Pastor Joe Riddle Speaks at University Chapel on Creating a Community That Embraces and Honors People

On Wednesday, January 31, Pastor Joe Riddle of Wave Church’s Seaboard campus delivered a message at Regent University Chapel centered on embracing a model of community — one in which individuals honor one another in a Christ-like way.

He spent time highlighting the meaning behind various Hebrew words found throughout scripture, specifically in the Old Testament.

Riddle pointed to the Hebrew word for “faces,” a key phrase used in different verses.

The word isn’t just a reference to a part of the human body. It’s deeper — it has to do with all the facets of a person’s identity.

Unfortunately, he said, individuals in a community will often only gravitate to the areas of someone’s life in which they are comfortable with or can benefit from themselves. However, Riddle said the use of the word implies believers must “know people with all their faces, all the sides of who they are.”

This idea of embracing people — both their likeable and unlikeable traits — is crucial.

The act of embracing them, Riddle said, is a defining characteristic of a community that promotes honor and grace and thus properly reflects Christ and His love for people.

As scripture promises, those who work to build a community as demonstrated in scripture, will yield great rewards.

In his close, he cited Proverbs 11:25, which reads, “The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.”

Riddle encouraged those present to engage in this system of spiritual reciprocity — to give honor and humility as though they were the “most abundant natural resources.”

“We understand those things are generated by God,” he said. “They will always be available.”