Monday, July 18, 2016
The Gospel of The Kingdom
The gospel of the Kingdom of God is a story that puts everything in our worldview on it's head. It's what Jon and Tim call "The upside-down Kingdom". Us humans learn early on that the way you get respect and power is to exalt yourself above others in any way possible. We try to make more money than others, be a little more beautiful than others, have a little bigger and nicer home than our neighbors etc. We learn from our culture that the more beautiful, powerful, rich and successful we are the more exalted we will become in this world. When Jesus entered this world 2016 years ago he started talking about something entirely different. Jesus talked about how God only cares about the heart, not how beautiful, powerful, rich, intelligent or successful a person has become in people's eyes.
Jesus teaches that the most powerful person in the Kingdom of God is he who is the weakest, the one who chooses to serve and love others. When God looks at us he doesn't see what people see, God looks at the heart. Do we have a cold, hard heart where we have allowed hate to live? Or do we have a warm, kind heart that is generous and loves others even when it is extremely difficult?
Jesus was sent to Earth to set an example for all of us. Jesus showed us what love looks like. Jesus showed us that true power comes from self-sacrificial love and he is inviting each one of us to follow his example. We all get to choose if we want to follow Jesus or if we want to follow the ways of this world. God could have chosen to take back the power over evil in any way he wants, but he chose to do it through free will.
It's a beautiful thing to see someone who has been chained to sin walk away from their selfish ways and choose to live life God's way. We celebrate every time someone who was lost is found again. At the same time it is devastating every time we see the result that comes when someone has chosen to run away from God and choose evil instead of love.