About five years ago I was introduced to the song “Kingdom Come” by Kings Cross Church in London. I was struck by the prayerful tone of the lyrics, calling out to God that we would see things here on earth as it was in Heaven. The song became a regular part of my personal worship, singing the chorus as a refrain during times of prayer for God’s people. I would pray for the church, and then sing “Let Your kingdom / May your will be done / Lord, let Your kingdom come!”
The song lyrics reflect Romans 8, where Paul is reminding the Roman Christians that all of creation had been impacted by Sin and is groaning, longing for the restoration that will come only with Christ’s return. We often think about how our Sin impacts our lives, but the truth of scripture shows us that all of creation was fundamentally changed as a result of Adam’s sin (Genesis 3:14, 17-18) and that just as our souls cry out for redemption and restoration, so too does the very world we live in.
As I look out at our culture and society today, it seem clear all of creation is crying out in anguish over our fallen state. So much more, then, do the words I sing become my earnest prayer, “Lord, let Your kingdom come!” How I long for that day “when all injustice will bow / every voice will cry out / Holy is Your Name!” No matter the injustice, the harm, the pain, the sorrow…the answer is not new policies nor government. It is not new leadership nor large-scale apologies. The answer is when all the earth bows the knee and acknowledges that Jesus Christ is Lord. This Sunday, we will sing this song as a church. I invite you all to pray this with me every day.
For His Glory,
During the Covid-19 Quarantine, the staff at First Evangelical Free Church started doing a short video series on our Facebook and YouTube channels called “From the Desk.” The hope was to create another avenue of connection for our people during the period of time where personal connections were increasingly difficult to have. The series includes thoughts on worship music, basic devotions, or just thoughts from the staff at FEFC.
For the past six weeks, I’ve been using the time to share about how to better read our Bibles. We as followers of Jesus Christ are to be students of “the Book,” letting it be our primary and supreme influence as we grow into the image of Christ. Unfortunately, many of us have never been taught how to read the Bible. If and when division or disagreement comes about applying the Bible to life Christians, young and old, often do not have the tools to read and understand what this essential book has to say about any given situation. We are left to the guidance and interpretation of others instead of being able to understand the passages ourselves.
While this short video playlist doesn’t go into great depth, I feel passionately that the timing of these videos is particularly poignant given our culture today. The culture at large would like us to view God’s Word as a fluid, easily changeable thing. They are fine with the believer believing what the Bible says as long as it can be updated to better reflect the modern era we live in. One of God’s characteristics is His immutability. That means God does not change, and neither does His Word. While we can always search deeply to find how the Bible applies to our lives, it never changes its meaning. It takes less than 30 minutes to watch the whole playlist, and I hope the tools that are unpacked are helpful as we all grow in the image of Christ!
For His Glory,
Playlist link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZUW07TebVHZa2YCWF-AxprpxZrq6SVPj
This week I’ve been spending some time meditating on a verse from Ephesians:
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
When you look at the context of this passage you see Paul writing in the previous chapter about his call to bring the Gospel to the gentile nations, calling a people group that was previously apart from God’s family “co-heirs” and brothers. We, as predominantly gentile believers, often miss how incredibly profound this incorporation of non-Jewish people in to God’s people would be at the time. There are some parallels to that relationship between these two people groups that could be made to present-day dynamics, but we are hard-pressed to fully comprehend the attitudes and actions that were built on millennia of precedent.
Paul’s letter to the believers in Ephesus is full of the theme of the old life apart from Christ and a new life in Jesus, and part of that new life is that despite our diversity in ability, background, race, roles, and traditions we are unified through the blood of Jesus Christ. It is through HIM that we are reconciled to God, and to each other. This bond of Christ’s Blood transcends any other difference or similarity we may otherwise use to identify ourselves.
In both Ephesians 3:1 and 4:1, Paul refers to himself as a prisoner for the Lord on behalf of the Gentiles. As we read in Acts 21, we see that Paul’s imprisonment was in part because he had the audacity and gall to preach to the gentiles, even bringing a gentile into the temple itself. This display of the new unity in Christ was so offensive that the people in Jerusalem put Paul’s life in danger.
Despite all of this, or perhaps because of it, Paul writes that we should live worthy of the gospel in humility, gentleness, bearing with one another in love. From his own tumultuous time, Paul wants us to know that as we deal with one another in the family of God we are to approach one another Loving one another, humbly, gently, and patiently. Is it any wonder that this verse seems so appropriate for the day? I encourage all of you, dear brothers and sisters, to look at those around you as Paul desired us to live… as those unified through the blood of Christ.
For His Glory,