John 2015: Day 21

His Kingdom Come

by

Today's Text: John 18:1-40

Text: John 18:1-40 

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world.”
– John 18:36a, ESV

If I were a princess, I’d want everyone to know it. Right? Even just a title of some kind—I think I’d flash it around a bit. Doctor, Professor, Duchess… Not just Diana, but also [insert something impressive here]. Don’t most of us long for some distinction to add to our credentials?

Jesus did exactly the opposite— and He had every reason to boast! His qualifications trumped everyone and everything.

If we take the whole of Chapter 18 in context, we start to see the theme of Christ’s supremacy to everything in this world. Jesus sheds light on words, events and people which all unwittingly illustrate how separate heaven and earth truly are for Him. But this was the plan of salvation that God ordained: the Ruler and Creator of all must be deemed guilty by those He created—guilty of sins that were theirs, not His.

Pilate asks Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus makes a clear distinction here; He emphasizes that His kingdom is not of this world because, if it were, He would have soldiers fighting for His release. Not only that, we know He could command anything at this time and it would be done for Him. Yet, He doesn’t.

We fight for things that are ours that have been taken away. We rescue captives, search for missing children, take action against those who steal—and this response is right and good. But Jesus circumvents any attempt for His Father’s plans to be changed—chiding Peter (John 18:11), releasing Judas (John 13:27), and handing Himself over to men who clearly had no case against Him (John 18: 4-12).

Jesus is fulfilling His own commandment, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth… but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…” (Matthew 6:19-20). He loves the world He created, He loves His disciples, He even loves the men that are ready to crucify Him. Yet Jesus knows that this is temporary, and His and our real treasures wait for us in eternity. He will come one day with armies (Rev. 19:14), but but in these moments He was willing to forego all early connections in order that His Father’s will might be fulfilled. Christ did this for us; He became sin so that we could appear sinless before the Father.

As we read and study this chapter together—and prepare our hearts for what we know is to come in these next few days—let’s ask ourselves if we are we are willing to follow Jesus’ example. Would we gladly give up the armies of the world in order to stand reconciled and redeemed in front of our Father’s eternal throne? Are we willing to give up our earthly kingdoms for the forever glory of our Lord?

“ …so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9:28)

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  • Yes I am willing to give up all for your kingdom Lord

  • Only God!!! Jesus bears such testimony. He is who he is. Honors the father as the father honors the son. As the Holy Spirit is poured out. I can’t even comprehend.

    • Julie

      Holla holla! I can’t comprehend it either! Someone pointed out to me that when Jesus responded with ‘I am he’ in the garden when they were arresting him, he used the word for ‘I am’ or the name given to Moses referencing God! That’s why they literally fell back because his name is so powerful. Jesus. The great I am. Boom.

  • Anyone else guilty of this? So alluring is a campfire and conversation that one can’t help but be drawn to the warmth. Peter was growing cold on more than just the outside. Can you say bad company? John 18:18-19 says, “It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself. 19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.”

  • ashleyrose

    What stood out to me in this passage was how willing Peter was to defend Christ in an act of valor. Jesus was right there, as well as the other disciples. But when Peter did not have his buddies to back him up and when Jesus was not there to see Peter's act of loyalty, he faltered. It is much easier (and more rewarding) to stand up for something or someone when the moment seems right or favorable for us. When the right people are present and watching. But when it seems like it doesn't matter as much, where does our loyalty go? Very convicting and humbling. While it is so easy to read this passage and shake our heads at Peter, I realize I myself have done essentially the same thing. Standing up for the Lord in one situation and completely denying Him in the next. Thanks to all you ladies and your reflections, vulnerability, and wisdom. I don't always have time to comment, but I look forward to reading along with you all every day!

