Read Part 1 of this article here.

Leonce Crump II is the pastor at Renovation Church in Atlanta Georgia.

This is the lynchpin, because He chose us before the foundation of the world, and in love, He predestined us for adoption. So we are predestined, chosen, and adopted. Before the concept of time itself existed, before the Evil One turned in pride from God to his own works, before the unveiling of creation itself…God chose His children.   Now, I want to slow down, and pause, so that you absorb the great, cosmic, joy-laden words of Paul here…so that you can soak in what is being communicated here. As far back as imagination will allow, before the dawn of time, it was there that God chooses us.    Are you feeling the very tangible weight of such a statement? Do you understand all of the implications of this, that the Father chose us before He even created us? What a glorious realization!

What a wonderful, good, loving, merciful, gracious Father! We don’t have to earn, or merit, or work for His choosing, but He is simply pleased to choose us in Him. God’s choosing to save, choosing to die in the person of Jesus, choosing His children from among humanity was not an arbitrary or whimsical decision. He planned for Jesus to die before Adam ever rejected Him. This is the tension between His great transcendence and His accessibility, as He flexes His eternal authority and unstoppable love in the dimensions of time! This marks the security of our adoption, and though we are difficult children, He will never give us back.

We are resistant, we are prone to run away from our Father, rather than to Him. And yet, God will not give us back. He will not give up on us. His commitment to us is unbreakable. An imperfect God...an imperfect Father would give us back. A God with weak commitments would be done with us....but not the Living God. Now, if you believe that, here is the implication for urban mission. Fatherlessness is the single greatest plague of urban centers. But according to this, in Christ there are no fatherless. And though many of the people that urban leaders will lead and serve are difficult, resistant, and prone to run away, even as children, in Christ, God will never give up on them...and neither should we. We are the voice and vehicle of God's otherworldly love in the gospel.

This is our message to the "fatherless," that in Jesus they are no longer such. We love them, serve them, pursue them with this in mind: their reality can change dramatically by putting their hope in this one beautiful truth! God is a Father that never turns away, never gives up, never gives them back. And because He has shown us that love, we long for them to know it too.

God wants them to be secure in Him, secure in His promises, secure in the fact that though they have been abandoned by an earthly father, they will never be abandoned by the Heavenly One. This changes the scope and depth of how we minister to the difficult, the resistant, and the urban-nihilistic rebel who believes they must defend themselves at all costs because no one else will. Once they figure out who they are in Jesus, and how loved they are beyond reason, their behavior will flow out of that identity, and the ways that the block, the neighborhood, and the city will change because of it are innumerable.

You can follow Leonce on Twitter @CrumpII.




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