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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

 

September 15, 2011 - As Plain as the Nose on Your Face

By Greg Ebie

Have you ever felt like the husband who can’t find his glasses and his wife tells them that they are sitting on the end of his nose? Sometimes we overlook the obvious. If it’s just missing car keys, eyeglasses, a wallet or other such things, it’s an inconvenience as long as you find it eventually. Life goes on. But what if you overlook something that’s right in front of you, but it’s a matter of life and death? Now that’s a completely different story.

“Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, ‘The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, “Here it is,” or “There it is,” because the kingdom of God is within you’” (Luke 17:20,21, NIV).

Talk about misplacing your eyeglasses that are right on top of your head! The Pharisees were looking for the kingdom of God, but they couldn’t see it. Jesus, God’s anointed One, the Messiah who ushered in the kingdom was standing right in front of them and they didn’t recognize Him or His kingdom.

What was Jesus telling the Pharisees? He said the kingdom was already “within you.” What exactly does that mean? First, the Pharisees were looking in the wrong direction. They are looking for a physical kingdom, but the kingdom of God is spiritual. The Kingdom is not found by looking around you but within your heart.

Second, the Pharisees mistakenly believed that they were subjects or citizens of the kingdom of God, but Jesus wanted them to see that their hearts were actually rebelling against God. If they had truly submitted to God’s reign in their lives then they would have recognized Jesus for who He is as the Christ.

An alternate translation of this verse says, “The kingdom of God is among you.” This would shift the focus to what the Pharisees could see around them. The Pharisees were blind to Jesus’ identity as the Messiah, thus they also could not see the citizens of God’s kingdom who had put their faith in Jesus. Because Jesus didn’t fit their expectations they dismissed the miracles of the kingdom that Jesus did as works of the devil. According to the Pharisees, anyone could see that Jesus was a fraud because the kingdom of God that Jesus announced had not come in any form they could recognize.

Could it be that Jesus was telling the Pharisees both? God’s kingdom is within you, but you are in rebellion to it. And the kingdom is among you, but you are blind to what God is doing in and through the lives of those who believe.

How about you? Are you aware of God’s kingdom? Has it made a change within you that will be seen by others?

— D. Greg Ebie is senior pastor of Praise Assembly of God in Garrettsville, Ohio, and an author of Daily Bread devotionals.

 

 

 

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