Proverbs 9 12-9-20

Those who trust in Christ have accepted Him as their Lord and Savior. His ways are now their ways. His kingdom is their kingdom.

10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

We tend to think of salvation as a one-time event, a transaction. It is true that His salvation has a beginning in our hearts and lives, but it is just that: A Beginning. He births in us His kingdom, which will grow until it fills every corner of our lives. Jesus gives two distinct examples of the growth of the kingdom within us:

18 Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? 19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.” 20 Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” Luke 13:18-21

Another illustration is to say that we are inducted into Christ’s kingdom and, therefore, His army and service. From that point on, we are enlisted soldiers. We serve at His pleasure and disposal. Our lives are no longer our own; we belong to Him.

Join with me in suffering [setting aside our own desires, pleasures, and comforts], like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 2 Timothy 2:3-4

Is this kind of relationship what you had in mind? It’s usually not the one presented for salvation. It makes me wonder if we are really interested in having the kingdom of God grow in our lives and become attractive to those who do not know the LORD. What kind of LOVE are we displaying? Jesus said, Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35). There’s an old song entitled, “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love.” To me, it hits the nail right on the head.

Let’s ask the LORD Jesus to refocus our attention to what HE thinks is important. Let’s begin to allow Christ’s love to be the most important thing in our lives. Let’s allow Him to reorient our lives so that we begin to love the Bride of Christ as He does; in doing so, He will draw all people to Himself as we lift up Christ in our lives. He said as much: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:32

Abba, may I learn to set aside the things of this world that I like so much and focus on what You consider important. May I use the gifts You have given me to exalt You. I know that when I do, You bring people to a point of decision on what to do with You. May I always present You fully and honestly: You are full of grace, but also truth, salvation and judgment. May my Christian brothers and sisters realize the import of these words, as well. Amen.

They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love by Jars of Clay

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