Tuesday, August 07, 2012

August 7 - The Kingdom of God Is Near

Today's Reading:
Hosea 4:1-5:15  
Mark 1:1-28 
Proverbs 23:10-18
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Focus Verses: Mark 1:14-15 
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" 

Jesus proclaimed the good news of God. He declared that the kingdom of God was near. His authority and message were demonstrated and confirmed through the amazing miracles he performed. He cast out evil spirits and healed the sick. God's power to save and redeem and transform had come close by in the person of Jesus. The Christian hope of an eventual reconciliation and renewal of all things is rooted in the message and ministry of Jesus—the promise that one day the kingdom will come in all its fullness.

Response and Action:
The nearness of the kingdom of God is good news. I want to receive and experience the good news of God. I also want to bless others and change my world by living out the good news. I will recognize Jesus' authority and follow him. I will come to Jesus for healing and hope, and I will point others to Jesus. I will cultivate an awareness of God's presence and work in the world. I will commit myself to God, that he might use me to bring his kingdom to earth.

Our Father who fills the heavens, holy is your name. I long to see your kingdom come—your will lived out on earth as in heaven. Give me the wisdom to recognize Jesus' authority. Help me to follow him and to make every effort to advance his kingdom agenda. Help me to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. Through Christ, Amen. 

Spiritual Formation Verses: Matthew 6:9-13
9 "This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.' "
Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
by N. T. Wright

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