Christ’s Kingdom; June 15, 2022

Colossians 1:13-14 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

This isn’t how we usually think about salvation, but it’s tremendously important. The image is very like the border between North and South Korea. Night satellite pictures of East Asia are quite striking, with almost total darkness in the North, which is oppressive and repressive in almost every way, and abundant light in the South, which has a vibrant democracy and the highest average Internet connection speed of any country in the world. It’s extremely difficult for people to escape from the North to the South directly, but a few make it. Most who manage to escape do so through China, which is the long way around but still safer. In either case, the differences are an extreme culture shock. Only the language remains the same! The more we understand what Christ has done for us, the more we realize our situation is very much like that. Problems come when we try to “bring over” some of the thought patterns and practices of darkness into the kingdom of God. The thing is, they are so ingrained in us that we don’t even realize what they are. For example, many people bind themselves with “what if” scenarios, being anxious about all sorts of things that haven’t happened yet. Jesus said not to do that! (Matthew 6:31-34) In the kingdom of the beloved Son, as Paul puts it here, everything is already worked out and supplied; we just have to trust the Lord and be obedient. There may be some unpleasant things along the way, but they’re nothing to be worried about in comparison to the eventual result. (2 Corinthians 4:17) Salvation is quite literally passing from night to day, just as Paul says here.

Naturally this applies to me as much as it does to anyone else. I mostly operate in faith, but I have my moments of dreading possible events as well. I’m not to submit my mind to the enemy by doing that! Just as I encourage others to do, I need to rest in the assurance that God’s got a perfect plan and my job is just to follow. It’s when I project scenarios into the future that I run into problems, either dreading things that never happen or being disappointed by things that don’t happen. Either of those is foolish! I need to remember that my citizenship is in heaven; I no longer belong to the world. (Philippians 3:20) The better I grasp that, the more effective I will be in helping others “cross the border” into Christ’s territory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the realization that discipleship, on which I’m speaking this morning, is just a matter of living like citizens of Christ’s kingdom, instead of like residents of darkness. Help me challenge the people who gather this morning to be effective guides for “asylum seekers,” so that the plans of the devil for this nation may be defeated and Your rule and reign be established indeed, for Your glory. 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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