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Recognising the Kingdom when it comes…

I love it when people reply and give me feedback, I don’t mind when people disagree with me, for me the most important thing is that people wrestle with what it means and how it looks in reality of everyday living to be a follower of Christ.

I posted a message about the research that shows that rather than trying to grow bigger trees a more fruitful way to see people come to faith and fullness is by planting small shrubs, and talked about people mistake growth through transfer as people coming to faith.

I got a comment reminding me of the verse which says “seek first the Kingdom of God” and maybe God is calling some people to pastor mega churches (and some mega churches are replanting in areas of deprivation where historically often the church has fled to the suburbs and now are returning which I believe must bring joy to the heart of God).

Yet as I thought about this more I began to think I wonder how much of this is to do with our own ideas of what it means for the Kingdom to come?

When Jesus came the first time the people were expecting a bit of a cross between Arnold Swatzeneggar and Tony Blair (A warrior and a politician rolled into one much like King David was) and yet he was born in poverty, “had no where to lay his head” and died upon the cross for our sins. Many people missed what God was doing throug Christ because of their beliefs of what that coming  of the Messiah would look like.

When we pray Lord the your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven often God’s answer to that prayer doesn’t look like we think it does.

I read a great quote from Pete Greig who says “God doesn’t really do nostalgia” in other words God rarely does the same thing in the same way twice.

Sometimes we expect what God to do to look like we have always seen it before, Kingdom coming means large building and a fab sound system… When it might be the call to do a service in a nursing home bringing elderly and often forgotten people to know and re-connect with Christ’s love for them.

Maybe we think Christ’s coming in our lives might end up with us as a pastor of a church, when perhaps God is calling us to the vital roles of kids or teenage ministry, or perhaps the soup run or Foodbank?

Perhaps a prayer we can pray today is, “Lord, I want to seek first your Kingdom, and Lord help me recognise it when we see it begin to break in so that I can have the privildge and joy of being a part of what you are doing”.

 

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One thought on “Recognising the Kingdom when it comes…

  1. Christopher Deans says:

    Hi Scruff, I particularly like the way you tease us into thought with this blog for there are many ways to spread the Gospels quietly and unobtrusively and perhaps by example rather than persuasion.

    When working on emotional support, the answer is often fairly obvious, but as the person owns the problem, they must also own the answer; if you supply the answer it is your solution not theirs and at the first hurdle, they fall, whereas if they arrive at the answer through their own cognisance they own it and they make it work; strange but true.

    I do some work with a charity called Prisoners Abroad and write letters to people who have broken the law in that great hinterland, Abroad. The business of being in prison is unpleasant, but to be a prisoner again, in one’s own language and culture at the same time is exceedingly unpleasant. The physical conditions are often appalling, 10/15 people to a room with straw mattresses to sleep on and a basic diet of rice. Conditions in the USA, and particularly Texas, are not good. Some of the work involves trying to get people repatriated to finish their sentences in England, but mostly it is about ‘hands across the seas’, keeping people in touch with their country, to befriend and give some emotional support, just someone to say I know about you predicament and care enough to keep in contact.

    Prisons conditions here in the UK are rapidly deteriorating, overcrowding, in buildings constructed by the Victorians, privatisation, government cut backs and a severe reduction of H.M.P. Staff are creating a multitude of problems, almost half of those convicted receive no visitors, many are at best semi-literate and semi numerate and the suicide rate increased by about 30% in the last year. Prison visiting is suspended at Christmas to enable the maximum number of Prison Officers to spend Christmas with their families and the regime, for the same reason, is restricted.

    There now, just a few Christmas thoughts that have nothing to do with turkeys or tinsel?

    We have more than enough rough sleepers and nowhere near enough night shelters, an in terms of poverty, that is just the tip of the iceberg but you know all about that.

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