Living It Out
25 November 2010
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! May your day be blessed and may your hearts overflow with thankfulness for God's goodness.
Today’s Reading: Matthew 20-22
43 “This is the way it is with you. God’s kingdom will be taken back from you and handed over to a people who will live out a kingdom life. 44 Whoever stumbles on this Stone gets shattered; whoever the Stone falls on gets smashed.” (Matthew 21:43-44 MSG)
When Jesus taught about the Kingdom of God, it pushed all kinds of buttons for these Jewish religious people. These were the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (and David). They were expecting a Messiah who would in some unknown way raise an army capable of defeating Rome, establish his government in Jerusalem, and they would all live happily ever after – in the Kingdom of God.
However, things were different at a practical level. Those who were prospering in the present order of things thought, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Those at the bottom of the pecking order thought, “Kingdom come! Let it roll!” Jesus said, “You’ve had centuries of opportunity to live like God is your king. Now someone else is going to get the chance – the chance to live it out, not just talk about it!”
In 1971 I first heard someone teaching from Matthew’s gospel that we are supposed to be – that we could be – living out a Kingdom of God life here and now and it stirred something in me. We certainly haven’t got it down to a consistent practice yet, but we’re still hearing it and still working at it.
I want to be a part of a company of Christ-followers who really believe it and give their best effort to practicing it. And I want to influence those who still have most of their lives before them to keep trying. Jesus still promises to hand over his kingdom to a people who will live out a kingdom life.
Father, May your kingdom come, your will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. I don’t have as many years to live it as when I first heard about it, but I’m still contending for living out a kingdom of God life. Let me influence others to contend for Jesus’ promise. Amen.