  • Sarah Keller

    I can't get over the statement "shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?" Even just reading as words on a page, it is SO filled with authority and conviction and something else that I can't even put my finger on. And there He goes, ready to give up EVERYTHING for us. I just posted on what it's like to be a mom and have to give up personal hobbies for sake of caring for your family, and how Christ is my ultimate example for what it means to give things up. (Here's the post- http://sarahmkeller.blogspot.com/2015/01/paper-in… Yet this is another reminder of how truly small my "sacrifices" are in light of His. Praise God for all He's done and continues to do for us.
    http://www.sarahkeller.com

    • Abby

      I love this verse too! To me it’s like the cosmic narrator that we all are apart of is coming to a head: Jesus is the true hero, the fulfillment of every desire of our hearts, the one full of love and strength, who walks straight into death’s door and disarms the enemy for. All. Of. Us.

      “Put your sword away. Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me.”

      Perfect love obedience to our Father!

  • Verse 38 Pilate went out to the Jews and said to them, "I find no fault in Him at all." Jesus was blameless and Pilate admits this twice more. The Jews could not comprehend that this Man, who worked many signs and wonders was sent from the Father. Jesus was not on a power trip or trying to boost His ego…He was about his Father's business. He loved us and died for us. Those who encouraged and cried out for His crucifixion, delivered Him to Pilate, committed the greater sin.

  • Antimony

    “They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He said to them, “I am He.” And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them. So when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground”. The word “he” is italicized. It wasn’t in the original manuscripts. Jesus said “I AM”. This was a declaration of deity! And there was such power/authority in His proclamation. Those confronting Him fell to the ground! Terror? Awe? Worship? We don’t know. But they could not even stand before Him!!

  • Joanna S.

    Such a simple question, are we willing to give up our Earthly kingdoms for the Heavenly one waiting for us? My answer is yes, but yet I sit here with shelves of books that I pour hours into reading, I have my laptop, my phone, my tablets that also sit next to me and again take hours of my time. When I ask myself, am I willing to give those up, can I say yes then? It feels a little harder to answer. I am praying that God will help with those things.

  • drpattiw

    Oh come Holy Spirit! Make us ready. Renew our minds with Your pure truth. Cleanse our hearts that we may be fit vessels for you, Lord, for your Glory! Teach us to be about our Father’s business. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

  • Emily Steele

    "Christ did this for us; He became sin so that we could appear sinless before the Father."…this line hit me like a ton of bricks! Nothing new to me of course, but just tugged at my heart so much today! Thank you Jesus <3

  • This morning like all of you, I am so struck by this. My only response is awe and worship.
    But, do have to say, that I too want this scene to end differntly; for Him to call on His armies. Then, I take a step back and I se what I value, I see what I want. The answer to the questions at the end should be a yes for me, but in reality I struggle sometimes with this. I struggle with wanting things that I don't need, or I shy away from sharing the gospel because of my own fears, or that I wont say it just right.

    Thank you Jesus for taking our punishment! We are all in awe of what You have done.

  • In reading the comments, Holy Spirit reveals to me that the loss of kingdom, looks in my life like a loss of control or power! I am 8 yrs into dealing with a physical disability. In previous years I was a health educator, case manager & activity therapist. Today, I am in the position of my former clients.
    However, I have a hope! Because like Christ my true kingdom is not in the now of this life! Hallelujah!!!

    • shereadstruth

      Taime, thank you so much for trusting us with your vulnerability. What a powerful story you are living, friend! Your words are so brave and draw us closer to the Hope found in Glory. Grateful for you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • The Jews chose the robber, Barabbas, over Jesus. Such a picture of what we do when we attempt to maintain our earthly kingdoms. We chose “robbery” over abundant life! Thank you for this study!

    • Veronika Rae

      I never really thought of this, about me choosing 'robbery' over abindant life. but wow I so often do! Thanks for making me think this morning and giving me lots to pray about!

  • JferLynne

    Every time I read this chapter I always want it to turn out differently. I want the Lord to call down armies of angels and defeat the captors. I know that isn't the plan. The plan was for Jesus to stand for his Father so that my life, you life, all of those who would come to know Jesus as their personal savior would never have to be separated from Jesus' Heavenly Father. He did this so that we could call God our Father. And I want to say I would give up the armies to stand redeemed. I also want to shake Peter and say what are you thinking? But I think I want to shake him because I am more like him. How I can stand in one moment bold and in the next shrink back. Because I have taken my eyes off of Jesus. I have taken my eyes off of the cross and I am not seeing God as who he is. He is powerful and awesome. He is good at all times, in all things. He is the I AM! I am thankful that He called me his own and I am so grateful as we see the whole story. We are redeemed! And I will follow, I pray I remember that not when it is easy but each day as he has poured out his love for us! So thankful this morning!

