Love In Chaos Pt 2
by David Dahl
“When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 1:13b.
How do you reflect Christ in a world that is a mess? How do you show “Love in Chaos”? We’re in the middle of the Fall series, “Love in Chaos.” So far we’ve had our eyes opened to a few things:
Culture has always been in chaos ever since Adam and Eve. Sin creates chaos. God’s purpose is to bring order to the chaos through the work flowing from Jesus taking our sin to the Cross.
In order for you and me to understand the chaos in our world, we need to understand the chaos within us. When we’re willing to be courageous enough to embrace our own stuff, the door opens for us to do what God commands.
Do you ever wonder why you do what you do? Do you ever have one of these moments when you’re out shopping for something—like sweaters—and all of a sudden you think, What am I doing? I have, like, fifteen sweaters crammed in my closet. So, what need am I trying to fill by buying something I don’t need?
Do you ever catch yourself walking away from a conversation in which you lashed out at someone else. And you walked away thinking, “What was that about? Why did I do that? What in me needed to lower someone else in order for me to feel good about myself?”
You were having an identity crisis.
Paul writes to the Ephesians, “When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.”
The seal is a mark of identity – a mark identifying who owns you. Paul lived in a culture where soldiers were tattooed, slaves were branded. It was a culture in which people bore a mark – a tattoo, a brand – to show who owns them and to whom they belong. Paul is stating, “Do you realize that when you were baptized, you received God’s seal – God’s mark – upon your life?” And the seal is a promise; the seal is God whispering, “I’ve adopted you, and you are mine.”
Let that sink in for a bit. . . You have an identity. You were meant for God. Life comes together – even the loose ends and chaotic parts – when you embrace your God-given identity and grow into it. You’re driving down the road in early fall when the leaves are beginning to change. You see the oranges, yellows, and reds. Something stirs in you, as you realize that God did this. He didn’t have to, but He did. Within that thought, you hear Him whisper, “You are mine.”
You attend a funeral. You’re grieving, but you feel God’s hand on your life. You sense God whisper, “You are mine.” Your sadness becomes a grief with hope rather than a grief with despair.
God has given you and me His mark. Growing into the identity that comes with the “seal of the Holy Spirit” brings a new freedom to be light shining into the darkness and a creator of order in the chaos of our culture. It frees me from buying all kinds of junk I don’t need. It frees me to love my neighbors with kindness and respect. Simply, it frees me to obey the One whose mark I bear, my Lord Jesus. It frees me to love in the midst of chaos.
Join the conversation and explore more of what “Love in Chaos” is about. Engage your identity. Bring a friend to worship. Join a small group. And let us all Keep and Live the Faith!
Pastor Dave Dahl
January 10, 2024
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