02 Jul Identity
It’s crazy to think that we’re already three weeks into SLINK. In the last update, Tim, the assistant director of summer link Charleston, wrote about how our theme revolves around understanding what it means to be reconciled. We have been studying 2 Corinthians 1-7 for our personal time with God and memorizing 2 Corinthians 5:16-21. In this passage, Paul writes: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come! All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” Earlier in v. 14-15, Paul claims that the love of Christ compels or controls us because He died for all “that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.” We have been reconciled (made right, have a restored relationship) with God and reap the rewards of His promises that He will dwell with us forever and call us His sons and daughters (2 Cor. 6). How great is our God! Is He worthy of laying down our lives, our stories, our plans at His feet and taking up His abundant life, His richest grace, and sharing the best news ever with a lost and hopeless world? He is. 🙂
Here in Charleston, we have made it our defining mission to know God, to look like Him, and to share Him with everyone God brings across our path. With this as our goal, we have spent Tuesday mornings in prayer and Tuesday evenings sharing a meal together and listening to theme talks from different godly church leaders in their homes. So far we have learned about reconciliation, what it means to be “In Christ”, knowing God through the Word, walking with Him through prayer and how to have sexual purity through the transforming power of Christ. We have been reading a book called “The Story of Everything” in which Jared Wilson shows readers how literally everything fits into the Story God is telling about Himself. He is the Hero and we get to “glorify and enjoy Him forever”! God has used this book and our study of 2 Corinthians to show me that even the most mundane tasks or events in my life have meaning to God and in the midst of my messy unworthiness, I somehow have the incredible ability to glorify Him through them. My identity has been moving from myself and what others think of me to the Majestic Creator who gave His Son for me and calls me His daughter. This new identity is radically changing how I live and compels me to know God and share Him with others like never before.
On Thursday nights, we split up, guys with guys and girls with girls. We take this opportunity to meet in different homes to share more deeply what God is teaching each of us personally, to practice accountability, and to pray–for one another and for what God is doing in this city. On Friday afternoons, we have been canvassing for Kids Club and building relationships in the community. Friday evenings, we work on building our unity as a team by having some fun together! For example, this Friday night we are gathering at a fellow church member’s house to enjoy Costa Rican food and reminisce about everything God did on a recent church mission trip to Costa Rica in which many of the Summer LINKers were able to take part. On Saturdays we have been holding Kids Clubs specifically designed to reach the Latino population in North Charleston! We speak very little Spanish, which complicates things, yet God never sends His people to be His Hands and Feet without equipping and designing all the details to work out for His glory and our good. Before the event, we have a focus on evangelism and practice sharing the Gospel with one another. During Kids club we sing songs with the kids, play games with them, feed them lunch, and most importantly, share Jesus with them through a presentation of the Gospel. Afterward, we have a soccer game with the teens and any adults who want to play. It has been such a joy to watch God work through this team and to see kids and adults being impacted for Christ!
Early on Sunday mornings, we have another theme talk and then go our separate ways to participate in different ministries of the church: some help with the sound system, some serve in coffee connect, some work in kids ministry, some greet at the entrances. It has been a pleasure to serve the body of Christ at Citadel Square Church.
Brothers and sisters, who I know and those I have yet to meet, stand strong in the Lord and in the power of His might! Keep your eyes on Him and your identity rooted in Christ. Walk in grace and Truth. Glorify God and enjoy Him! I am looking forward to the end of the summer when we will be able to gather together and testify of the great things He has done.
Grace and peace be unto you all!
Summer LINK Charleston Participant