    • shereadstruth

      Wow, so many praise hands! Thanks for sharing this powerful truth today, sister!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Samantha Parrott

    I really enjoyed reading Diana’s perspective today on this passage. Her questions at the end bring me back to a place I’ve been trying to find peace in this semester: the balance between striving for excellence in all things and seeking the kingdom. I guess the heart issue is always going to be, Sam who are you seeking to glorify in this? May I have a humble heart today, like Jesus in Jn 18.

    • shereadstruth

      Samantha, I really like the question you posed: who are you seeking to glorify in this?

      It's absolutely something I'll be thinking about! Thanks for the encouragement.

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Jenny Raymond

    It still amazes me that Simeon Peter cuts the ear and then looses all the zeal and denies Christ so throughly. How often and easily that has been me. I want to be openly known as His servant/disciple/follower, and yet there are times with very human reasons I hide. Lord, help me.

  • I pray I am willing to follow Jesus’ example today!

  • Lover of The Lord

    This is an odd comparison maybe but it makes sense to me. I have a weight problem…so far it's only 35 pounds. It could easily be 100 pounds. I go to food way too often. I have always approached it with the idea that I need to overcome this addiction but I think I need to give it up for the Forever Glory of our Lord!

    • Ksenija Simmons

      I can so identify with this! That was me two years ago, an endless battle with weight I had struggled for years. Things were falling apart. Jesus met me. I finally chose to surrendered to this journey and to the Lord and slowly through his spirit was able to make healthy choices and lose the weight. ( I lost 85 lbs) But In this journey I also found out the real reasons why I was going to food, he parts of me that was making it my comfort over Christ. These reasons I for so long didn’t want to face. It was hard but worth it, so very worth it. I am humbled by what the Lord did in my life. I am sharing this with you not to boast but to maybe give you some hope, that it is possible to find freedom. Apart from his word one thing that aided me the most in the was something called ‘Weigh Less to Feed More’ from Revelation Wellness. ( I am not trying to sell you onto anything just sharing what God used in my life). This truly changed my life, from the inside out. It’s never truly about the weight, but we all carry ‘weight’ with us (it could be anything from food addiction, drugs, alcohol, shopping, tv, comparison, depression, anxiety etc…) and he wants us free from these weights. If any of that resonates with you go look them up. I wish I had found out about it years ago, but healing comes in Gods timing. Blessing to you.

      • Casie

        I am going to check this out for sure! You are right – it isn’t just the weight or the food behind it. It is the addiction, temporary comfort! Never have I thought to ask Jesus for help with weight loss but what a perfect answer! Thank you for sharing!

    • Taime'

      Lover- praise God for your insight and confession “if we confess our sin He is FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US OUR SIN AND CLEAN US OF ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS”!
      Go in grace sister…

    • shereadstruth

      I love this comparison, Lover of The Lord! So thankful that our God continually calls us into freedom! What a gift.

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Kasey Tuggle

    He is King! Always has been! Always will! Thankful he’s in control and I am not!

  • Peace2015

    Jesus stands being wrongly accused.
    He could’ve boasted about His credentials.
    He could’ve called fire from heaven to destroy everything then and there.
    He didn’t.
    He carried MY sin to the cross so I now have the credentials to stand blameless before God.
    He led by example, trusting God to be faithful even in the most difficult and painful of circumstances.
    He proved His love for His creation and His devotion to the Father.
    He showed that He could be trusted with our lives.
    He is that devoted to me!!!

  • Would we gladly give up the armies of the world in order to stand reconciled and redeemed in front of our Father’s eternal throne? Are we willing to give up our earthly kingdoms for the forever glory of our Lord?

