United Methodist Church
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (NIV)
As we enter into March we’re in our second week of Lent. This year, as I look at the world and all of our problems, I have been pondering a lot of things. Mainly it’s been about who I am and what I can do to make a difference in our world today. Much like Paul, I too was once a part of the problem that the world is dealing with today. Maybe it was a very, very, very small part but I was a part of something. That something was a part of a bigger picture made up of a lot of people who share the same problem. Most of us are not living up to the expectations that we are all created to attain. We are accepting instead the things of this world, which are second rate at best. The problem is that all of us were born we were not born into the one most important relationship that we were meant for. This is the one that makes it possible for us to be so much more than we can be on our own. This was Paul’s message to the Corinthians and here is what he had to say to the Ephesians, whom he loved a lot.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. Ephesians 2:1-3 (NIV)
So, that’s enough with the downer stuff. Here is the really good news everyone! The relationship that we were created for is with the One who created the universe and he was bound and determined to do all that he can to make it happen.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7 (NIV)
Too many people look at the Bible just like they do any other book. Some consider that it tells a great story and some even look to it as a roadmap for their faith. While the latter is true, the Bible is not like any other book that was ever written. It is not just any story, it is our story. It is not just a roadmap it holds the keys to successfully navigating life. We believe that it is the living word of God with power to bring change. The Word of God is chocked full of good stuff that talks about his mercy and grace for all people. He loves us so much that he did not leave us to our own ends. Instead, he has given us all a new chance at the best life possible here. He did that by giving us his own Son to pave the way. He is the one who has makes it possible for us to enter into the relationship that we are created for and a chance to make a difference for the good of humanity.
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV)
That is not only good news but also an amazing opportunity. So, getting back to my ponderings here is where I am today. There is a quote from a Dr. Seuss book called The Lorax that I have always felt could have come from the Bible,
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."
Here is our opportunity to do something that we care about. For me, it was a second chance where I work with God to rectify the problems that I helped to create. I truly believe that even though I play a very, very, very small part of the big picture I can make a difference. I believe that it is possible because I am doing it alongside others, like you. Remember, the church was started by 11 apostles who had blown it big time. Paul, who was a real mess, was used by God to take the gospel to the entire Roman-Greco world and look what that brought about. They were able to make a difference because God recruited others to join them. The more people that we can enlist to become ambassadors for Christ the greater our influence will be. We have a message that can change and shape the world just like it has our lives. The Holy Spirit has given us this message of hope in Jesus Christ. It is our honor to help God pass it on to those who need to hear it. Everyone is qualified to be an ambassador for God and for Jesus. We do so by striving to live our lives as Jesus did, knowing that we will not do it perfectly but better with Jesus on our side.
Maybe that is a good goal for us this Lenten season. People are angry and looking for answers. Some are looking to the government to make changes. Others are doing it themselves by speaking up against those who have caused them harm. Most are silent because they do not feel that they can do anything about it. Maybe they are like I was, thinking that they are powerless to do anything. We just need to connect them to the only answer that can bring real change to this world. Change that is lasting and powerful is found in Jesus Christ. We are also part of a powerful team.
“I'll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age." Matthew 28:20 (MSG)
I am proud and honored to be walking with you in this ministry. It has changed me for the better. May God the Father bless you and keep you, may his face shine upon you and give you peace. Amen.
Greetings from Butler United and Pastor Kevin Marsh. My wife, Susan, and I want to welcome you to Butler United's web site. We hope that you find what you need to get to know who we are and all that we have to offer if you come to visit us. We hope that you will because we are sure that you will be blessed because you did.
We believe that God loves everyone and that he has a perfect plan for each and every one of us. His greatest blessings come through a personal relationship with his Son, Jesus Christ. The people of Butler United are striving to reach out and truly make a difference in the lives of the people in our community. We do so by sharing Christ's unconditional love and helping out whenever and however we can. Our main ministry is a food pantry that serves the Eastern Dekalb School District.
We believe that everyone who comes here, no matter who you are or where you are from, can find a connection here in some way. We hope that you will come and find out for yourselves. We look forward to seeing you soon. Shalom!