Friday, March 9, 2012

Moments in the Kingdom of God

Lent 2012              A clean Heart, Create in Me            C.S.Lewis
Friday, March 9                                              Matthew 21:43

I have difficulty believing that God would take away the kingdom without cause.  The scripture gives a clue, The kingdom will be "given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom."  And what are these fruits?  Are they the fruits of the Spirit: (links are from
  • love (agape);
  • joy (chara);
  • peace (eirene);
  • patience (makrothumia);
  • kindness (chrestotes);
  • goodness (agathosune);
  • faithfulness (pistis);
  • gentleness (prautes);
  • self-control (egkrateia).?  or something else?
  • Perhaps fruits of the kingdom are the products of those amazing mountaintop experiences where we know that we are living in the Kingdom of God right now.  It isn't necessarily what we can do when we find ourselves in the sweetspot of God's gracious presence, but what happens afterwards in the desert valley.  Maybe the fruits of the Spirit are symptoms and attitdes that come out of the Fruits of the Kingdom.  When we abide with God, something special is produced and the kingdom reaps the benefits.  A kingdom fruit may be a smile, a gentle nudging towards God, an unfettered outpouring of God-sized Joy.  A kingdom fruit is our simple response to God's initial love.
    The kingdom will be taken from us if we neglect and ignore it.  If we refuse to let it inspire and empower it, we will lose it.  If we are so focused on the world and its messages of brokenness and woe that we cannot see the brightness of the kingdom, we will no longer be children of the Kingdom.  Perhaps it isn't so much that God takes the kingdom from us, but that we choose to leave the kingdom.  When we refuse to be effective stewards for the kingdom of God, then God chooses someone else to have the opportunities that the kingdom presents.  Lord, help me remain a child of the kingdom.  Do not let me be led astray by other voices that are so numerous they seem to be true.  Let me know that when I accept a Clean Heart from you, it is one step in creating a stronger kingdom.  Do not let me be so swayed by the sins of humanity that I believe my small fruits are not beneficial.  Help me be one drop of water that will help quench the thirst of the nations.  Let me be  children of light that lives in your eternal kingdom now and forever.  Hold my hand lest I wander away, for I seek to abide with You and in You.

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