Monday, March 5, 2012

Kingdom Behavior





Scripture

When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.
(Mark 12:34 NASB)
Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury;
(Mark 12:43 NASB)
for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”
(Mark 12:44 NASB)

Observation

Here in this Gospel passage we find a Scribe talking to Jesus about what is most important, and surprisingly, he really gets it and understands what is the most important and Jesus tells him that he is not far from the kingdom. Jesus is constantly talking about this kingdom -- a new kingdom in which the world's kingdoms would not thrive. It is in this new kingdom that all of life is seen from an eternal perspective, and this is what brings us to the widow. The widow comes and puts two small copper coins into the treasury. The significance here is that she is a widow. The few coins which she owned were to be her "life insurance." They were all that she had in terms of worldly treasure that might help her to survive. And yet, she gave all that she had in the offering.

Application

The significance found here is that in the new kingdom, we don't need worldly treasure in which to survive. In the new kingdom, we need to focus on two things; loving God and loving our neighbors. Can you imagine if every single person in the world were to focus on those two things? Quite literally, there would be no need for money in this world for everyone would be cared for. Every need would be met. The widow's action was one of thanksgiving before God, but also a huge statement of trust. She was willing to live in the new kingdom, realizing that God would care for her.

We are challenged today to step into the new kingdom. God wants us to trust him for all things and yet, that can become difficult. Yes, it may be easier to trust him when we have very little. My husband and I have said that it's hard for Americans to see God's miracles, because instead of going to him for our needs, people go to their credit cards and add more debt to their lives. What if, like the widow, we were to radically trust in him, for the daily needs of life. What if we could raise up a new generation of children who have seen parents cry out to God at the point of their need, and have seen God supply that need?

Kingdom behavior means that my priorities in life become loving God and loving my neighbors. We pour ourselves out in service to God, becoming reflections of Jesus to a needy world. By trusting in God for our needs, the needy world can believe the words of our testimony. Therefore we must get rid of the things of the world in which we are placing our trust -- give it all to him -- and then engage with our world. This is kingdom behavior.

Prayer

Lord, I want to live as a kingdom citizen. Please, help me to trust in you each and every single day for the needs -- not the wants! Amen.

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