Showing posts with label REVOLUTIONARY LOVE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label REVOLUTIONARY LOVE. Show all posts

Friday, February 14, 2014

Occupy Jesus




Jesus told a parable about the Kingdom of God that included an interesting phrase: “occupy until I come.” (Luke 19:13; KJV)

The parable is meant to illustrate how Jesus expects His followers (that’s us) to behave until He returns to set up His eternal Kingdom here on Earth. Of course, we know that Jesus’ Kingdom is already here right now. That’s part of what He meant by “occupy until I come”. In other words, Jesus has already inaugurated His Kingdom and our mission now is to occupy the Kingdom reality here on Earth until He comes to set it up in person – and in full – at His second coming.

Another way we can think of this occupation is found in Jesus’ command to abide in Him. The word “abide” can also be understood as “to live inside” or “to occupy”. So in essence, Jesus says:

“Occupy me and I will occupy you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it is occupied in the vine; no more can you, except you occupy me. I am the vine, you are the branches: He that occupies me, and I him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)

So, if we occupy Jesus, and if Jesus occupies us, then we can experience His presence and power – the same power and presence that is essential for us to occupy this expanding remnant of His Kingdom on Earth.

Now, our daily exercise is simply to occupy Jesus, and to allow Jesus to occupy us, so that we can occupy His Kingdom here on Earth and testify that He is the King of the Universe – and the King of our lives.

Let our lives declare daily that Jesus is living inside of us. Let the revolutionary power of Jesus overthrow the status quo of our empty lives.

Please, Lord Jesus, come live and breathe within me today. Let my life be filled up with your life. May my life be a reflection of your life within. Let your Kingdom come right here, and right now.

Amen.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

LOVE INCARNATION



I was reflecting on Jesus’ statement in Matthew 25 that the “least of these” are the ones that He identifies Himself with the most. And then it occurred to me that if we (the Church) are the hands and feet of Jesus, (actually His Body in this world), then we are Jesus whenever we go out and serve and love the “least of these” around us.

So, that means we are Jesus to the least, and the least are Jesus to us in that holy moment of loving and giving and serving and receiving His love.
 
Maybe that’s why I love serving others so much? It’s where I feel most like Jesus, and it’s where I meet Jesus in the faces of others, and it’s where Jesus meets me as I share His love with those He most identifies with in this world.
 
But that’s not all. I also started to ponder the term “the least of these” that Jesus uses to describe the poor, the broken, the imprisoned, the outcast, the immigrant, and the hungry. What did He mean by that phrase? Does Jesus really consider these people to be “the least” among us? Are they second class citizens who are only fit to be pitied and fed like helpless puppies? I doubt that very much. Especially since Jesus says that they are somehow the embodiment of Himself in this world.
 
The “least of these” are like Jesus. So, does that mean that if we consider the poor and the immigrant and the imprisoned to be “less than” the rest of us, this is how we really feel about Jesus?
 
Maybe what Jesus really meant by the phrase “the least of these” is that they are, like Him, worthy to be loved and honored as fellow human beings?
 
We know that Jesus left His throne in Glory and stepped down into humanity to become not only “one of us” but intentionally poor, “taking on the form of a servant”, “he became nothing” (see Philippians 2) and, on purpose, placed Himself into the womb of a poor, peasant girl named Mary.
 
This same Mary who was amazed that God would be mindful of the humble state of his servant” (see Luke 1:48), and who couldn’t afford to bring the required Lamb sacrifice into the temple when it was time to dedicate her son, but had to bring two doves instead – the caveat made for those who could not afford a lamb. (see Luke 2:22-24 and Lev.12:8)
 
We have to remember that in the Kingdom of God things appear upside down to us. It’s not that they really are upside down. It’s this world and our way of thinking that needs to be turned right side up.
 
So, when Jesus says that the poor are “the least of these”, He’s using language that our untrained minds can comprehend. He wants us to be sure that we know exactly which people He’s talking about; He means “the poor in the eyes of the world.” (see James 2:5)
 
But those whom we call poor are, in actuality, the rich in God’s economy. They are the blessed ones. They shall be filled. They shall inherit the Earth. They shall receive the Kingdom of God. They will laugh. They will be satisfied.
 
You know who really are "the least" among us? The rich. The proud. The famous. The self-sufficient.
 
"But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets." (Luke 6:24:26)
 
Remember the poor. They are the VIP’s in God’s organization. They are the very ones that Peter, James, John and Paul all agreed they should always remember whenever they went out to preach the Gospel or to plant new churches; something that Paul "had been eager to do all along." (see Galatians 2:10)
 
When we follow Jesus’ commands to love and serve the poor, we enter into a holy communion established between Jesus’ hands and feet (the Church) and Jesus’ heart and soul (the least of these).
 
We get to be Jesus to the least, and the least get to be Jesus to us. This is all part of God’s amazing plan to destroy the evil systems of greed and selfishness in this fallen world; to overcome evil with good, and to confound the wise with foolishness.
 
Don’t miss your chance to love subversively and overthrow the powers of darkness with compassionate acts of sedition today.
 
Let the Kingdom come!
-kg