Rules of the Kingdom; June 29, 2018


Luke 19:26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.”

This parable has the same point as the much more famous one of the talents. (Matthew 25:14-30) However, the content of this verse is repeated even more than that, along with “The first shall be last, and the last first.” (Matthew 19:30, 20:16, etc.) The whole point is that God’s kingdom doesn’t run the way human organizations do. We have greatly clouded that fact by making churches and denominations on human lines, instead of really seeking God and listening to Him. We tend to think, “What do we have and what can we do with it,” when God says, “What is the need and how shall I meet it.” Those philosophies are as different as first and last. We forget that God is never at a loss for supplies. After all, He created the universe just by speaking it into being! He is Spirit, and we are spirits inhabiting very material bodies. How we relate to the material is very important, because it demonstrates and influences our spiritual attitudes, but the material is temporal and thus temporary, whereas we were created to be eternal. When we really get it through our heads that eternal life in Christ is exactly that, eternal, it changes our attitude and response toward everything else. Irritations become no big deal, but fellowship with our Lord and leading others to Him become everything. We are imperfect, and won’t experience perfection until we are before God’s throne, but our time in these bodies we inhabit should draw us in that direction. That’s why Jesus told us so clearly to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and all our physical needs would be met. (Matthew 6:33)

I’m as much a physical human being as anyone else, but by God’s grace I am aware of His kingdom. However, I must not deceive myself into thinking that awareness equals arrival! I think that’s why Jesus said to “seek first.” I’m not to lose hope when I or anyone else stumbles, but rather keep pressing in for more of Jesus. I’ve been in this body almost 70 years, but that’s hardly a flash in the pan on the scale of eternity. I am to rejoice in what God has done and is doing in and through me, knowing that He will keep it up until He brings me before His throne. (Colossians 1:28, Philippians 1:6) He has told me to rest, relax, and rejoice. I’m still learning to do that! Anxiety comes all too naturally, when I see the attacks of the devil and the weakness in myself and others. I’ve got to remember that God knows it all ahead of time, and He is both totally powerful and totally good. That is what faith is all about and He makes that faith available to all who will receive it in humility. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Father, thank You for this reminder. It’s very timely, when Cathy is experiencing attacks to her health when she is scheduled for cataract surgery in just a few days, and any infection would delay that. I do ask for freedom from infection for her, and peace for her in the process. May we walk in full submission to You, firmly resisting the devil, so that he may flee and Your purposes be fulfilled on Your schedule for Your glory. (James 4:7) Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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