Thursday, September 16, 2010

Kingdom of Heaven

Matthew 4:12-17
Fresh from baptism Jesus begins to preach. Here in a brief and often overlooked verse we find Jesus giving the overarching message of all his preaching, "repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." Salvation matters and we must choose what we do with Jesus death and resurrection. The primary reason Jesus came was not salvation it was to show people what it was like to live the kingdom of heaven. His death and resurrection made it possible for us to live fully in that kingdom in the fullness of time, yet his life and preaching shows us how to embody that now.

Acts 5:1-16
It is one thing to deceive humanity, it is another thing all together to attempt to deceive God. When we tell others we have brought everything before God there is know real way of knowing whether this is true or not through human eyes. However, God knows what you have given and what is being held back. The problem is not in holding back as much as it is in putting on the face of giving everything when you have not. All that we are and have has been given to us by God, and we are entrusted as stewards of it. That means we can manage it how ever we see best. By the same token there will be a calling to account for our stewardship. How much did we give to God?

Psalm 8
A pure song of praise lifted to our God. All of creation is indebted to God, and God has made all of creation glorious. Not much more needs to be said than O Lord our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Genesis 21-23
The person Abraham most longed after is requested of God. Issac is requested by God, and Abraham is willing. There are many things about this passage which I do not like, not the least of which is the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son. Yet here is a picture of how things work in the kingdom. The willingness is what God was testing in Abraham. God may not have us sacrifice that which is most precious to us but there may be a test of our willingness. There are times when we are in fact asked and expected to give up that which is important to us. More than a willingness, and actual sacrifice. Still before the point of sacrifice the issue of willingness must be wrestled with.

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