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Sunday, August 8, 2010

First Seek God's Kingdom--Then?

I really liked the Pastor Shim's sermon this morning. He's been delving into The Lord's Prayer for the past three weeks--I missed the first two, so this commentary isn't starting from the beginning.. Judging from this one, I wish he had recorded them, because this one was goooood.
As you might have guessed from the title, the phrase in the Lord's Prayer Shim spoke about was "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done." He raised an interesting question--why would we ask that His kingdom come when it's all around us constantly and everywhere? I was thinking this meant we should be praying for Jesus' return. Shim's take on it makes more sense. We are asking, with that phrase, that His kingdom come to us personally. We are asking Him to come into our lives and let His kingdom work in us--to be born again.
Shim referred to the story in the Bible regarding when Jesus told a man he needed to be born again. This sounded like foolishness to that man--how could he re-enter his mother's womb? What kind of human intelligence would invent the need to be born again or worship a Man who had been executed? Shim reminded us that the foolishness of God is greater than any intelligence of people.
Shim told us another story about something that happened in Cambodia (I think--I'm not positive that's where he said because my ears lost that word). Soldiers forced a village of people to dig this long trench, then to line up in front of it. Their intention was to then shoot all the people, and they would fall into the trench when shot. One woman shouted out, "O God who was executed, save me!" She didn't know Jesus, but somewhere must have heard about His crucifiction and that He triumphed over death. For some reason, all the soldiers became frightened and ran away. They didn't shoot the people. Fifteen years later, a missionary came to their village. When the missionary told the Village about Jesus, the whole village received him with joy because Jesus had saved them 15 years before from the soldiers. They had been worshipping Him all that time, even though they didn't know His name. God's kingdom had come to them before the missionary did.
All this doesn't add up to a religion that is all relaxation and ease. As Shim said, "A religion which costs you nothing is worth nothing." Letting Jesus take over our lives may bring times of discomfort, sacrifice, persecution--in some countries, it can even cost you your life. But the joy, peace, and love He gives us is worth all the cost.
What does that mean for us? That we begin by inviting Him in, and then let Him take over our lives. What does that mean for me, personally? That each day, hour by hour, I let Him take over and live through me.
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