    So easy to blurt out a "YES", but like Peter (in all honesty) I'm afraid I'd come up short if put to the test. Humbled to see my face when looking at Peter's story.

    • Sally

      Amen.

    • shereadstruth

      I completely agree, Valanne! Also guilty of seeing my face! Lord, may we be captivated only by your forever Glory!

      Thanks for joining us today, friend.

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • cwells765

    This is a great video about Jesus loving Barabbas by Judah Smith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwX_EpNR4CA

  • Its great been part of this wonderful family

  • I have the tendency to make "to do" list… for EVERYTHING… Even, and most tragically, how to be a "good" follower of Christ. Therefore early in my walk with the Lord, I would find myself under much condemnation from my unsuccessful attempts to live up to my listed expectations. I would read and study God’s Word and ALWAYS get under condemnation.

    My old tendency would have been to take a lovely lesson as we have this morning, internalize it and feel as if I fell short. Do I lay up treasures for myself here on earth? (yes!) Am I willing to give up earthly kingdoms for the forever glory of our Lord? (maybe?, sometimes?, no? depends?) Would I deny Jesus as Peter did? (I don’t know? I HOPE not!? But probably at times??) Then I’d read the awesome responses of the other ladies and really feel like I was missing it!

    It has taken literally years for me to understand the process that was happening… I was trying to be faithful to Him in MY OWN strength.

    I love reading all of your inspiring words. Thank you, God, for such sweet and Godly women. However, in an effort to encourage any who may be reading and not feeling as convinced of their inner “goodness” ☺, I say: Just be honest. God made you with all your not-so-sweet thoughts and struggles for His purposes. ☺ He wants your strength to be in Him. Seek Him in honesty and humility and He WILL be your strength. I love things in this world and when asked, "Are you willing to give this up?" have to be honest and say, "Not yet, Lord?"… "Please give me a long, happy and fruitful life with my loved ones." and in essence, it might be translated, "I'm enjoying your world too much right now." Should I feel bad? Should I feel less? As I search my heart, I think not. I think I'm just being honest and God loves me right where I am. I also think that should I be called today, tonight, tomorrow to give up something for Him OR to leave it all behind, by HIS grace, His Holy Spirit will enable me to walk where He has called me to walk.

    Staying in and studying God’s Word causes us to think. To acknowledge things that we need to give up and over the years, I have found that my priorities toward different things have changed… As I walk with Him, HE directs my path and HE changes my heart towards earthly things that have no value in His Kingdom… The old me would have gotten all up under condemnation trying to change (to no avail) all the things inside me that I felt needed to change… NOW.

    I have just learned to trust in His timing and His strength because in hindsight I see His mighty hand. MY "job" is to – BY HIS STRENGTH – keep seeking, confessing, focusing, re-focusing… ABIDING IN HIM. And when I don’t even want to do that… I confess and re-focus AGAIN. ☺ Jesus still died for me. He still prays for me (THANK HIM!) and God still has a plan for me and uses me. ☺ He’s so awesome that way.

  • Morgan B

    “Jesus circumvents any attempt for his father’s plan to be changed” -In passages like these it is so hard to see him as fully man, but he was! Fully man and fully God. I can’t imagine how hard it was for “the man” to drink from that cup, but he did it so gracefully. He fully trusted the father’s plan… a moment (and a lifetime) of surrender.

  • He did it all willingly. For us – we who reject Him. Wow.

  • Yes to being strange! …in the world, but not of it… as I´ve gotten older I´ve begun to realize the rubbish that this world is, and how much I really don´t care if others think I (we!) are strange. If I´m honest, that´s still a struggle sometimes, but I´m so thankful that the veil on that part of my heart has been lifted.
    Lord, teach and grow me. Help me to love on this world and interact with it, but not be of it, by your grace.

