Tag Archives: kingdom

Christ The King

weekly theme #56 Christ The King*          

the last Sunday after Pentecost

My prayers are not like the songs I find in the book of Psalms.  Often a psalm begins with a recount of history, a history giving evidence of God’s power and faithfulness.  Following the history, they lament their current condition and beg God to intercede.  I don’t think God needs reminded of his faithfulness.  I, like those authors of the Psalms, am the one who needs reminded.  He knows my needs and cares deeply, but sharing my needs is not the primary reason for prayer.  The primary purpose of prayer is for me to open a portal for the Lord of the universe into my life, triggering peace, love, more praise.

What a strange King I serve.  He arrived as a weak child, not as a King.  He did not come to conquer but to convert and coach and commission.  He felt more at home with the common, marginalized people than with emperors – sleeping on the ground rather than royal sheets.  He suffered temptation, abuse, and death at the hands of those he could have overpowered.  This is the King I serve.

The book of Luke is a book of action.  In chapter eight alone, Jesus exercised power over natural storms, dictated the actions of powerful demons, healed disease, and raised the dead.  When the Lord of the creation speaks, things happen.  He offers power to me, but I both fear it and crave it.  I think the two in combination causes me to doubt my trustworthiness for such power.  Why would Jesus trust me with power I may be too scared to use or use for my own glory?  “LORD, make me a trustworthy vessel!”

I want fresh stories.  Don’t get me wrong, the bible stories of miracles, victories, and redemption inspire me.  I just want something fresh, something less than two-thousand years old.  The God of yesteryear is the same God today.  I know he is working, but is he working in the nation-changing ways of the Bible stories?  “LORD, open my senses to detect your power among the nations.  Let me give witness to works of your hand that are even greater than what I read in the Bible.  Cause people to say, ‘This only happened because of the Lord.’  May even the unbelieving confess your greatness.”

Historically, a person’s king was determined by where they lived, and their allegiance was not their choice, and that’s mostly true today.  However, allegiance is different in the spiritual realm.  Spiritually, I choose my ruler, and I have no reason to complain about how he runs his Kingdom.  I have no excuse to disobey just because some of his rules are difficult, I don’t understand his overall plan, I don’t like something that happened in his Kingdom, or some people in his Kingdom are annoying.  I have no excuse to disobey, but I still disobey.  Yet my King is so great that he loves me enough to forgive me when I turn to him.  He actually longs for me to come back.  He pursues me!  What a great King!

*A Guide To Prayer For Ministers And Other Servants by Job and Shawchuck provided the scripture references and readings that inspired these reflections.  I found this devotional to be the most heart changing of any I’ve used.  It truly lives up to its title.

 

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Christianity Beyond Belief

Todd D Hunter has written an engaging book.  In my opinion, the foundation of the book is the idea that the goal of the Christian life is not to get into heaven but to live like Jesus.  I venture to say some of you are saying, “Of course!”  But there are many in the USA church who do not live that way.  It’s actually an interesting clash in most of us.  We certainly want to go to heaven, and we’re counting on going there, but our minds and lives are rooted deeply in this world.  The concept Jesus mentions in his most famous prayer, “thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”, doesn’t really get fleshed out.

I really enjoyed Hunter’s concept of living in God’s story.  The Bible starts with creation and ends with the eternal river of life.  All of human history falls between those two events, and that includes my life.  And yours.  We are part of God’s story.  We have been given a speaking part in a story that includes some of the greatest characters of all time.  I awake in God’s story every day.  All I have to do is play my role as it’s written.  Yet, even though all of us have gone off script, he keeps us in the story.  He keeps pointing to the script that’s prepared especially for me.

I’ll close with a couple more of my favorite thoughts from the book: 1) My need is not so much to add spiritual activities to my life, but to make my daily activities spiritual.  2) Learning to walk with the Spirit includes some stumbles and falls.  Keep walking.  Trying and failing is success.  Not trying is failure.

My notes on this book can be downloaded in MS Word format from the blue “FILES box” in the left side-bar of this blog.

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