King of the World

I realized very soon how silly it was to set up a writing challenge for myself just a week before I was going on a 10 day vacation…especially when I wasn’t planning on bringing my laptop along. I’d like to say that I kept up with my reading, but in all honesty, I did not. I still struggle to go deep into God’s Word each and every day. Thankfully, His mercies are made new each and every morning; and so I brush myself off and try once again.

I did read 1 Samuel 8-10 before we left on vacation. It tells of how the Israelites wanted a king because that is what they saw in all of the neighboring nations. God sent Samuel to them to tell them of all the things a king would do to rule over them, things that no one really wants. He warned them, and yet they still insisted that an earthly king is what they wanted. One to judge them and seek justice on their behalf. One to go before them and fight their battles. After Samuel relates this all to God, God tells him to do as the people want. To find a king and set him to rule over them.

We can read this and ask how blind the Israelites were. We can ask why they didn’t see that God Himself was their King, so why would they want a fallible man ruling over them instead. Did they not see and remember how God had judged them and sought justice on their behalf? Did they not remember how He went before them into battle and secured their victory?

Surely it’s not hard for us the think these things of the Israelites. But how often do we look at out own lives and think similar things of ourselves?

Have we sought after something more than we’ve sought after God, thinking “This is the way the world does it, so this is the way I want it too”? Are we surprised when we get our way and then realize it wasn’t what we wanted at all? How about when God doesn’t give us what we want and then we see the mess it could have been if He had; has that ever happened to you?

After reading these chapters I heard this song on the radio. It seemed to sum up what I had been thinking so completely that I knew I had to share it. I hope you take a few moments to listen.

 

Wherever you are, I pray you have faith to trust the King of the World with all you hold dear. Decisions you must make, the ones you love dearly, your very life. Never forget that He is holding you in His hands.

 

Love & Blessings,

KJ

 

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Church as God Meant it to Be: One of His Provisions for Us

To start things off; if you think the church is the building you go into once, maybe twice a week to worship, take a closer look at 1 Corinthians 12: 12-27. In that passage Paul says we (Christians) are all part of one body, the body of Christ, His church. So being, we all have our purpose yet work together for His glory. In the early church believers pooled all of their resources, even if it meant selling all of their land, so that all were taken care of. It’s pretty amazing to think about; that people who are of no blood relation would be so willing to take care of each other with such a sacrificial love. But then, they were called to love one another as Christ loved them. And His love lead Him to give the ultimate sacrifice. This commandment of love was not just for the early church, but for all believers. We know about it, we read about it, but how often to we actually experience it?

There is no coincidence that my pastor preached out of Acts chapter 2 this morning for his sermon, “A Grace Built Church.” A lot of ideas about church today are so very different from when the church first began. We are meant to be doing so much more than just making an appearance every Sunday, saying polite hellos, singing, and listening to a sermon. Perhaps it will be helpful to take a look at how the church conducted business when it was new.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. ~Acts 2:42-47

I, myself, have been blessed to be on the receiving end of this kind of love & fellowship this past week. On Friday I was in great need of prayer. I was able to contact some of my church family and within minutes I had replies of prayers, encouragements, and even a couple phone calls. This morning I spoke with a Brother about the decision I have to make about going to Michigan as my grandmother is not well. I would typically drive the 12+ hours over 2 days, or sometimes straight through. He offered to get me a plane ticket with miles he and his wife had saved. After a similar conversation a Sister offered to drive with me if I ended up driving. This same afternoon I was also simply handed some money to assist with a need I’ve had. I was struck by these great kindnesses and I felt so blessed to be a part of it all.

As I was driving home I really thought about it. I often feel left out, no, on the sidelines, no that’s not quite right either…perhaps more like I’m missing something, because I am single. But I will also be one of the first to say that that is not true. God has provided for me, in these instances and many, many more, through the amazing church family He led me to. I pray I’m able to pass the blessings along. There are always things we can do better, but I think we have a good part of Acts 2 working within our family, all for the glory of God.

So what is it you could be doing to help your family? Maybe it’s gathering together to help a Sister move. Perhaps God’s leading you to help support a member of your church to go on a mission trip. Spend some time with an elderly Sister or Brother who might be on their own. Invite a new couple to dinner. Be available to the mom who just might need some time on her own. Whatever it is, I encourage you to follow His lead. You probably do not have to go so far as to sell your possessions to help a Brother or Sister out, but would you be willing to? If we are to be known by our love, let’s put those words into action and make them evident. Can you imagine all of those who would be “filled with awe” (insiders and outsiders alike) by witnessing such acts of love?

If you do not know this kind of community I’m writing about because you do not have a church family of your own, I encourage you to start searching for one. It is so hard to be a part of all of this if we are by ourselves. It’s not easy and it’s not always a comfortable experience, but when you’ve found it, you will definitely know.

Love & Blessings,

KJ