Heaven and Earth Intersect – God’s Kingdom Manifested - Friday, March 22nd

Heaven and Earth Intersect – God’s Kingdom Manifested - Friday, March 22nd

Pray, then, in this way: Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven …. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. Matthew 6:9-10, 13B

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth …. For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace …. Grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has revealed Him. John 1:14, 16, 17B-18

Again, heaven’s kingdom realm is like the wealthy man who went on a long journey and summoned all his trusted servants and assigned his financial management over to them. Before he left on his journey, he entrusted a bag of five thousand gold coins to one of his servants, to another a bag of two thousand gold coins, and to the third a bag of one thousand gold coins, each according to his ability to manage. The one entrusted with five thousand gold coins immediately went out and traded with the money, and he doubled his investment. In the same way, the one who was entrusted with two thousand gold coins traded with the sum and likewise doubled his investment. But the one who had been entrusted with one thousand gold coins dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. After much time had passed, the master returned to settle accounts with his servants. The one who was entrusted with five thousand gold coins came and brought ten thousand, saying, “See, I have doubled your money.” Commending his servant, the master replied, “You have done well, and proven yourself to be my loyal and trustworthy servant. Because you have been a faithful steward to manage a small sum, now I will put you in charge of much, much more. You will experience the delight of your master, who will say to you, ‘Come celebrate with me!’” Then the one who had been entrusted with two thousand gold coins came in and said, “See, my master, I have doubled what you have entrusted to me.” Commending his servant, the master replied, “You have done well, and proven yourself to be my loyal and trustworthy servant. Because you were faithful to manage a small sum, now I will put you in charge of much, much more. You will experience the delight of your master, who will say to you, ‘Come celebrate with me!’” Then the one who had been entrusted with one thousand gold coins came to his master and said, “Look, sir. I know that you are a hard man to please and you’re a shrewd and ruthless businessman who grows rich on the backs of others. I was afraid of you, so I went and hid your money and buried it in the ground. But here it is—take it, it’s yours.” Angered by what he heard, the master said to him, “You’re an untrustworthy and lazy servant! If you knew I was a shrewd and ruthless business man who always makes a profit, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? Then I would have received it all back with interest when I returned. But because you were unfaithful, I will take the one thousand gold coins and give them to the one who has ten thousand. For the one who has will be given more, until he overflows with abundance. And the one with hardly anything, even what little he has will be taken from him.” Then the master said to his other servants, “Now, throw that good-for-nothing servant far away from me into the outer darkness, where there will be great misery and anguish!” Matthew 25:14-30

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

God’s kingdom is all about heaven and earth intersecting and the pivotal moment for it came when “the Word (Jesus Christ) became flesh.” By Christ becoming flesh the Father is revealed to us. By Christ becoming flesh we are reconciled to God through the redemptive work of the cross and we become participating members of his kingdom. Now it is Christ in us instead of Christ in the flesh. The most vital intersecting of heaven and earth takes place in our own hearts and lives as we allow the kingdom of God to be manifested and spread through us. It is up to us as to whether God’s kingdom will advance and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven. The difficulty for each of us as believers is the challenge of making the things of heaven our priority instead of the things of earth.

When we see, embrace, and are transformed by the things that are eternal and unseen, we will become rightly connected to that which is temporal and we will be used of God to impact the temporal with His life changing presence. What a privilege and joy it is to be able to go about living life in the name of Jesus, seeking to bestow compassion and truth on the lives of others that God brings our way. Living for God’s kingdom is a high calling and God is devoted to seeing that calling fulfilled in our lives day by day. Responding and yielding to God so that we live our lives as good and faithful stewards of the kingdom of heaven is our choice. The third servant in our story made the choice to do absolutely nothing to increase (advance) the value of the money entrusted to him by his master and dire consequences were meted out to him by his master as a result.

How about us? Can one be reconciled to God through the redemptive work of the cross for the purpose of becoming a participating member of his kingdom and then choose to do absolutely nothing about advancing the kingdom of heaven on earth. Is it truly possible for a redeemed person to go entirely about the business of advancing their own lives instead of God’s kingdom, having figuratively buried their heavenly treasure in the ground? I do not believe so and there are a lot of sound, biblical reasons for coming to that conclusion. We have been entrusted with the kingdom of heaven and all that is inherent in it. We are called to be good and faithful stewards who work to advance God’s kingdom and the truly redeemed will do so at least in part. While there are consequences associated with not living as fully for God and his kingdom as we should, I do not believe they are the dire consequences of today’s highlighted portion. So, we will devote next week’s devotional set to exploring the concerns and issues raised by the ending of our story about what the kingdom of heaven (and its counterpart) is truly like.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven …. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen!

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