A Kingdom Priority

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

I wonder sometimes how often we make seeking God’s kingdom a priority in life.  Do we make it a priority some of the time but not all of the time?  Or, do we simply wait until it comes to us like on Sundays?

How important is God’s Kingdom to us after all?
I don’t mean “Heaven” in the clouds, I mean here on earth.
Jesus even said, in reference to Himself as well as God’s presence, “…the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:21)  This means that God’s kingdom isn’t so much about a place far, far away, but rather a presence within and near us every moment of every day.
Jesus
There’s a very interesting portion in the New Testament when Jesus does something rather peculiar.  This is after His death and resurrection.  He appears again before His disciples and breathes on them.  Now, picture this for a moment with me.  God’s Son who was present at the beginning of creation.  Who was there when human life first began.  Who may have been the very one to breathe life into creation, now does it again.  It’s recorded in this sort of obscure verse we sometimes neglect – John 20:22 “And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Think about that for a second.  A former dead guy, now gloriously resurrected (but not fully in human form anymore) breathes onto His disciples.  The One who was there at the very beginning giving and breathing life into Creation is now breathing new life into His disciples…and then He says “Receive the Holy Spirit“.

brethIt seems to me that the Kingdom of Heaven isn’t some far off place, but a place that has been closer than we could ever imagine.  If we are to actively seek God’s kingdom here on earth and bring His Kingdom to others still lost in the world, then we have to make His Kingdom a priority in our lives EVERYDAY!

Seek first His Kingdom – and all these things will be added to our lives.
Jesus is still breathing life into His Church.
He wants us to be His and His alone.
We are called to bring His Kingdom to those without hope.
We are called to be His very hands and feet, His ambassadors into foreign sometimes hostile places.

Is His Kingdom a priority in your life today?
What can we do to make it a #1 priority in all that we do?

Build Your Kingdom Here

Prayer: 

Dear Lord, breathe new life into these lungs today.
Help us when we have neglected Your kingdom.
Guide us when we have lost our way.  Restore us today, O Lord.
Fill us with Your Holy Spirit again.  May we be Your people, Holy and true.
Remind us of what is most important in our busy lives.  May we earnestly seek you in all seasons of life.   -Amen.

Something more to ponder today – To God be the glory!

Resurrection

 “Resurrection”

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It’s a new television show…but it’s something more than that.  Something deep within us longs for just a few more minutes with our loved ones who have passed away.  We wish within our hearts that they could see what we’ve become or that they could see how much our children have grown.  Life conceivably has a beginning and an end, but in this new television show on ABC, “Resurrection” is happening all over the small town of Arcadia.  It is a mystery as to why this is happening, but those who are “coming back” seem to possess intimate knowledge and even DNA coo-berating their identities.  

How we wish such a miracle could take place here on earth.  Most of us would dream of a scenario where we could once again hold a loved one that we’ve lost and to spend more quality time with them.  The ABC producers of “Resurrection” certainly hope that we become transfixed to this concept and keep coming back for more.  

Can television shows truly sell us hope?  Are YOU in need of hope today?  

Jesus knew a lot about life.  He lived and He died, but He was also resurrected on the third day.  During His ministry He even resurrected one of His friends, Lazarus, who had been dead for four days.  Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  (John 14:6)  Jesus holds the keys to Eternal life for all of us and this should give us authentic hope in our lives today!

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TRUTH – We all possess eternal souls.  We have been created by God himself who formed us in His image, and a part of Him is within us, which is eternal.  These earthly bodies will one day wear out because they are temporal.  We will one day face death…BUT the expiration of this human existence is not the end of our eternal existence.  Life will go on.  The real question is what destination will we choose?  You see if we want to experience eternity with God and with those who followed Him and have gone on before us, we have to choose Him in the here and now!  John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” 

If we choose to follow and love the Creator of Heaven and Earth, we will experience a resurrection beyond what television or even movies can give us.  Real resurrection will happen and we should find hope in the fact that death of the physical body is NOT the end.  

Check it out – “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.”              (1 Thessalonians 4:16)  It won’t be some horror show, or television script, this will be for real.  I don’t know about you, but I want to experience this resurrection and new life with Christ in Heaven as well!  

I love supernatural shows, and “Resurrection” looks quite interesting to me.  Perhaps it might get some of its viewers to consider how precious life is and also to consider how very real Eternity will be for all of us.    

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(My review is strictly my opinion and not the opinion of any television network or affiliation) 

 

A Note from God (A poem)

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When the light is sucked from your eyes 

and terror is masked as hope disguised 

I will hold your hand and bring the day

I will hope when your earth gives way. 

 

When dreams become hollowed and cold

and you are left with nothing to hold

I will hold you within my loving arms 

I will keep you from fear and harm.

 

And if you falter and lose all sight

I will be there to shine my light

and ignite your faith with my grace 

so that my love you will embrace. 

 

I have never left you, I am here 

I will help and dry  your tears 

These nail scarred hands will guide you there

I am Your Savior I will always care!  

Thanks-Living

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“I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.  For in him you have been enriched in every way–in all your speaking and in all your knowledge.” (1 Corinthians 1:4-5)

My friends, we shouldn’t need a specific holiday to remind us that we ought to be thankful…but it doesn’t hurt!  Thankfulness should be second nature to a Christ-follower, and yet it is often easy to take the blessings, that we have been given, for granted.  The challenge for us is to learn the discipline of simplicity.  What is simplicity?  It is the discipline of letting go of our hunger and craving for more “stuff”.  It is letting go of our lusts for possessions, affluence, popularity, recognition and power.  These things are called mammon.  What is mammon?  Webster’s dictionary even describes it with a biblical context: “material wealth or possessions especially as having a debasing influence <you cannot serve God and mammon — Matthew 6:24

Richard Foster explains this issue: 

We really must understand that the lust for affluence in contemporary society is psychotic. It is psychotic because it has completely lost touch with reality. We crave things we neither need nor enjoy. ‘We buy things we do not want to impress people we do not like.’ …It is time to awaken to the fact that conformity to a sick society is to be sick.” (Richard J. FosterCelebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth)

Stuff, in essence, can become our god.  It can consume us, making us ungrateful and blind to the truth.  We can become lost in our “stuff”.  Possessions and things aren’t inherently bad but it depends on how we use them.  

Richard Foster had more to say on this topic: 

Jesus Christ and all the writers of the New Testament call us to break free of mammon lust and live in joyous trust…They point us toward a way of living in which everything we have we receive as a gift, and everything we have is cared for by God, and everything we have is available to others when it is right and good. This reality frames the heart of Christian simplicity. It is the means of liberation and power to do what is right and to overcome the forces of fear and avarice.” (Richard J. FosterFreedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World)

The key to the discipline of simplicity is…well discipline.  Do you really need that cell phone upgrade?  Do you really need that new car?  Separate your wants from your needs.  Thanksgiving isn’t about getting more stuff to make you happy.  It should be about appreciating what God has already given to us and utilizing these tools for His glory!  That doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy life or become obligated to a boring existence.  God created us to enjoy life and more importantly to enjoy His presence in life.  

Are you experiencing life through thanksgiving?  Do you have time in your day to just stop and say thank you to God for all of the awesome gifts and blessings He has given to you?  Don’t wait for specific holidays to recognize your need for thanksgiving.  Celebrate “Thanks-living” every day, because after all, each day is a gift from God!  

 “No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks” – Saint Ambrose

Life is precious…use it wisely!  

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