Our Fall Retreat

We just had our Fall Retreat this past weekend and it was awesome. The purpose of the weekend, besides chilling out and spending quality time with each other, was to discuss the difference between Christians and the prevailing culture we live in.  We discussed why we are different, how we are different, and what that difference should look like.  We studied Col. 2.20-3.17, Matthew 5.13-16, and Matthew 7.21-27 and we came to some conclusions.

 1. We are different because we have eternal salvation and therefore are freed from the worlds standards and are able to live a transformed life (we don't have to abide by what the world says is true, cool, acceptable, etc.  We get to live in the freedom of knowing that we are saved from death and have an eternal inheritance.)
 2. Jesus calls us to be 'salt' and 'light' to those in our world; this is the how.  Salt preserves, enhances flavor, and creates thirst.  As 'salt' to our world we are to preserve the life around us by sharing God's love, we are to enhance the joy of life by sharing God's joy and peace, and we are to create a thirst for God by sharing the Gospel and living it out.  Light exposes what is in darkness, it guides us through the dark, and it should not be hidden.  As 'light' we are to expose sins by letting God's light and love shine through us, we are to follow God and lead others through the darkness, and we are to be bold;  to stand out because of our faith in Christ.
3.  We are to live differently by:
    Being Committed: In our relationships to God and others
    Being Pure: In thought and action
    Being Trustworthy:  Mean what you say and say what you mean
    Being Peaceful: Avoid anger and hatred, live out God's love, grace and peace
    Being Loving: Show mercy and love always
As Christians we are different.  Let that be an encouragement to us, that we don't have to fit in with the crowd, because we're not meant to.  We are meant to be with God and until that day comes we will always be strangers and misfits.  May we embrace the difference we have in Christ and let his love shine through us so he might be glorified by what we say AND do.