Thursday, August 15, 2013

I Don't Even Come in Second!

Watch the way Jesus walks through the kingdom.  He is always moving toward the marginalized, the physically broken, the oppressed, and the poor.  We already know that the rich are reluctant to believe in Jesus because they know it will cost them.  Jesus and his followers prefer those who can never help us get a better job or increase the church budget. 
Just when your storehouses had enough for tomorrow, you notice some desperate needs around you.  The King is close enough to put his hand into your pocketbook and, for most Westerners, that is far too intrusive and impolite.  "Go ahead and require public niceness and regular attendance at church, Lord, but remember that my money is my own!"  
We get the impression that the Father prefers to keep us on the edge.  This is what got us worried in the first place!  His plan is to liberate us from our defensive, hoarding, tight-fisted, miserly ways, and to teach us that when we have been given the kingdom - the kingdom! - stinginess is unnatural and unbecoming.  We might prefer a different strategy, but if God is molding us to be chips off the old block, his strategy makes sense.  It is exactly what we need, because our greatest need is to be what we were intended to be - to be like him.  
So, the Kingdom is God's and God targets the needs of those who have less than we do.  In other words, not only is the kingdom about God, and not me, I don't even come in second!  I am to consider others more important than myself in the kingdom.  This seems like too much to ask until the King calls us his treasured possession (Ex. 19:5).  He is seeking my allegiance with love, not with force and power.  The reason we are called to lay up our treasures in heaven is because we are his treasure.  When you are confident that you are the Father's treasured possession, you are also confident that his loving care will continue forever.  Building warehouses is a waste of time and space.  His gifts to you become things you want to give him back in gratitude.  Then he give you even more.

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