Sacrificial Service

   Jesus Christ is beautiful in his

     willingness to be crucified.

 

Bulletin for: 
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Order of worship: 
Pastor to People: 

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves (Philippians 2:3).

As Philippians 2:1–4 teaches us, unity in Christ is rooted in true gospel humility. We grow in unity as we learn to count others more significant than ourselves, regardless of any number of differences between us. That’s why God places us in real community with others who are very different.

I’ve asked Martha Acosta to share some of her story. God challenged her to see past stark socioeconomic differences at key points in her life. And through that, he brought her to Christ. May her testimony encourage us all to live out Philippians.

I was born in Bogota, Colombia. It is a beautiful country, rich in natural resources, beautiful landscapes, and fertile soil. Colombia is also a country with major socioeconomic problems, mainly because of the stratification system.

I lived in a humble neighborhood called Bonanza. Houses there were very modest. It was located in the southern part of the city, the poorest region. In the 1980s, the government implemented a socioeconomic stratification program. Each city section was classified according to economic characteristics on a scale ranging from one (lowest income) to six (highest).  The result was stigmatization among the groups, even though the idea was to assist the poor. I experienced the discrimination, especially when I went to Cafam, one of the best high schools in the area, where most students came from well-to-do families.

Years later, we moved to the United States, I came to live in a relatively nice place with beautiful homes. But again I experienced some discrimination due to language barriers and culture differences. I then realized that people were much more important than places and money. I missed my family and friends so much, and I learned that no material commodity could replace them.

Finally, when I accepted Jesus as my Savior and Lord, I learned a completely different perspective on how to view my fellow brothers and sisters—not through a lens of social classes, status, race, or titles. Instead, they are my family members in Christ. God transformed how I relate to people. I am reminded of Ephesians 2:9: Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.