose God has given each one of us.
In doing all this, we bring honour to God, we bring Him glory, we bring Him pleasure, and step bu step we usher in His kingdom into our town and surrounding areas.