Tag Archives: Kingdom of God

For His Good Pleasure

My son was at the age when he knew so much more than his dad, and his interests were far more exciting to his way of thinking than all the boring stuff the old folks were into.  Remember those days?  I asked him, “I saw a movie I think you might really like; you want to check it out?”  You can imagine all the rolling of eyes and protestations…  But he finally agreed to give it 15 minutes.  If he wasn’t into it by then we’d stop it.  Two hours later, he was wanting to watch it over again.  Score one for Dad.  Because I knew how much he would like it (the movie was “Once”), waiting to show it to him was a time of happy anticipation for me. 

Jesus said these intriguing words:

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  (Luke 12:32)

As God waits for us to accept His gift, I imagine His happy anticipation, thinking to Himself, “They’re going to really like this…”   And yet, when we hear about it, we react like adolescents, thinking, “Oh, that would be so boring.” 

But consider your own experiences with government: Been to the DMV lately?  How has the IRS been treating you?   How would you like to be a citizen of a kingdom, in which the King loved you as His own child, a King Who was perfect in righteousness and justice?  A King Who already knew everything you needed?  That’s the Kingdom God wants to give you.  Why?  It is for His good pleasure! 

God’s Laundry

Dirty socks may not understand this, as they are sloshing around in the washer, but they have nothing to fear, not even from the repeated rinse and spin cycles.  People who are gathered to God in Jesus have nothing to fear either, from the growing bloodthirstiness of ISIS, the new alliances between the evil dictators of Russia, Syria and Iran, or the hostility toward Israel that simmers in Egypt and Iraq.  God told us to expect all that, all that and more.  There’s no way for us dirty socks to know if this will be the final rinse and spin, but we can take heart in knowing that things turn out well for God’s Laundry:

This is the word of the LORD concerning Israel. The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares:   “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem.  On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.  On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the LORD. “I will keep a watchful eye over the house of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations.   Then the leaders of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the LORD Almighty is their God.’  –  (Zechariah 12:1-5)

Says Who?

After 30 years, now it’s safe to eat eggs.  The experts were wrong. Of course, the experts used to think tomatoes were poisonous, too.  Nope, it’s Lima beans that are poisonous; ask any kid.  You can’t always trust the experts.  Expert publishers rejected the novels of John Grisham (16 times!).  Expert physicists rejected the theories of Einstein.  And expert religious leaders rejected Jesus.

Of course, God saw that coming.  He created us humans and knows how we tend to think we know all the answers.  Hundreds of years before Jesus, He inspired these words:

“The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone [or cornerstone – same word]; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.” (Psalm 118:22-23 – with my explanation)

Jesus quoted that line to challenge religious leaders who had rejected Him.  He is the cornerstone of the Kingdom of God, the foundation stone upon which everything else in God’s Kingdom is built.  God has done this, not “the builders.”  Not the experts.  God’s Kingdom is still growing.  Every human kingdom ultimately collapses for want of a strong “cornerstone.”

We still have experts today – leaders, judges, officials, scholars – who choose to build without regard to the “Cornerstone.”  Inevitably, what they build is not so “marvelous.”

“[But]…this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.” (Isaiah 28:16b)

Be careful who you trust.

Quotes: The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.