Early in the story, God’s plan took a devastating turn to the left. When sin entered the world, the most prevalent and consistent consequences we see in Scripture are the conflict, anger, rebellion, murder, strife, and division that repeatedly spring up.

If I’m honest, I’m not a very thankful person. My personality lends itself to seeing what is not taking place and my upbringing helped me to be dissatisfied with jobs done poorly or things left undone. I don’t say any of that with pride. It’s a constant opportunity for God’s transforming work in me.

Do you believe it? God’s first strategy for winning a world far from God is His people living in such a way that our love for one another reflects His image and character everywhere!

Why is it that we, in the Body of Christ, must put up with divisiveness and mean-spirited conflict between factions of the Church? What is it that allows some people to so freely express their beliefs in a way that ignores the admonitions we see by Jesus to love one another?

Are you inspired by this blog? We have worked with NavPress to create a 30-day devotional, Five Traits of a Christ-follower, that interacts with Scriptures on five important characteristics of those who follow Christ -- the same characteristics focused on in this blog.

We’ve been talking about what the Christian response is to a culture that seems to be slipping away from a biblical worldview and life. I want to leave us with one final, important thought on how our culture may be changed.

Many of you have heard that one of the main purposes for salt in the first century was as a preservative – to slow the rotting of perishable foods.  At a conference I visited recently, I heard an interesting take on this preserving role of believers in our world.

When I read the news or watch an update on TV and hear the stories of murder, terror, or civil unrest, I can find myself vacillating between fear, anger, or despair. Do you ever feel powerless or that nothing you do will matter?

You don’t have to wander too far from home or read much news to be reminded that our culture and world are broken. As a whole, we don’t reflect the heart and desires of God. How do you personally respond to that?

Have you ever built shelves or hung a picture and used a level to make sure it was straight? Leveling something without this tool is particularly difficult if the only point of reference is something else that is not level.