  • The question has me considering Peter? Am I Peter? So willing to defend Christ, to pull on sword on anyone that represents destruction for Him, for my faith or am I the Peter, so overcome by fear; fear of the unknown, fear of people, fear of retribution …. that I would deny Him to save myself discomfort? Fear tugged at Peter, just as it does us today. We fear all things; our safety, will bills be payed, will our kids be ok, will our marriages survive, what will come of our futures, job, money…..the list goes on. The world we live in is very tangible, yet temporal. Christ's willingness here reminds us that nothing we endure will end in our destruction. We will have troubles and pain, we will lose loved ones and jobs, our health may suffer, but if we keep our eyes on Christ, if we choose to walk this walk with Him, if we glorify Him daily, sing His praises and adore our Savior, we WILL be ok. It's not this world or anything within that makes us, and if all falls to pieces in this world, Jesus will continue to offer Grace, we will be given residence in the Father's home and our disappointments, failings and hurts will have meant nothing. While I have compassion for Peter, I am prayerful that I will not find myself a "Denying Peter". That I will guard my walk with Christ so severely, I will carry my metaphorical sword to protect it at all costs, no matter the path. ~ B

    • Dawn

      AMEN!!

    • Chelsea C.

      Amen!

    • Zana

      This is beautifully said. Thank you for sharing!

    • Julie Ganucheau

      Wonderfully said! We are but passing through….

    • Catherine_K_L

      Amen!
      The Lord will give is everything we need to fulfill his purposes for our lives!

    • Sally

      Wonderfully said… I'll admit that while I've always marveled at the humanity of Peter, I've never actually put myself in his place… humbled for sure. Which Peter am I? Thank you for challenging me this morning…

    • Sally

      Would you mind if I shared this on the She Reads Truth Facebook page? (Giving you full credit of course!)

      • Onfaith

        That's so kind of you to ask! Of course not! Share away! Thank you for thinking to it! ~ B

    • Lauren

      These words are powerful! I feel very convicted when reading them. I will walk this week asking myself the question, “What kind of Peter am I?”

      • Onfaith

        Interestingly I felt I rambled and couldn't quite get what was being impressed on me out. I'm glad that the words imparted something to you. Thanks for kind words! ~ B

    • Sarah T

      Yes. Peter resonated for me in this passage as well. Peter warms himself-takes comfort over truth. I feel that way so frequently. Caught between a former life devoid of Christ and this new faith which is still uncomfortable. I pray to walk with Christ and to beg the Holy Spirit to speak to my heart and make me one capable of living a life worthy of the calling received. Love your words. Love your prayer. I echo these sentiments. I pray for faith. For strength.

      • Onfaith

        Glad something in them resonated. I have mulled it over still. Very prayerful which Peter I will find myself daily. ~ B

  • Verse 18:36 stood out to me as I was reading as well. When Jesus answered that His kingdom is not of this world, it reminded me that we, too, are sojourners here. Hebrews 11 speaks of this, and Phillipians 3:20 says, "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."

    This world, with all of it's strange ways and customs, is not our home. We have a place with our Lord in His kingdom. Isn't that refreshing? Why do we try to fit in? Let's just agree to be strange, peculiar people to this world! As 1 Peter 2:9 says in the KJV, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light"

    This truth also brings me joy because I realize that all of the loved ones I've lost are simply waiting for me in that Kingdom. Those believers have just reached the destination sooner than I. For some reason, the Lord has chosen to give me a different path, that leaves me wandering in this desert while those I have loved and lost are in the promised land. I will make the best of it while I am here, sojourning among these strange people with their strange beliefs and customs and their strange gods.

    May you all go out today as a peculiar people, a holy priesthood, daughters of the King! Bless you, sisters!

  • I have to say God plan was well designed and perfect. He knew that no human would be able to successfully stand this test. To be ridicule, suffer blackmail from our own family, and still continue on the journey. He knew Jesus would be the perfect lamb; meek, humble, and know the heart of the people, because He lives with them. He knew his love for us would outweighed His own feelings. He knew this because it was His son and He is God.

