THIS is how we should live in true power if we are followers of Christ:Continue reading “The Kingdom like no other”
Luke takes a different approach to the “Beatitudes” from Matthew. I continue to meditate on those differences.Continue reading “The “upside down” Kingdom”
“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people. You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill cannot be hidden. Continue reading “Being salt and light”
Some text notes from my studies on the Sermon on the Mount: Continue reading “There are certain actions in the Kingdom”
God isn’t nearly as impressed with my doctrinal knowledge as he is with my acting out my doctrinal knowledge. (It’s a both/and proposition.) It’s not about having one OR the other… it’s the beauty of both. And it comes down to the question, “Am I KNOWN by God?”
And being known by him is made clear by him.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matt. 7:21-27, NIV)
You don’t get to just “thrown his name around.”
13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. (Acts 19:13-16, NIV)
He keeps it simple for us:
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly j with your God. (Micah 6:8, NIV)
It’s not either doctrine or action. It is informed action down with a heart toward God.
Freedom from worry isn’t found in simply the absence of thinking about stuff. It is the addition of WHAT to pursue.
Pursuit is our choice.
I tried to make a goal of reading through one Synoptic gospel each week, then rotate back through. The goal, I suppose, was to keep my mind filled with the story of Jesus and reflect deeply on some things that stood out to me each time I read through.
So much for that. I’ve spent about 2 weeks on each synoptic, and I find myself yet again in Matthew… and, of course, camped in the Sermon on the Mount. It is so beautiful, powerful, deadly (in a good way), and mesmerizing to me.
And for the past couple of days it’s simply been Matthew 6:25-34.
Don’t worry. It’s the Kingdom you seek, not the stuff of life. Learn to treasure the Kingdom. Let God add in what he wills… and don’t get jealous if he adds in something to someone else! SEEK THE KINGDOM!
In a day of financial strain and ministry stress, these verses are digging deep into me. I am learning to find rest. Learning… still in process.
Learn to trust. Learn to rest. Learn to pursue the Kingdom… and not stuff.
I am learning to be thankful for the provision that comes my way… every day. Learning the beauty of trust every day is, at times, excruciating.
But the words of Matthew 7:7 remind me of the words of Dallas Willard: The nature of the Kingdom is to ASK.
I don’t always have the patience and trust. So, I ask.
Teach me, Lord!