Castles or Kingdoms?
The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. -Psalm 103:19
Do you want to build a castle? Or do you want to build a kingdom? It's a tough question because we live in a culture that frequently measures us by our personal achievements. Not that using our God-given talents to accomplish and acquire is a bad thing; it just needs to be kept in perspective - appreciated in gratitude and shared in generosity.
Castle-building is all about me: How big is my castle? Have others noticed how impressive my castle is? Is my castle tall enough that I can sit in my tower and look down on other nearby castles? Does my castle have a moat and a drawbridge? I want to be sure I can keep out the riff-raff and only allow in people who look and think and act like I do.
Kingdom-building is outward-focused: Kingdom-builders come down to ground level. Instead of insulating themselves behind thick walls and moats, Kingdom-builders make themselves available, even vulnerable. Instead of amassing awards, accomplishments, and possessions for others to admire (but never touch!), Kingdom-builders look for ways to interact.
God is in the Kingdom-building business.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. -John 3:16
And as our Father, he invites us to join the family business. So what is our role? What does God want me to do?
I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings. -Hosea 6:6 (NLT)
Turns out, God doesn't need our help. He wants our heart. When He has it, we're ready to carry out our God-given purpose: to convoy God's most precious possessions, the people He has placed in our lives.
Jesus answered, “The most important [commandment] is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” -Mark 12:29-31
Now I have some good news and some bad news. The good news: This is pretty simple. The bad news: It ain't easy. In fact, it's impossible for me, a mere mortal man, to carry out in my own power, using my own resources. Thankfully, that isn't the end of the story! We'll go a little further in the coming weeks, but if you want a head start, tune in to the October 2018 podcast for Blake Pointer's story at https://www.convoynwa.org/audio/.
Blake's scripture references from Friday, Oct.5:
Kingdom - Psalm 103:19, Matthew 6:33.
Castles - Matthew 6:19-21(MSG).
Joining the “family business” - Matthew 16:19, Matthew 16:19(MSG).
Built with us in mind - Ephesians 1:4-6(MSG).
What God requires - Hosea 6:6.
His greatest commandments - Mark 12:29-31.
Abiding - John 15:5.
Transforming - Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 3:16-18.
Loving - John 3:16, Ephesians 5:1-2(MSG), 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 1 Corinthians 16:13-14(MSG).
Reproducing - Genesis 1:21-22, Genesis 8:15-17, Genesis 9:1, John 12:24-25(MSG),
Matthew 28:18-20(MSG), 2 Timothy 2:1-7(MSG).
Foxholes - Hebrews 10:24-25.
Until next time, men. Heads up, eyes open!