Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September 17 - Laughing Turned to Astonishment

Today's Reading:
Genesis 37:1-38:30
Luke 8:40-9:6
Psalms 14:1-7
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
Luke 8:53-56
53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.

Jesus' ministry was a declaration that the Kingdom of God was at hand (Luke 10:9). In Jesus, the Kingdom was close enough to touch. When the power of the Kingdom encountered the pain of this broken world, it produced unexpected and astonishing results. The power of death was subordinate to the power of God. People who laughed at the suggestion that Jesus could do anything to overcome the cold reality of death found themselves dumbfounded at the life-giving power of the Kingdom.

Response and Action:
When facing the cold realities of my world and my life, I must be careful not to dismiss the possibilities of the Kingdom. Things as real and powerful as death can be overcome by the very real power of Christ Jesus. There are times when a dismissive scoff comes easier than a prayer. There are situations so overwhelming and terminal that it seems laughable to have hope. Yet Jesus may calmly suggest that reality is bigger than I think it is. The power of the Kingdom changes the reality of life on earth. Knowing Jesus opens the door to knowing a greater reality.

O God, forgive me for the times I am blind to your power and grace. Save me from scornful skepticism and give me a Kingdom confidence. Make the power of your Kingdom a present reality in my life and in this world. And may the seeds of your Kingdom in my life produce a firm faith and a future hope. Remind me of the promised day when your Kingdom comes and your will is done on earth as it is in Heaven! Through Christ, I pray. Amen.

 Spiritual Formation Verses:  
Hebrews 11:1, 6
1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. - - - 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Kingdom Come: How Jesus Wants to Change the World
by Allen Mitsuo Wakabayashi

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