Posts Tagged: "kingdom of god"

Where The Kingdom Of God Is Located

I love what Richard Beck has to say about the Kingdom of God…

Jesus is telling us in the Beatitude where the Kingdom of God is located.

And it’s located Jesus says, among the poor in spirit.

Christianity is fundamentally about learning to see.
 That is what Jesus said, over and over.
 The Kingdom is near. The Kingdom is at hand. The Kingdom is in your midst.

But the Kingdom is small and unnoticed, like a… Read More

Identifiably Strange (An Excerpt)

I wrote a book, which is coming out this month. The following is an excerpt…


Recently, while spending a month living in the Italian countryside, I was constantly aware of how much we stood out.

Our strangeness was completely obvious to the locals…

All three of us have blue eyes and pale skin.

We talk like cowboys. I never thought I sounded like a cowboy before, but after hearing an Italian say… Read More

Her Words

Last week, I asked for my wife’s thoughts on how the Kingdom of God is a celebration. She wrote some things down and gave them to me. These are her words…

We’re all uniquely, beautifully created by God. All His children. Brothers and sisters – part of the same family.

We celebrate the beauty of God in one another – every time we encounter someone – whether it be a… Read More

Where Steams Flow Uphill: This Upside Down Kingdom

I believe the Kingdom of God is more upside down than we realize.

Where down is up, the last are first, slaves are free, enemies are loved, and the weak are strong.

Where streams flow uphill…

This upside down Kingdom.

Donald Kraybill, in his book The Upside Down Kingdom, says:

The Kingdom is full of surprises. Again and again in parable, sermon, and act Jesus startles us. Things in the Gospels are often upside down… Things are reversed. Paradox, irony, and surprise permeate the teachings of Jesus. They flip our expectations upside down. The least are the greatest. The immoral receive forgiveness and blessing. Adults become like children. The religious miss the heavenly banquet… Things aren’t the way we expect them to be. We’re baffled and perplexed. Amazed, we step back. Should we laugh or should we cry? Again and again, turning our expectations upside down, the Kingdom surprises us.

*  *  *  *  *

And this upside down Kingdom certainly has an upside down King. Think about it:… Read More

It Sucks To Be A Racist (Sexist, Classist) In The Kingdom Of God

One of my favorite lines from Sunday’s sermon (while reading from Revelation 6.9) was this: “It sucks to be a racist in the Kingdom of God.”

I saw an endless sea of people – every variety and type, every race, every background, every class, a beautiful representation of God’s creative diversity—standing before the Lamb of God. —Revelation 6.9

Earlier in the week, as I was going through our church Bible reading plan, I noticed something specialRead More

Will We Go The World’s Way Or Another Way?

We’ve been invited to participate in the Kingdom of God—right here, right now. This isn’t one of those “mark your calendar” invitations for a future date.

There is a default kingdom we have been experiencing and functioning in for our entire lives… the kingdom of the world. It has its perspectives, its attitudes, its practices, its methods – it’s ways. Because we have spent our lives deep inside the kingdom of the world, its ways come naturally to us.

Richard Rohr, in his book Breathing Underwater, said, “Christians are usually sincere and well-intentioned people until you get to any real issues of ego, control power, money, pleasure, and security. Then they tend to be pretty much like everybody else. We often have been given a bogus version of the Gospel, some fast-food religion, without any deep transformation of the self; and the result has been the spiritual disaster of “Christian” countries that tend to be as consumer-oriented, proud, warlike, racist, class conscious, and addictive as everybody else—and often more so, I’m afraid.”

The drift towards default – the kingdom of the world and its ways – is more widespread in American Christianity than we realize. There is much that falls under the label “Christian” that doesn’t look like the Kingdom of God at all—but instead looks exactly like the kingdom of the world.

There is, however, another way. A different and better way. The Kingdom of God way.

The Kingdom of God doesn’t have the same… Read More

Sitting At The Table With Jesus

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The methods and “business practices” of Jesus don’t make much sense to the modern American who works in the competitive marketplace and relaxes at home in the evenings – watching The Apprentice, Shark Tank, or The Voice.

We’re used to the threat of elimination. And we’re keeping an eye out for others who ought to be eliminated.

Jesus gave individuals a place at the table with him who didn’t deserve to be there. In fact, none of them deserved it. They looked more like a bizarre collection of characters… Read More

Lincoln Only Wants Pennies & That’s Just Fine

Lincoln is one of our pastors’ kids. He’s three years old and stinkin’ cute.

The other day I heard him say in a concerned voice, “Where’s my pennies?” His mom helped him find his little penny collection and Lincoln quickly stuffed them in his front pocket with a pleased look on his face.

Watching the whole exchange, I thought, “That’s fun. Lincoln must be learning about money and wants to make sure he’s carrying some with him all the time. Cute – he’s participating in the economy.”

I decided to give him some pennies to add to his collection – so I went to my office in search of spare change… Read More