Kingdom Principles; January 23, 2019

Matthew 10:39 “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

Many things about the kingdom of God fly in the face of normal human thinking, and none more so than this. These days we have lots of “self-help” programs that promise to help you “find yourself,” when Jesus says that focus is totally counter-productive. We have public figures that gain huge followings by promising “your best life now,” when Jesus says that’s an illusion. Each human life is precious from the moment of conception, but modern society, under the influence of the devil who wants to steal, kill, and destroy, (John 10:10) teaches us that the lives of others may be discarded; it’s all I, my, me, mine. Actually, nothing could be more empty than that. It is when we relate rightly to our Creator that we discover the value in those around us, and ultimately in ourselves as well. Nothing declares the bankruptcy of society more than the passion some people display for the “right” to abortion. That is sacrificing another human life for the sake of your own, and really, your own convenience. Nothing could be more outside the kingdom principles Jesus proclaimed. It is when we choose to let go of things, releasing them to Jesus, that we receive them in truth. Our minds can’t parse that on their own, so the way to understand it is in terms of priorities. Here, Jesus has just said that we aren’t to love our family members more than we love Him, but that doesn’t mean at all that we aren’t to love our families. Paul points out that “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8) When we genuinely “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength,” (Mark 12:30) then everything else will fall into place behind that.

This is as important for me to remember as it is for anyone else. The devil tempts me to focus on myself just as he tempts everyone else. I have the huge advantage of having been raised in a home where my parents genuinely placed Christ first, but they weren’t perfect either. Toward the end of his life, my father said that his one regret was that he hadn’t prioritized his family ahead of his work. For those in “Christian service,” that is an easy deception to fall into. Loving God doesn’t mean ignoring my family! I am to seek God’s will at all times, allowing Him to order my priorities, knowing that only in Him does my life have the meaning, the value, for which it was created. I am to look at others as having equal value with me, and act accordingly. Words alone don’t cut it. Christ is my life, and I must never forget it.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Help me indeed leave my life in Your hands, living each moment under Your direction so that Your purposes may be fulfilled on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

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