February 18, 2018

Tribe Culture: Warm, Deep, and Free

Tribe Recap of February 18, 2018 | Luke 10 | Zach 11 | I Cor 14 | I Pet 4 | Phil 3 | Gal 5

The Good Samaritan from Luke 10 demonstrates what love looks like.  Love recognizes the hurts or needs in another person and then proceeds to take action to address what is needed, even if it’s inconvenient.  These days, we may not be physically beat up on our way down the road but most all of us are beat up one way or another emotionally. Loss, hurtful words, missed opportunities, loneliness and many other factors rob us of joy, leaving our minds half dead by side of the road of life.

In this passage, Jesus asks the lawyer which person was a ‘neighbor’ in the story:  the ‘holy’ ones who passed by and did nothing or the outcast (Samaritan) that stopped to help.  The lawyer answered correctly – the one who showed mercy.  Being kind to others is to be the Good Samaritan in our day and age because it’s kindness that treats emotional wounds with the oil of a loving act.

Some years back I had the opportunity to spend time in the Maldives with my family.  The Maldives are a set of islands south of India with the most clear, warm, beautiful water you have ever seen.  One day on that trip, my son and I signed up to free swim off a boat in the ocean.  So my son and I and some other free divers were dropped off in about 30 feet of water.  It was like being in heaven, swimming in that warm, deep water, utter free to explore and take in ocean life so spectacular it could have only come from the imagination of God.

Experiencing a community who values mercy and kindness is like swimming in warm water because you can relax.  You don’t have to clam up waiting for the next barrage of unkind word-bullets or judgmental sideways glances.  At Tribe we want to be warm like that water.  We want to give mercy like the Good Samaritan, bandaging up the hurting who come through our doors.  I Peter 3:20-21 says love covers a multitude of sins; so we too, want to ‘cover’ each other in love and let the Spirit have a platform to speak to hearts.  We want to see mercy triumph over judgment.

And like deep water, we want to go to the deep places with God, not standing at a distance like the Israelites did at the foot of Mr. Sinai.  We want to go up the mountain together no matter what it costs us.  When we meet as a church, we show each other who God is by the ministry the Spirit has given each one of us.  I Corinthians 14:26 tells us that we come to assembly with something to give, whether a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation of that tongue, and all of this so we can build each other up.  This is why we have open worship, so we can go deep into God together for the building up of the Body of Christ.

In deep water there is much to explore.  The Spirit of God is like deep water; He has given us much to explore about who He is and what the Kingdom of Heaven is like.  So we at Tribe want very desperately to explore God, to go on a great adventure into the last unknown frontier – the presence of the Spirit of Jesus.  When new people come to Tribe, they are jumping into the wonderful deep and warm waters of God’s Spirit.

And in those waters, there is great freedom.   Galatians 5:1 says that is for the sake of being free that Christ set us free.  He set us free so we could move about in the deep and warm waters of his Kingdom, free of sin and free to explore the joy he bought us on the cross.  Philippians 3:30 reminds us that our citizenship is in heaven.  Our bodies are waiting to be transformed but our minds have already been transformed!  So our minds should operate freely according to the culture and value-system of heaven – which is creative, full of life, and without inhibition towards glorifying God and exploring his Kingdom.

So we are building a culture that is warm towards people, deep in God, and free to explore the Kingdom of Heaven and go on adventures with God.  We are free from the law, free from fear of failure, free to succeed in our missions, free to be ourselves, free to fight each other’s battles, and free to worship through creativity.

When the people of God live in a warm, deep, and free culture, they will find themselves in the presence of the Living God, who is unsearchable in indescribable wonders waiting to be discovered. 

Ken JensenJustin Kofoed