King Jesus is revealed as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. He sent his followers intentionally as sheep among wolves in order to display the glory of the kingdom of God on earth. Somehow, the presence of sheep who are filled with the Spirit of the Lamb of God provokes and exposes the deadly wolf-like ways in the world.
As in the days when the New Testament was written, the good news about the arrival of God’s kingdom still causes upheaval. It is good but usually not predictable or pristine. God’s presence exposes everything that is against the New Creation and anti-renewal. In the end, the wolves are seen for who they are in the presence of the Lamb of God.
As I meditate on my life of identifying as a child of God in life-union with Jesus, I need to make a confession. My experience is that the Lamb of God has to expose the ways that I am a wolf in sheep’s clothing. That is the way to enter into eternal life. There is no other way.
The beautiful, overwhelming truth is that my sins have been forgiven and I live in Christ for God’s glory. But, the place of connection is agreeing with his assessment of my ways, even when he exposes what is out of line with His heart in me.
It is a profound thing to invest our lives in God’s will on earth as it is in heaven. We do that only by God’s grace. As we live in the Spirit, the wolf-like ways in the world will come to light. We can’t allow that to discourage us. Instead, we must focus on Jesus, the Lamb of God and trust His presence more than ever. Somehow, He uses our lives in those moments as evidence of His kingdom’s life and resilience. Don’t lose heart!
(Inspired by Matthew 10)
God, I come before you through faith in Jesus. You have taught me to believe in my heart that I have been rescued out of a dead, meaningless existence. My sins have been forgiven because of your faithfulness expressed in Jesus. I do freely and willingly confess that you are King of heaven and earth. Your kingdom is present everywhere and the increase of your government will never end.
At the beginning of a new decade, I pray that the eyes of my heart would be healed, restored and renewed. I long to see with 20/20 vision on earth as it is in heaven. King Jesus, I long for you to help me admit my blindness in any form and to receive your healing touch. In your mercy, touch my spiritual eyes so that I will see what you see, go where you send me, and say what you want me to say.
May the year 2020 mark a shift in my perception of your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven here and now. By your grace, I admit my need for gold refined in the fire, purified clothes from heaven to cover my shame, and healing ointment for my eyes. These things can only come from you. (Revelation 3:17-18)
Prepare me to serve in your overwhelming season of harvest in all nations. In a fresh way, help me see how you are manifesting the glory of your Name as you flood all creation with your Presence. I hear your knock at my door and your voice asking to come in. In the fear of the Lord, I gladly throw the door open again trusting you to come renovate, restore, and transform my life as a living temple in all that I say and do.
At the start of a new year and a new decade, this is my prayer.
Fathers and Mothers in Christ are accessible to everyone in the house. Never inaccessible. This is their challenge and joy. The impossibility of this drives them into the realm of the miraculous as they must depend on the resources of heaven in Christ to avoid burning out. Kingdom of God fathering and mothering is accomplished not by might or power but by God’s Spirit in the name of Jesus. It is their responsibility to manage life in such a way that even when their necessary boundaries may make them physically unavailable, their influence is never absent from those who depend on them. It is a high calling but indispensable.
Holy Spirit, reside in me, in us.
In Jesus, I am in heaven. Because Jesus is in me, heaven is on earth.
It is a “right here, right now” thing. The living, breathing, moving union of heaven and earth is overflowing with the glory of God.
Somehow to live every moment in the faith that in Christ, heaven and earth have been joined.
Transformation happens at the pace of a plant growing. And it grows up out of the mess and chaos of our lives.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Thank you, Jesus, for your faithful, undying, life infusing presence in us and with us especially when we think we are at our worst.
Teach us to see in every moment at least a hint of your kingdom flowing on earth as it is in heaven.
Your life is not a test. In Christ, it is a masterpiece that God is creating. Your calling is to surrender and discover that God is good regardless of your circumstances. If we will trust in the resilience that only Jesus can bring, the potential of what can happen through us in His name is mind-blowing. We would not need His perseverance if living for God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven was easy. God wants you to know that he is crafting an incomparable work of art with your life. That is not the same as creating a life of ease for you. This is not easy to accept. But, it is the truth. You and I were created for more than a life of ease. Left to ourselves, we would never fulfill our calling as God’s image-bearers. But, in Christ, we have joy in any circumstance because we know we are a part of his story, his workmanship. (inspired by Ephesians 2:10)