Cross Words – September 2018

  When Jesus is taken before Pontius Pilate, his own fear and anxieties come out in his question, “Are you the King of the Jews?”  Pilate’s task was to maintain law and order in his corner of the Roman empire, but frankly, right about now things did not look too good. Pilate will not receive an answer to his question, but will hear Jesus declare,
  “My kingdom is not of this world (emphasis mine).  If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world (emphasis mine) John 18:36.”
  The Kingdom of God is not based upon the kingdoms of this world – the power and authority of the Kingdom of God flows from a radical trust in God. As a disciple of Jesus our radical trust calls us to a detachment, but detachment is never easy because we are so easily drawn to the kingdoms of this world which offer power, security, and identity. Sadly, our personal formation too often comes from these earthly kingdoms rather than God’s Kingdom. Instead of “seeking first the Kingdom of God,” we give in to temptation and become attached to the kingdoms of this world developing a character that is shaped by the world rather than by God.
  So when things like Charlottesville, VA (8/12); the solar eclipse of 2017 (8/21); and Hurricane Harvey (8/25); or your own personal life events: back to school; hospitalization; surgery; job loss; sick family member; crop damage or loss; too much or not enough rain; a crisis not of your own making; or even a death; who you are is what will come out, and that’s not always love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Fruits of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23).
  In his book, God’s Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions, author Rick Warren observes:
  • Character is revealed in a crisis not made in a crisis.
  • Character is made in the day-by-day, mundane, trivial things of life – the routine.
  • Character is developed in the (routine), but it is revealed when we get into a shipwreck, into a situation that threatens to swallow us up.
  The safest thing to do when we get into a storm is to drop our anchors – wait. Just stand still – situations change, and the sands of time will shift.
  “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion which cannot be moved, but abides forever (Ps 125:1).” Luke tells us what to do while we wait in Acts 27:29, “Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed (emphasis mine) for daylight.” When the morning came, they discovered a sandy beach onto which they ran the ship, and all 276 people were “brought safely to land.”
  In the storms of life, God says “I am with you.” Let God’s truth stabilize your life, and give you the confidence you need in every crisis you face.
Rev. Clark Remsburg, Jr. “Changing the world begins with a small group of people who simply refuse to accept the unacceptable.” ~ Richard Branson

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