  • I am going through a break up that I will term horrible but today’s word gives me hope and makes me feel better.no one understands the pain of rejection by the ones we love deeply more than Jesus. I don’t see myself putting back that soldiers ear (God forgive me lol) but even in his pain he forgave and loved us more. He ddnt try to force His love on us (like I have desperately tried to remind my ex of our past love) He is God and fortunately I can be like him. All I pray is that Jesus accepts my bitterness as I gv it all to him. May God help me to forgive and love like him just like he has done for me, is doing for me, and will continue to do for me. Heart Break is sacred because I can relate to how Jesus feels every minute that one of His creations rejects his ever faithful love and it is my comfort that the pain will end and Joy unspeakable full of glory is mine for the taking because I am His.

    • Chris

      Bless you. I pray the love of Jesus will bring you more hope and healing.

    • MNmomma

      Prayer lifted for you my dear…

    • Candacejo

      Praying for you!! In Jesus' name help Jubilee to forgive and take all the bitterness, anger and heartache away and replace it with perfect peace that only comes from You. ♥♥

    • Sarah T

      Praying for you! I pray that you rest in the knowledge that you are loved by one with a love that is unrelenting.

    • Gema Muniz

      I love the way you have put this into a personal perspective. Is so true at times we feel like God doesn't understand our pain, but in reality he is the only one that truly understands our dissapointments in life. I feel so blessed today to have a God that loves us so much. God bless you sister.

  • He loves the world He created, He loves His disciples, He even loves the men that are ready to crucify Him. Yet Jesus knows that this is temporary, and His and our real treasures wait for us in eternity. He will come one day with armies (Rev. 19:14), but but in these moments He was willing to forego all early connections in order that His Father’s will might be fulfilled. Christ did this for us; He became sin so that we could appear sinless before the Father. — ***in tears***

    This song came to mind… http://youtu.be/FInBsbSCnWk

  • ….F.Let’s ask ourselves if we are we are willing to follow Jesus’ example… I think the answer to that would be a great BIG YES…

    ….Would we gladly give up the armies of the world in order to stand reconciled and redeemed in front of our Father’s eternal throne?..I think that is also a resounding YES….although, I am not sure what the 'armies of the world are….what I do know is that in that question…, '…to stand reconciled and redeemed in front of our Father s eternal throne,…' that is my HOPE,

    … Are we willing to give up our earthly kingdoms for the forever glory of our Lord? Now you've got me, is my earthly kingdom what I call home? Or is my earthly kingdom, the things I have around that make my life comfortable ..? Either way, that is a tough one…the next question then is.. are you asking me ..would i give them up, now, whilst living, for the forever glory of our Lord…or that when I die, I will give them up…..
    I can see through reading John 18, that Jesus went through these terrible motions to fulfil scripture, what had been prophesied….and also to fulfil the call on HIS life…by His Father..Our Father.. one thing, I do know is that Simon Peter s reaction, and denial of knowing Jesus is all fear, fear of what would o r might happen to Him should he say he knew Jesus…it didn't seem like a good time then…
    Could I be enlightened a little more… please…anyone got a different perspective on the questions Diana has posed…

    Big hug and thanks . in advance of sharing the enlightenment you may have..xxx

    • Onfaith

      Coming back to read all of the comments, I realize you and I had the same thoughts of Peter. I was really struck with what he must have wrestled with. Fear consumes us if we let it. It's such a wiley tool for the enemy to use. It can overcome us before we even realize it has. I feel for Peter. The pain and disappointment he must have felt when he realized. No part of me wants to fall to the same pain. ~ B

      • farmphotographyproject

        I think that is very important, fear can consume us. We can't let it, and we must truly believe in the Lord, fill our hearts with compassion and live and read the word each day. Easier said than done.

    • Kelly_Smith

      How I wish we could sit at a table and discuss with the back and forth of truth-seekers! I am tossing around thoughts of what my kingdom is. I think of all the things that bring ME significance. My status as mother, wife, keeper of my home. I think of the letters I place behind my name at the hospital that make my opinions fact. My authority as small group leader; my self appointed authority as a blogger. And then there is my position as the eldest child, the only daughter-in-law. That, to me, is my "kingdom." I take pride in my various roles, in doing those things well. Much of the time I do it for the glory of my Father. Too often, I seek my own glory, a pat on the back, a "job well done." Strip all of that applause away. Am I willing to keep doing the work of the Lord in my kingdom for the sole purpose of bringing glory to the Father? I will wrestle with this question until I come into His Kingdom, I am afraid.

