Reddit Questions #1 – Prayer, beginner Bible reading, and imaginary friends I have recently joined the throngs at Reddit (look for greggpj333), and one of the subreddits I am a member of is a place where non-believers can ask honest questions of believers. I have been active in this subreddit and wanted to publish some …
The devotional I gave at my mother's wedding.
The Kingdom of God has not come to its full reality. Revelation 20-21 describes the Kingdom of God in its fullness. Jesus returns and sets everything to rights. There is new Creation with a new Heaven (where God’s presence dwells eternally) and a new Earth (His very good creation). The sin of our first parents damaged the connection between God’s presence and His creation. In those two chapters, God finishes the reclamation project started in Genesis and reclaims His people as His own. His people are then put in charge of this New Creation to enjoy His works eternally and steward His New Creation. But that is the “not yet.”
The great British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge once said that "The depravity of man is at once the most empirically verifiable reality but at the same time the most intellectually resisted fact." The human condition of war is evidence of that. War involves pain. War involves sacrifice. War involves death. While war is identifiable, the pain, sacrifice, and death are the results of the kingdom of the enemy. That is what is resisted.
I have a presence on social media, but I am careful with what I consume in that arena. One of the elements of social media that annoy me in particular is MEMEs. If you don’t know, a MEME is a picture or a graphic that has a short saying to make a point. Sometimes they are funny, but most times, they are profoundly annoying and terribly incorrect. Fallacies abound, and false information is ubiquitous. Therefore, I thought I would start a series breaking down some MEMEs that especially irk me. With that, let’s get to this edition’s disaster.
So far, in this series, we have looked at the Kingdom of God from many different angles. In this edition, I want to take a look at a steam of Parables in Matthew 13 that speaks directly to the nature of the Kingdom of God
My kids are grown now. Both have moved out of the house and are living lives that are independent of their parents. I am exceedingly proud of my kids and what they have accomplished in their lives. But in that pride is a bit of sorrow. I miss picking up my daughter and her beeping my nose, saying, with a laugh, “Boopies, I got you first!” I miss having deep conversations with my then four-year-old son. “Daddy, what ‘cuz the world to go in circles around the sun?” Yes, they had their times of disobedience, and they needed to be corrected from time to time. However, those memories have faded into the past. Mostly what remains are memories of happy, joyous times with my children.
Until recently, I had never read any of Henri Nouwen’s work. I have a feeling that my choice of starting with The Return of the Prodigal Son was an excellent place to start. Nouwen’s reflections on not just the parable Jesus told in Luke 15, but also reflections on the famous painting by Rembrandt. Tying in these two elements, I was deeply challenged by Nouwen to reflect on the three main characters in the story: the younger son, the elder son, and the father.
For this series on the Kingdom of God, we have seen how the Kingdom of God is something that is both now and future, that we live in the Kingdom by following Jesus’ words in the Beatitudes, that the gospel is not just when we die we go to Heaven but is centered on the work of Jesus, and that we can approach the throne of the King in prayer. This installment, I want to focus on the fact that there is only one King
In John 20, Jesus does something entirely unexpected. The resurrection itself was quite surprising, but now, in the upper room, Jesus breaths on the disciples and states, “Receive the Holy Spirit. John 20:22 (CSB). This essay will review the background understanding of the Holy Spirit for the Jewish disciples, exegesis of John 20:21-23 with observations and interpretations, and conclude with an application.