Dear Friends and Members of Shepherd of the Hills,


In our Bible Study we are talking about identity and purpose.  In our faith we find the fullness of both those realities bestowed upon us by God.  We are loved and we are sent.  


This week in the study we talked about our identity as Loved ones.  We are people of grace, God’s Word and community.  This is the central reality to us being loved.


People of Grace:  The best demonstration of God’s love for us is the grace he gives to us.  Grace is not something we earn.  Instead out of God’s perfect justice and love, he sent Jesus into our world to bear our sin and be our savior.  This is love.  Grace is giving that love to us freely by no merit of our own.  Therefore, we are people of Grace


People of God’s Word:  How do we know this reality of love?  We know it because of God’s Word given to us.  The 66 books that make up the Old and the New Testament are God’s authoritative Word.  In this Word, the salvation story for all of creation is revealed and your participation in that story comes through community.


People of Community:  God does not leave us to live out this “loved-ness” all by our selves.  Instead, we are called into and through community known as the Church.  The Church is the means by which God shares his love with the world, which is his purpose.  We are the means that God does this.  Through Baptism and the Lord’s Supper we belong to and participate in the Love of God who has sent us into the world. 


Now, this being our identity, what do we do with it?  Next we will talk about God’s purpose and our purpose that flows from who we are.  We are the ones who have been sent into the world, but how?  What do we do with that “sent-ness?"  How do we live it out?  These are the questions we should be asking ourselves and I look forward to having that conversation over the next couple of weeks. 


In His Love and Service,

Pastor Rust