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April 2008 Archives

April 15, 2008

Among and Within

Luke 17:20-21 (ESV)
Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, 21 nor will they say, Look, here it is! or There! for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.

Mark chapter one says that Jesus came "preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, 'the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel.'" (v 14-15). The "good news" that Jesus offered was that God's Kingdom was now present. Could have the call to repent ("to turn away from") been an invitation to turn away from thier dependence upon the Law and a new dependance upon the Spirit? How could have they known or understood what Jesus was saying? It was so far beyond thier frame of reference; a radical change of paradigm.

They must have heard Jesus' words about the Kingdom and possibly tried to understand what He was talking about by looking for a point of reference - "Oh, that's what he means by the kingdom." Maybe it's a different way of doing things, or a new set of rules to live by. I would imagine that people were looking intently for the signs of a new regime, even if it wasn't a polictical one. What was completly beyond them is the concept of this Kingdom being inside of them. The power and presence of God indwelling. The King ruling one's heart. God's kingdom is not only "among" you, but to everyone who can let go of thier attempts at self-righteousness, it can be "within" you.

Lord, let your kingdom be present not just around me, or among my life's activities, but let me live with a consciousness of it being resident within me.

Among and Within

Luke 17:20-21 (ESV)
Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, 21 nor will they say, Look, here it is! or There! for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.

Mark chapter one says that Jesus came "preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, 'the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel.'" (v 14-15). The "good news" that Jesus offered was that God's Kingdom was now present. Could have the call to repent ("to turn away from") been an invitation to turn away from thier dependence upon the Law and a new dependance upon the Spirit? How could have they known or understood what Jesus was saying? It was so far beyond thier frame of reference; a radical change of paradigm.

They must have heard Jesus' words about the Kingdom and possibly tried to understand what He was talking about by looking for a point of reference - "Oh, that's what he means by the kingdom." Maybe it's a different way of doing things, or a new set of rules to live by. I would imagine that people were looking intently for the signs of a new regime, even if it wasn't a polictical one. What was completly beyond them is the concept of this Kingdom being inside of them. The power and presence of God indwelling. The King ruling one's heart. God's kingdom is not only "among" you, but to everyone who can let go of thier attempts at self-righteousness, it can be "within" you.

Lord, let your kingdom be present not just around me, or among my life's activities, but let me live with a consciousness of it being resident within me.

April 22, 2008

Remember the Donkey Show

Joshua 24:9-10 (ESV)
Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel. And he sent and invited Balaam the son of Beor to curse you, 10 but I would not listen to Balaam. Indeed, he blessed you. So I delivered you out of his hand.

It's funny the things you remember, what gets registered in your brain. I'm thinking that as I'm reading this list from Joshua of all the amazing things God has done to bring them into the promised land. At the end of his life and the conclusion of posessing the land, Joshua is reviewing how God has sovreignly directed them as a people; from God's call to Abraham (big), the original journey into Egypt (with no mention of Joseph, but still an important event), the exodus, the battle where when Moses hands were raised the Israelites won (for which Joshua was the field general), and then the above verses fall.

I know the story of Balaam and the talking donkey. And interesting little side story with a funny side show. But for whatever reason, this must have been a very significant event in the nation's history. In fact, Peter, Paul, and even John in The Reveation comment on Balaam.

I'm not going to try today to fid the significance in Balaam's story. My point is that sometimes what we think is insignificant isn't. In hindsight, small events can have major influence. Maybe Joshua used this story to remind the people that God is often working on our behalf behind the scenes and not only in the big stuff. I wonder what events in my life are identity shaping that could be overlooked.

Lord, don't let me overlook the the stuff that you want me to remember.

Year of the Man - April Adventure

This past weekend I took Justin out to shoot a gun for the first time. We went with our friend Bruce to Prado Shooting Park to shoot some skeet. Growing up in suburbia, Justin doesn't get to have some of the experiences that a kid in a more rural setting would get to have. Gun safety and experience is one of those things I learned as a kid. Although we're not a hunting or gun owning family, I wanted him to have a respect for guns and learn how to safely handle them.

This was the first time I had ever shot skeet. Justin and I both had a great time! Thanks Bruce - I bet you don't even know you're Wiki!

About April 2008

This page contains all entries posted to JustJeff | Life Journal in April 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

February 2008 is the previous archive.

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