It’s been a week.
What an honor to be a part of what He is doing here. It’s BIG. I feel it stirring up. I see the hunger and desperation. He has heard the cries of their heart. He is moving in Japan.
Looks like Asia is a go. we leave in 4 days and things are just coming together. thank you so much for all who have been a part of this process. we are so blessed to have such a great support group. please continue to pray for our finances and safety. you guys are great.
A study on the Kingdom of God (inspired by a dear friend, lauren toews).
A few weeks ago we did a topical study on the kingdom of God. We spent a few weeks studying the gospels asking ourselves what IS the kingdom, how does it look like, is it here now? etc… It changed the way i saw the world.
So i’d like to share it with you taken from different parts of my final project. I hope that it would transforms us as it widens our perspective. please- let it move you.
KOG part 1: The Lord’s Prayer
I think the Lord’s prayer encapsulates His kingdom the best:
‘Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name’— hails God with reverence giving him his place as king.
‘Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven‘— this shows the paradox of the kingdom being here on earth and in heaven. Jesus’ denying his rights as king to become a servant, obedient to the point of death- brought the kingdom of God on earth…and this is the picture of the greatest love (phil 2:6-8). When Jesus resurrected and conquered the grave, he overcame the power of sin giving Christ full authority on Earth as it is in heaven.
‘Give us this day our daily bread, forgive us as we forgive others and lead us not to temptation.’ This shows the relationship aspect on God’s kingdom and how it is all dependent on Him, first and foremost, to nourish us as we give ourselves to loving each other. We bring the kingdom of God on earth as we live in his footsteps- letting his kingdom of love, grace and truth reign in every area of our lives. And so the prayer approtiately ends in proclamation that his kingdom ‘has all the power, authority and glory forever and ever.’ amen.
more to come…1
dear san fran.
i like it here a lot but i surely do miss you. There’s some things here that are quite similar to you- liberal. crazy. free and easy.
yah that’s about it. so, is it a lot quieter and peaceful without me there?
hmm, i’m sure the TL keeps the city alive and colorful.
ok, keep it real.2
we finished the old testament today.
it left me with a big dent for sure. Reading through the Israelites and their stubbornness, idolatry and addiction to sin and how God reacts to that blew my mind.
so first of all, the whole book revolves around the covenant. It is God showing his longing for a relationship with people, he want to communicate with us, to be intimate and for us to be his children and him our God. The covenant he makes is like a marriage proposal saying “be with me and i’ll love you forever.” so this is what God had in store for the Israelites:
through Abraham he promised nations upon nations- descendants like the sand in seas.
through Moses he gives the Law- which is LOVE defined.
through David and Solomon an everlasting kingdom (Jesus).
they were to be a holy nation. a kingdom of priest. protected. truly love. BLESSED. soooo blessed that other nations would see God and glorify Him.
They messed it up. Israel was an unfaithful whore. straight up.
there’s no better description, in fact, that was only a light comparison to what they actually were. They were to be a nation set apart yet they wanted to be like all the other pagan nations, running after other gods. they even came to the point of sacrificing their sons to other gods. ah, we don’t even get how deep they were in their horrifying sins.
We see throughout the OT how he always works towards having them back. showing mercy. grace. he sends prophets to call them to repentance.
that didn’t work. so they were exiled. beaten. many were killed. basically, the exile was hell for them. they lost their land and their sense of identity as a nation. Their faith in dissipated and value in themselves was like worthless rags.
Here’s the best part: in their hopelessness, God doesn’t give up, he shows himself faithful and unrelentant with love. He gives them a NEW COVENANT.
“And i will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they will walk in my statues. And they shall be my people an I will be their God.” ezekiel 11:19-212
think. more. seek. more.
Before I left for BSN, one of the concerns I had and a couple of friends talked to me about was BSN being too much about information. Maybe it’s a reasonable concern, but maybe i was missing something. information can lead to revelation.
but more than that, the questions you wrestle with leads to revelation.
and that’s what i feel like BSN has been.
questions. questions. questions. and some information.
It’s not so much about the history, the facts, the laws and the theology- but the
wrestling, the process, the THINKING.
unlearning the wrong presuppositions we have about God
and discovering more of his beauty.
We just finished reading Deuteronomy. it’s intense.
there’s a lot of verses that will catch you off guard and make you question
if this is the same God that you worship today.
there’s one that commands the Israelites to cut off the hand of the woman who happens to crush a man’s testicles. show her no pity it says (deut 25:11)
and one that says to stone a rebellious child (deut 21:21)
i can’t really say that i can answer these questions, although if you ask me, i can tell you some insights he revealed to me as i sought it out.
I’ve realized how we have gotten more use to ignoring disturbing verses like these rather than taking them up with God.
when these weird deuteronomy stuff comes up and bothers us (for it doesn’t align with our worldview of God) we tend to just ignore it. it doesn’t fit in the box that we understand God to be, so we just push it away.
man, if we keep doing is, how can God reveal more of himself to us?
when we bump into hard truths, questions, or things that don’t match our theology we must wrestle with it.
Is our own theology and set of beliefs ever strong enough to be left alone and not be challenged?
have we gotten too prideful to accept the challenge? too lazy to pursue truth?
too distracted to catch a glimpse of real simple beauty?
we must use the mind he’s given us and pursue him as we ask the hard questions and challenge our belifes.
He is not intimidated by our disbeliefs and confused theology.
as long as we are seeking hard after Him, he will continue to reveal more of himself and amaze us.
explore the depths, beauty and mystery of the endless Ocean.
photo by ennnric (flickr). 3
ro and rach bondin’ time2