Daily Devotion, August 11, 2020 - Kingdom Living

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion – August 11, 2020
Reading:
Luke 10:1-12
Kingdom Living

As a child and even now, my vision of a “kingdom” always included an image of Queen Elizabeth II, a very, well dressed and poised queen who has always seemed in control despite the many situations she has been confronted with over her 68 years as the longest reigning monarch in British history. But is this image that we should have of “kingdom” as Christians… a large wardrobe of perfectly tailored clothing, lavish living in a palace, always being completely composed and distant from the “common” people? I am not putting down Queen Elizabeth, but Jesus’ description of God’s kingdom certainly pushes us to change our earthly image of kingdom living to a heavenly image of kingdom living that is kingdom building.

In today’s reading, Luke reveals to us Jesus’ sending forth of seventy-two “others” in addition to the ‘messengers’ he had sent ahead of him already (Lk 9:51-16). The instructions for living out the kingdom of Jesus and sharing the news of this kingdom with others are really quite simple. Jesus tells them to leave their “stuff” behind, take peace with you, receive with grace the hospitality offered to you, heal the sick, and tell the people “the kingdom of God has come near to you.” He then tells them what to do if they and their message are rejected. Jesus says to tell those people “we are shaking the dust off our feet as a sign we came in peace to witness to you; know this for certain, the kingdom of God has come near.” Those who reject God’s kingdom message from his messengers will receive a more severe judgment than those who have accepted the message.

So what does this mean for us today? It means that we go where God leads us and go trusting that God will provide, equip, and empower us with everything we need to be his kingdom building agents. We are to receive with grace the hospitality extended to us as we share the good news of God’s grace through Jesus Christ with others. As for those who reject us, Jesus tells his disciples to shake the dust off their feet and make sure the persons understand that God’s kingdom has been near. For those who were hospitable to the disciples, the statement is “… the kingdom of God was near you”  implying they accepted this good news.  But for those who reject us “… the kingdom of God has come near”. The implication is the first group embraced the kingdom while the other group was introduced to God’s kingdom but never let it get near to them. The absence of the word “you” is intentional; the kingdom of God was not near them because they did not accept the proclaimed news about it. There was no argument or mistreatment byt the disciples toward those who rejected; just a simple knocking the dust off their sandals and moving on to other places to share the good news.

Contrary to the complex lives of earthy kings and queens, God’s kingdom living is quite simple: you don’t need to have a fancy wardrobe; we just need to take peace with us, receive hospitality extended to us and not be discouraged when the message we share is rejected. Knock the dust off your feet and keep on “kingdom living”.

Dear God, thank for the simple instructions you provide to us on how to live out and build up your kingdom. But as simple as the instructions are, sometimes they are difficult for us to adopt and adapt in our lives. We are afraid to be bold in sharing our faith. Give us the ability to accept those who are hospitable to us when we share our faith and to not be offended by those who reject your message, realizing you are the only One who can truly change them. Help us to pray for them that they might one day receive your grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 
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