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Who's in the fence?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

John 3:16

Who's in the Fence?

In my family there’s a running joke about who is “In the fence” and who isn’t. If you’ve ever been to an old cemetery you may have seen family plots that are contained with a fence of some kind. Grandma, grandpa, and a select few others are inside the fence, and everyone else is outside. In our family, and probably yours, there’s a core group who are at the center of most things, plan and execute the family events, and are called when trouble comes. Those are the folks who are “in the fence”. Sure, everyone else is family and we love them but…..

Identifying Differences

Humans look for differences in the world around us in order to make critical decisions. What is safe to eat? Where is it safe to walk? Who is a friend and who is not? Remember these lyrics from the Sesame Street song? “One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn’t belong. Can you tell which thing is not like the other before we finish this song.” As children we’re taught to identify differences…..what to include and what to exclude.

A New Plan

The debate about “inclusion” isn’t new. In Acts 15 there was an important meeting that decided the question of whether gentiles (you and me) should be included in the church. It was one of the most difficult and important decisions ever made in the history of the church. It required “faithful” Jews to abandon centuries of God-authored segregation and accept a new plan from God to include the “outside the fence” crowd into their fellowship. In the end, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, they made the leap and the gospel was spread to the “uttermost” part of the world.

What’s the Application?

Who do we include and exclude in our lives? Is there anyone who is so different from you that it would create a fence that would become a barrier from sharing your faith?

Larry Martin

MD5 Lab Facilitator

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