On: January 24, 2015 | By: admin | Under: Blog | Comments: Comments are off
Chapter 6 is principally taken up with Jesus’ “sermon on the mount” – His guidelines for living in His Kingdom. In other words, if we choose to call Jesus “Lord”, this is how we should live. And it’s not easy. Attractive? – yes; easy? – no.
As I suggested on Day 74, in my introduction to this “Kingdom Manifesto”, we must avoid getting swept away by the poetry of Jesus’s words, nor be dazzled by their idealism. Jesus said “But to you who are listening…” Listening, in this context, surely means “taking heed” of His words. “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? … everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice …” This seems pretty clear – we must start to act in line with Jesus’ instructions … now.
This is as tough a call as it gets. It will indeed take us time to adjust ourbehaviour and a lifetime to perfect it, if ever we can, but our direction of travel is crystal clear. How can we grapple with Jesus’ demands – as that’s what they amount to? We need a plan, a strategy to deal, one by one, with the issues raised. I’ve listed opposite the main areas to tackle.
How am I going to start? By trying not to wriggle out of difficult situations, but confront them as they appear. And then I’m going to ask Jesus to show me where my foundations are lacking, so I can ensure that I am building on a solid base for when testing times come. Trying not to point the finger of blame may come next, and proactively positioning myself where I’m amongst enemies, in order that I might demonstrate the love of Jesus, cannot be put off too long. Over all these, I want a growing hunger for the things of God that I might grow spiritually rich.
Is there something topsy turvy going on here? Do we tend to think that we’ve earned whatever material riches we may have acquired whereas, actually, God has blessed us. Conversely, do we assume that, if we follow Jesus, God will automatically bless us spiritually, whereas, actually, we need to work hard to grow in Him?
I’m so aware, as I write, how easy it will be to feel good at having carried out this exercise. But my prayer for myself, and for anyone reading, is this:
Father God, open my eyes to see Your way forward for my life and give me the determination and discipline to implement what I see, day by day. Amen.