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Wednesday: Priorities — 5 Comments

  1. It is interesting that the illustration for today's lesson shows what appears to be a family with children sitting outside a mansion surrounded by tame animals with a distant vision of what could be construed as the throne of God. It is a sort of stylised picture of what we would imagine earth to be like minus cars and technology. Many of us have something similar in mind when we think of the Kingdom of Heaven.

    As a little exercise this morning I looked up the phrase, "Kingdom of Heaven" in the Bible. It is used 32 times, all of them in Matthew. If we want to get a picture of what the Kingdom of Heaven is all about we need to read Matthew. It is the definitive textbook on the Kindom of Heaven.

    Here are some quotes to think about:

    And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matt 3:2

    From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matt 4:17

    Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matt 5:3

    Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matt 5:19

    Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matt 7:21

    Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: Matt 13:24

    Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Matt 13:44

    And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matt 18:3,4

    ... and so on.

    There are two things that become very apparent from reading these verses:

    1: The Kindom of Heaven is at hand. i.e. Now
    2: The Kindom of Heaven talks about value and richness not in terms of possessions but of character.

    Homework: read the rest of the quotes. How do they affect our perspective of value?

    • I like this. The very last text for today's lesson is perfect and verse 14 sums it up. Depending on the version you read it in, we are to make every effort to live peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in His sight. In other words, develop a Christ-like character while we are waiting for the things to happen that are mentioned in the previous verses. That is to be our focus, not the things that will happen. 2 Peter 3:10-14.

  2. "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever."
    1 John 2:15–17

    Our definite world is not here. But if my focus is this, I'll probably die with it, eternally. I have (we all have) the opportunity to choose abundant life!

  3. Today’s world is fashioned in such a way that it is constantly pulling us away from the Kingdom of Heaven. It is like a tug of war. It takes greater effort and determination to hold tightly onto our rope and pull towards the Kingdom. God is on our side and all we need to do is faithfully be on his side as well to win this tug of war.

  4. 2 Peter 3:14 encourages us to live in peace with others, both within and outside of our Christian community.

    This would mean seeking to resolve conflicts, promoting understanding and reconciliation, and showing respect and kindness towards all people, regardless of their background, beliefs, or actions. It involves recognising the inherent dignity and worth of every human being as created in the image of God.

    Jesus said, ”Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” ~Matthew 5:9. God’s chosen people will seek to build bridges rather than walls.

    When Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven, God’s chosen people will be living in peace with others. This will be a natural reflection of their love for God, and their desire to obey His command to love our neighbours as ourselves. ~Mark 12:31.


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