Sunday, March 03, 2013

Stark Contrast

29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 

31 But seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 

~LUKE 12:29-31

Here's a stark contrast between what God wants us to do and what we naturally want to do left to our own devices. We worry and fear and compete. God wants us to trust Him, depend on Him, and do as He does/has shown us to do. We want to gather, accumulate and defend what we've hoarded. "Mine, Mine, Mine!" And we do it all following Machiavelli's philosophy "The ends justifies the means." Following the world's rules; "all's fair in love and war" and "finder's keepers, losers weepers," "possession is 9/10ths of the law," and "he who dies with the most toys wins."

Whereas, God doesn't want us to use people and love things, He wants us to use things and love people.

Jesus taught us to love our neighbors, to love and pray for our enemies and to sell our possessions and give them to the poor. After all, what is His kingdom? Is it the political revolution that the crowds were clamoring for in John 6:14-15? If it were, instead of being sacrificed on a cross, like a sheep lead to the slaughter, wouldn't his followers, or even the angels, come and overthrown the Romans and established a thousand year reign in Jerusalem (see John 18:36)?

Isn't Jesus' kingdom about reconciling sinners with God? Isn't it about grace, forgiveness, and mercy? Isn't His new commandment to love one another? Therefore isn't expanding God's dominion achieved by spreading love joy peace and patience? Aren't the statutes and regulations of the Kingdom, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control? 

It is counter-intuitive, but lots of things in life are like that. The harder you chase after things, the more you lose. "What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?(Mark 8:36 & Luke 9:25)" But if we unclench our greedy fists and open our hands in praise & thanksgiving, God pours out His blessings beyond what we can hold or hope to collect on our own.

This is the difference between our selfish, sinful human nature- like Thomas Hobbes described; all mankind in a constant struggle and war for security, resources, and power- AND- selfless, Christ-like new creations producing the fruit of the Spirit. And what do you do with fruit? Pick it, eat it, and use whats left over to plant more fruit trees! 

"Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness" ~James 3:18

"Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness." ~2 Corinthians 9:10

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