Ryan & Jordan

with Pioneer Bible Translators

Tag: Kingdom of God

Have Mercy

by ryan

One day Jesus went up a hill with his disciples and taught them.  As it is written:

Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι,

ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.

Or, in English:

The Spiritually Bankrupt are blessed,

because the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

Spiritually what?

Let me tell you a story inspired by a story Jesus told (Luke, chapter 18).

One day two very different men happened to be praying side by side at an important spiritual place.  One man was a religious expert, an authority on the Scriptures.  The other was a business man who cheated people, embezzled funds and was a traitor against his people.

The Religious Man stands and prays, “God I thank you that I am not like other men: blackmailers, unjust people, people who have sex outside of marriage, or this bad business man next to me.  I fast twice a week and I offer ten percent of what I get to you.”

The Business Man didn’t even look up. “God, be merciful to me, a man who has wronged you.”

Then Jesus says, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who realize they could never be good enough to earn God’s forgiveness and favor–the Spiritually Bankrupt.

We are all Spiritually Bankrupt.  The thing is, only some people ask for mercy.

—-

We’d like to thank our friend Matthew for teaching what inspired this reflection .

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trials, faith & rest

by ryan

King David wrote a song that declares “The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.”

His kingdom rules over all.  Over all.  And trials are a part of the “all”.  This week has been very challenging for Jordan and me.  We endured something quite evil.  But you see, God was not surprised.  He knows all things. God watched what happened to us, as King Solomon said: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.”  And as he watched, his kingdom was still ruling over all.

Often hard things happen in our lives that don’t make sense to us.  And when they do, it is tempting to give up trusting God.  But we believe God is still on his throne, ruling the whole universe.  He always accomplishes his purposes, as the Prophet Isaiah has written:

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

God always accomplishes his purposes and they are good and just.

So at the end of a long week, Jordan and I are reclining & resting knowing that our God is faithful to us.  So we walk by faith, being faithful to him.

We know many of you are going through challenging times, and if you are not, you will.  And when you are, may you walk by faith,  finding peace & rest under the shadow of his wings.