Earlier email resulted in confusing beginning. The cursor jumped before I noticed; I spelled checked but did not proof read. I consider it a lesson well learned...hopefully a lesson learned. I regret any confusion.
Jesus kingdom talk is about God and change. Here is a quote from C. S. Lewis; it is a bit dated but still relevant. I offer it for your consideration.
"If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven."
C. S. Lewis
For Sunday morning read Matthew 13; the passage is 13:31-33, 44-52. Matthew 13 is a chapter full of parables and parables themselves are
"Picture stories" .
Jesus is trying to describe what the kingdom of heaven is like and he uses parables to illustrate the kingdom. The kingdom of heaven is called the "kingdom of God) in the rest of the New Testament. Matthew uses the word "heaven" because he is the most "Jewish" of the gospel writers and the first century Jew did not speak the word "God" since human lips are considered too profane to utter such a holy word. The point is "Kingdom of heaven" and "kingdom of God" are the same reality and force; the kingdom of heaven is God becoming present in this world turning our expectations upside down and ordering creation along his divine intention. Love, forgiveness, justice and peace are among the attributes God is bringing to life.
How do we recognize the kingdom?
-This is what Jesus is pointing to.
Where would you see the kingdom breaking out today?
-Remember, the kingdom may not look like what you think it will look like. Kingdom thinking is thinking "outside the box"
Allow God to surprise you.
Be blessed and I'll see you Sunday.
Friends, An excerpt from a prayer:
"I Arise Today" to begin your day:
and all mornings
as we face the day
daunted by expectations
others place upon us,
weighed down by burdens,
unsure of outcomes,
that you faced all this
that we might loose
these chains that bind us,
rise above and beyond
the troubles of this world,
and know peace.
To the one who has overcome
we bring our thanks and praise
For the beginning of he work week:
Prayer for Grace and Strength Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit.
Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties,
and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just
and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion;
and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities.
For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Amen.May the Lord bless you today at work and at home and as you go to and fro.
For tomorrow morning read Psalm 139 which is the sermon text--The Nearnes of God;
also for your devotional life, I share this prayer from another Psalm:
Prayer of Praise (from Psalm 86)Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.
In the day of my trouble I will call upon you: for you will answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; and no works like those you have done.
All nations whom you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; and will glorify your name.
For you are great, and do wondrous things: you are God alone.
Teach me your way, Lord, and I will walk in your truth: unite my heart to fear your name.
I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify your name forever.
For Tuesday morning a prayer to start the day; it comes from a daily prayer site;
Dear Lord, I give you my hands to do your work; I give you my feet to go your way; I give you my eyes to see as you see; I give you my tongue to speak your words; I give you my mind that you may think in me; I give you my spirit that you may pray in me. Above all, I give you my heart that you may love in me. I give you my whole self, Lord, that you may grow in me, so that it is you who lives, works and prays in me.
Have a great dayPastor Bill
Good morning all;
For Sunday morning read Genesis 25:29-34-the selling by Esau of his birthright to Jacob (I guess in those days no one spoke about "deferrred gratification") and Matthew 13:1-9--the parable of the sower.
Today the memorial service for Rip Collins is at the Harris Funeral Home on Farmington Rd. north of 5 Mile in Livonia @ 11 AM. Keep Kathy and her family in your prayers.
As you begn the day, here is a prayer for you:
May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord.
And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions.
Walk with me, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence.
Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark and confused, and I pray that I may inspire others
as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all whom I may meet.