Mark 15:43 “He was one who lived expectantly, on the lookout for the Kingdom of God.” - Message Translation
LIVING EXPECTANTLY…ON THE LOOKOUT
The Message Translation describes Jospeh of Arimathaea as “one who lived expectantly, on the lookout for the Kingdom of God.” (Mark 15:43)
I am challenged today to live expectantly, on the lookout for God’s Kingdom. First of all I am challenged to live my life today anticipating the sound of the trumpet. I want to be looking for the return of my King. When I live looking for the coming of my King it changes my system of values. Earthly things begin to dim when I am living in the light of heaven.
When I live expectantly, looking for the Kingdom of God it changes my character. The return of Jesus has always been a motivator toward holy living. In 1 John 3:3 the Holy Spirit inspires John to write, “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” (KJV)
But I am challenged by another thought. Am I on the lookout for activities of the Kingdom of God that are occurring around me? Sometimes I can be so busy looking for what I perceive to be the big kingdom stuff that I miss Kingdom activities. God may be at work, but I miss it because I am not looking for Him in the affairs of my daily life.
Today, I want to not only be looking for Him to come to set up the eternal Kingdom (come, Lord Jesus) but I also want to be expectantly looking for the Kingdom happening around me.
Saturday, January 5, 2019
Whose Hair Do You Pull?
Whose hair do you pull? Ezra in 9:3 of the book bearing his name has been told of the sin of the people (especially the leaders). The ESV says, "As soon as I heard this ... [I]
pulled hair from my head and beard and sat appalled." One scholar observes how different Nehemiah responded to a similar situation in Nehemiah 13:25, "I confronted them ... and pulled out their hair." Here are two practical observations. God used two different men with entirely different personalities. He still does. Secondly, while the responses were different neither was wrong. I need to be "appalled" at sin on a personal level. Intercession and brokenness over the sin of society needs to grip us. Sometimes though we are called to to confront the sin and to spiritually pull out the hair of the one living in it. Leaders need to preach on sin. I would suggest we pull out our hair though before we start pulling out the hair on another head or beard.