Evangelism, family life, trust, Uncategorized, worship

The “In Crowd”

Be_Our_GuestMany years ago, when my children were young, The Disney company had a slogan that shaped the values of the entire organization. That slogan was, “Be Our Guest”!  There was a song written with the same title that was song by one of the Disney characters that would fill my children with excitement and glee every time they heard it. When they heard the first couple of bars of the song, “Be… Our… Guest…”, they would stop whatever they were doing and start dancing and singing. The next thing out of their mouths were, “Mommy, Daddy, can we go to Disney World?” That’s powerful marketing.

This theme set the tone for every activity in their parks as well as the company at large. The Disney brand was recited and emulated in businesses throughout the world. They became a company known for the excellent way in which they treated their guests. Walking onto the Disney property, guests immediately feel secure that the proper preparations had been made to ensure that all of there expectations would be met and possibly exceeded. Branding is powerful. It drives everything.

The Shepherds Brand

Psalm 23:1 is a passage of scripture that I have read many times and even memorized. I was taught to recite it as a child. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…”. Many of us can quote these familiar scriptures, but I wonder if they really make for change in our lives. I recently re-read this passage in another translation. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.”  Upon reading that phrase, “in want”, I realized that my relationship with the Shepherd Jesus was also based on branding. Living under the Shepherds covering represents a well thought out plan by God the Father to make perfect provision for all of my longings and desires. Just like a person paying for a ticket to enter the Disney park has expectation for a time of family fun and connection; we have been purchased by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross which grants us access into everything we need for life and godliness. When we are abiding in the Shepherd, we don’t have to be in want.

To be “in” is a present tense phenomenon that requires faith for today. Just like the children of Israel, I must trust God to provide for my daily needs. Storing up manna for fear of lack only causes things to go bad. John 15:7 says:

“If you remain in me (abide in me), 

and my words remain in (abide in) you, 

ask whatever you wish and it shall be given unto you.”

People are always talking about “out”; coming out, outspoken, outsourced, but perhaps the real key to peace and joy is being “in”. In the secret place. Abiding under the shadow of his wing. Psalm 91:1-2 says:

“I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge, 

my God in whom I trust.”

Disney’s brand offers you a world of fun as long as you stay in the park. The Shepherd’s brand offers abundant life as we live in Him. Acts 17:28 says,

“In Him I live and move and have my being”

“In”, is a function word used to indicate inclusion, location or position – within limits.

My children were not disappointed when we vacationed at the famous theme park. They squealed with excitement when we walked through the gates and they realized that they were finally “in” Disney World. Maybe we should do a little more dancing and celebrating the fact that we are “In Christ”. Our marketing strategy of love, joy, peace etc. should make people long to be a part of the “in crowd”.

I like being part of the “In crowd”. How about you?

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5 thoughts on “The “In Crowd””

  1. Woo! This is an awesome word! “In Him” is where we have our being! I find myself asking the Father, how do we truly experience truly being “in Him”? “In Him” we have everything so why do we choose to fret over such small things? If we really believed and truly became so intimate with God to know all who he is, I believe our worries, sorrows, and anxieties would no longer be because of truly having the faith to believe that we really are in the palm of God’s hands. He will never forsake us and if he says in his word that, “His Word does not return to Him void.” All we need to do is TRUST and rest “in him” and know His Word is true!

  2. i love being in the “in crowd”. It gives such an awesome feeling of relief everytime that I start to dwell on things that aren’t as I wish, I remember that living in Christ Jesus covers me through all things and my wishes, my hopes and my desires are no match for how awesome just knowing him makes me feel. I agree with Nina this is an awesome word thank you Pastor Chris.

  3. What a cutting, and healing word Pastor Chris! I remember going to Disney for the first time and was amazed at how every part of my senses were engaged and how they specialize in making sure that you experience the ‘magic’ of Disney. As I am learning to be authentic and walk IN HIM, there is no greater experience that affects my whole being, than abiding in the “In Crowd” and being more than just His guest where my senses are engaged; but enjoying and partaking in being His daughter! What privileges come with the “Lord is my Shepherd, and I shall not be in want”…Oh, how He loves us so!

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