Matthew 5: 1: And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, … 10: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Marks of Honor: Being a joint-heir with Jesus is a great honor. With that honor comes challenge, persecution, problems, and pain. Those four lead us to discern the kingdom of heaven. As Jesus walked this earth, His life was full of all four of these semi-pessimistic issues. Man tends to get trapped in the pain of the issues instead of seeing the possibilities. Jesus never became trapped. At the high point at which all four converged on the cross, He was still looking to the joy that was set before Him. He was still pointing a man to paradise. He was still persisting in taking care of family and friends. He was still speaking of salvation available. He was still talking to the Father. He was still submitting to the will of God for His life and living. He was discerning of the kingdom behind the scene.
Kingdom Sink Holes: The realization that kingdom living includes all of the items listed above must sink in to our souls. It is a kingdom of challenge, persecution, problems, pain, possibility, joy, righteousness, peace, paradise, family, friends, care, salvation, encouragement, conversation, submission, service, and more. This kingdom in which we are called to live today and tomorrow and beyond is not as super simple as we want it to be. It is fulfilling. It is live to the max. It is a joy unspeakable in the middle of pain indescribable.
Robert’s Doubling Day Dilemma: The complex issues pushing against Robert’s heart stymied progress on his studies. For two years he had been in this MBA program. Now he was beginning to doubt he could finish. His teenagers were struggling through issues that needed his time and counsel. Betty, Robert’s wife, faced a rocky middle life every day that rattled her emotions and body. She needed him. Sales were down as he needed time to do the studies. That meant less income as his eldest daughter completed her last year at the university. Men from his study group at church were calling for time and a merciful ear. This morning, Robert knew he was involved in all the right places. Now he needed strength to go forward. His prayer was soft and intense at once. “God, I need help.”
ACT! What the mix of your life in the kingdom? Are you moving forward? Have the normal problems pushed you out of the path you seek? Take inventory of the mix. What is going right? What is going wrong? What are you doing in the middle? Make sure you are doing the right things not those that are most pressing.