      • lauraloewen1221

        Yes. Tina, I would agree with Kelly on this, in that I take "my kingdom" to mean anything that exaults me and seeks to make me, rather than Christ, famous.

        I think of my kingdom as those things, whatever they are that are driven by pride. At its root, it's me wanting to be God, me wanting to rule and reign in my life (and sometimes, others' too, if I'm brutally honest).

        My take away from this reading is to ask myself: am I doing what I do for His kingdom or mine? His fame or mine?

        My prayer is that we will all long to decrease so He can increase (John 3:30).

        You're asking great questions, Tina. Keep persuing Him and the answers you're looking for! For me, in addition to weekly attenting a Bible-believing churvh, listening to a steady flow of sound teachers/pastors has been super helpful for me, as they have such a wealth of knowledge in every sermon (Tony Evans, Tullian Tchividjian, Chuck Swindol). Love and grace to you, sister.

    • Dawn

      Tina, you must be reading my mind!! Sure, we all know what the answers should be, a resounding YES. But wait…then the questions start…the what ifs. In answer to you question, I think the earthly kingdom is both – what you call home and the things that make life comfortable. Let's think about Jesus' life for a minute – he had a great thing going here on Earth, many followers, a good job, he didn't want for anything. But yet He recognized the greater purpose…The Father's will. To you next question, "are you asking me would I give them up now whilst living for the forever glory of our Lord, or that when I die I will give them up." I think the question is asking are you/I/we willing to give up or earthly kingdom now – the comforts, perhaps family and friends to fulfill the will of God.

      And I believe that we are more like Peter than we would like to admit, because of fear and doubt. But Jesus knows how frail and weak we are…that's why He told Peter that he would deny Him 3 times but more importantly He comforted and reconciled Peter to Himself. These speaks volumes to me know, just now, that no matter how many times we sin, make mistakes, etc we are forgiven as believers and God has his arms open to us. One of my prayers has been "I believe! Help my unbelief" when fear and doubt raise their heads. I hope this helps.

    • Catherine_K_L

      Here is what that means to me. Laying up treasures in heaven is meant to be a lifestyle.
      Many Christians never move beyond what God can do for themselves and never grasp what God wants to do for the world and their role in that. As Christ followers, this is our mission. Jesus tells us to lay up treasures in heaven and to not be anxious about our own needs being met. (Matthew 6:19-24) I have to recognize that all I have was given to me by God and as a Christ follower, I must view myself as a steward of all that I possess and what I use it for. My actions should be measured by what effect it will have on God's kingdom. God may be calling me to open up my home, he may call me to sacrificial give, he may ask me to serve Him by means of anything I possess. Laying up treasure in heaven for myself would be a result of obeying that call, and building my treasure of everlasting joy with God.
      When we view all we have as His, and trust that He will provide for our needs we will experience freedom from fear and anxieties and have true peace and joy. I've never missed one red cent that I've given away, and I truly believe that God has blessed me with more because of that. However, I am not to live with my fists full, but rather with my palms open…ready to receive and ready to give, generously and sacrificially. Ready to obey and to be a conduit of God's blessing to those in the world who need Christ as their Savior. This may not always look pretty and I may be asked one day to make very difficult choices if our religious freedoms were stripped away, but I pray that the posture of my heart would be that whatever a God asks me to do for His kingdom, that I would obey and not forget that he will equip me with every need I have as I fulfill his purposes for my life. But for now, I don't have to make life or death choices, but rather freely and cheerfully give of myself, my talents, my possessions, and my time to promote the kingdom of God. I can measure it by asking myself what am I doing with what I have to exalt Christ and bring glory and honor to God? Less of me, and more of Him, John 3:30. And to me, that is laying up treasures in heaven.

    • Candacejo

      Maybe no wrong or right answer to your questions dearest Tina. :) These are just my thoughts from the cheap seats!

