The Earth Is Shaking…

“Let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken…”

The earth is shaking.

Treasures stored up in bank accounts, stocks, and investments can disappear in a moment, taken by thieves in the night, hackers, corruption, a crumbling economy.  Wars are waged between nations, within nations, and among brothers.

The earth is shaking.

Wars with words and weapons are fought to defend my rights and my freedom, to defend my earthly vessel and my treasures. It is my right because this is my kingdom.  But at what cost?

Surely true freedom is not something that can be taken from us.

What does this mean for those whose earthly kingdoms have turned on them to steal, kill, and destroy instead of protect? Would we turn a blind eye or go further to push away outsiders because protecting my kingdom is more important than loving my neighbor?

The earth is shaking.

We pray that Your kingdom will come and Your will be done on earth as it is heaven.  Your kingdom come, Your will be done.

The earth is shaking.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” 

I wonder what Jesus would speak into the state of our world right now.  I wonder what He would say to His church.  It is within the context of a hated outsider showing love to one belonging to the nation that had cursed him (in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)) that Jesus commands us to love our neighbor as ourself, through a parable revealing that our neighbor is more than the person down the street but someone different, someone my culture may have taught me to fear or despise.

“‘Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ And Jesus said to him, You go, and do likewise.'”

Jesus goes even further to say, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute  you,” in Matthew 5:44.

In a shaking earth, where things pass away, treasures are so easily taken from us, and our life in the body is more fragile than we think, how easy it is to cling to a false illusion of safety and the desperate need to protect my right, my freedom, my kingdom! It is easy to slip into fear of my “enemy” and grow to despise them, feeding into the very weapon that gives them power: fear.  How easy it is to fear the shaking earth and forget that we live in a new reality with the promise of a new kingdom.

“Let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken…”

A kingdom that cannot be shaken.  A safe place, a refuge, a rock.  A kingdom that cannot be shaken established in the midst of an earth that is shaking.  In this kingdom, we throw off the things that have been made, the things forged in mortality, to be swallowed up in immortality, life, the stuff of eternity.

It is from the knowledge of having inherited ownership of a kingdom that cannot be shaken that we can love our neighbor freely and even love our enemy, that we can lay down our rights at the feet of Jesus and fully embrace true freedom in Christ that goes beyond our fabricated imitations of freedom in earthly kingdoms.  I would much rather embrace the real thing.  Wouldn’t you?

Let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and from this kingdom mindset, let us freely and fully love without fear, and through it, let us cry out that His kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

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