Livin' It Out
25 November 2017
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 very 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 confronted them, “You’ve already had plenty of opportunity to live like God is your king, and you haven’t done it! Now someone else is going to get the opportunity—the opportunity 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, still believing 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.
How about you? Are you longing for, are you ready for, the incredible, amazing, totally disruptive Kingdom of God to come to your house?
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 and to pray Jesus’ prayer. For the Kingdom’s sake, Amen.