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Different cultures, one Kingdom

Different cultures, one Kingdom

written by Carla July 6, 2018

In my quiet time this morning, as I was praying, asking the Lord what I could share in this blog, I had to think of all the nations and people She Rises reaches out to through the Internet. What a wonderful opportunity this is, but at the same time … what a challenge also, because people who follow She Rises come from many nations and cultures. It is important to be aware that how we think and express things is not always the same as the way in which people in other countries would do.

Different cultures

For instance, the fact that I was born and raised in the Netherlands has given me a certain mindset and behavior, that is normal to me –I was raised that way – but for someone who comes from an Asian, American or African background it can be different. One should be aware of that. I know from experience that culture also influences the way we express our faith and even that can sometimes be a cause for confusion and misunderstanding.

My husband and I have seen that many times while serving Youth with a Mission, an international missionary organization, where we worked together with people from all over the globe. But instead of focusing on the differences in cultures that could easily result in division, we chose to talk about it with a sense of humor. Not in a mean way, but just to ‘give a hint’ and help one another look in the mirror of our own culture and realize: Not ONE culture has the answer, not ONE is superior to the other. We can and should learn from one another and appreciate the good things from each other’s cultures.

He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds

 

The implanted sense of purpose

The Bible says: ‘He has made everything beautiful in its time, He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end’ (Ecclesiastes 3:11, Amplified Version).
God had a purpose for this. In every nation He put something eternal in heart and mind. We heard many wonderful testimonies from missionaries who went to unreached people and were able to share God’s love because God already put something within their mindset and their beliefs that was connected to His very heart. Not that they had no need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but something in their own culture could be used by the missionary as an example to explain why the Son of God died for our sins.
For example, in a Berber culture when a son had disgraced his father, the father could do two things : he either banned his son from his presence and never spoke to him again, or he identified completely with his son and took upon himself the disgrace/the sins of his son. A beautiful example that could be used to explain what God did for us by providing salvation through Jesus Christ.

Live out His Kingdom

Imagine that day when all the nations will stand before God’s throne and bring in their glory and honor (Revelation 21:26-27). Every nation, every tongue will have something to contribute. What a wonderful day that will be. And already now we can give God glory. Let’s embrace and celebrate the Kingdom we are all citizens of when we believe in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Let’s live out His Kingdom culture, the principles laid out in Philippians 2:1-11 (NIV)… that’s our common
ground, that’s the place where walls between us can come down and strong bonds can be built, bonds that surpass boundaries, and culture differences. A solid foundation where Jesus Christ is at the center:

‘Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’

I want to bless you in the name of the Lord, dear sister. Perhaps we will never meet in this world, but one day we will all stand before Him… what a glorious day that will be. We have a wonderful future ahead of us. Hope to see you there.

 

Read also: One night with the King?

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