      But it made me think of the rich young ruler who came to Jesus, The Teacher, and immediately begins to list all of the GOOD things he had done since he was young so what should he do to inherit eternal life? Of course the Lord reminds him of the commandments and he replies that he has that checked off, no problem! What am I missing?

      Oops! "When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." Luke 18:22

      This man "went away sorrowful for he had many possessions". Jesus showed him where his HEART was, where he was building treasure and it wasn't in a heavenly kingdom. He was IN LOVE with the things of the world.

      And as in Abraham and Isaac…the Lord asked him to sacrifice as well. His son, his only son, to be a sacrifice unto the Lord. Abraham, in pure agony, is obedient up to raising the knife! But the Lord provides a ram in the thicket and Abraham called the place "The Lord will Provide".

      God didn't require Abraham to actually sacrifice his son, Isaac. But he did ask him to be willing to do it. Yes, He tested him! Didn't God know where his allegiance was? Yes, but maybe He wanted Abraham to know where he stood.

      Strictly my opinion, but I think that is what He was showing the young ruler as well. He thought he had it all together. He had done everything "right". Played by "the rules". Crossed all his t's and dotted all his i's. But where were his treasures? Where was his heart? His love? The Lord showed him that he still loved all of these things MORE than The Good Teacher.

      Yes, when we die we must give them up, we can't take them with us. But while we are here on this earth we must ask ourselves would we do it if He asked? (And side note, there is nothing wrong with "things", with working hard to achieve, with having nice homes, cars, clothes, etc.) It's all about our true treasure.

      And maybe that is what He is asking us…are we WILLING to give up our earthly kingdoms for the forever glory of our Lord?

      Lord, help me to realize it isn't about things and it isn't about me, it's all about You and Your forever glory to be manifested THROUGH ME while I am here on this earth.

      Love to all my SRT sisters ♥♥♥

    • tina

      I have just got home to find 'you' here …my sister's….I have made myself a cup of hot water and have 'listened' to all your comments….I have to say, a little of each of your comments, had crossed my mind…this morning..
      I am so thankful to you all for enlightening me and helping me get to grips with this…

      What a family, what unity, what love….Thank you…xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      • Candacejo

        ♥♥♥ Lol, I know your wisdom in the Word…I think you were just trying to get us to converse, discuss and think!!! Ha ha!! ♥♥♥

  • I always wonder what Malchus, the servant whose ear Peter cut off, thought of Jesus. Can you imagine? Luke’s account of Jesus’ arrest tells of how Jesus healed the servant whose ear had been cut off. I wonder what Malchus felt like when he man he came to arrest and crucify healed him. What an undeserved kindness.

    In Matthew’s account, Jesus says at his arrest: “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew‬ ‭26‬:‭53‬ ESV) – it never ceases to amaze me that Jesus CHOSE to be arrested. It wasn’t that He gave into panic…no, even during His arrest Jesus was completely conscious of the fact that He could have stopped it all if He wanted to. But He didn’t stop it. He was arrested for us and died for us. And that’s a truth that wrecks my heart. We are so loved, sisters!

    • Connie Tramel

      Mmmmmm so sweet thankyou

    • Beckey

      Yes!! The same thing struck me while reading this chapter. All of it – from the betrayal by Judas to His crucifixion – was not merely something that happened TO Jesus, but was what He ALLOWED to happen. So He could save my soul and bring me back to the Father.

      Beckey
      http://reallyreallyrealhousewives.blogspot.com http://www.etsy.com/shop/queenbsbusywork

    • Beth

      Interesting thoughts about Malchus! I've often wondered about Barabbas as well-did he feel guilt over being released in Jesus' place? Did this cause him to repent etc?

    • Carlie

      Absolutely, Renee. In regards to your second note: I often try to imagine myself as a martyr. It's easy in the now to have peace and willingness for that someday. If that someday became reality, though, I can imagine it would be difficult to maintain that peace and willingness to die for Jesus' sake. God's Kingdom is what we are living for! "Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:28-29

    • Gema Muniz

      Amen! his love is unconditional, a love we will never know how to give to someone else.

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