Monthly Archives: May 2019

Thine is the Kingdom and the Power

During the Temptations in the desert one of the the temptations was the offer for all the kingdoms of this world to become Jesus’ if only he would bow down and worship Satan, But at The Great Commission Jesus says “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. All authority is now Christ’s. As the Apostle Paul writes:

He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness
& brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves
– Colossians 1:13

So, here’s a real clarification; Satan has a dominion, and Jesus truly has a kingdom. The words used here are totally different. A dominion is a power or authority, but a kingdom is something altogether different. A kingdom is The Power and The Authority. Satan has a dominion, but no “kingdom”. He has authority only because man allowed it to happen, but he is not The Authority.

Saint Augustine explains Jesus’ authority this way:

“The devil found Christ innocent, but none the less smote Him; he shed innocent blood, and took what he had no right to take. Therefore it is fitting he be dethroned and forced to give up those who were under his power” – Saint Augustine

The idea is that God Our Father by Jesus Christ is a liberator. He is rescuing people from the dominion of darkness and bringing them into His Kingdom and His Lordship.

Saint Phoebe the deacon

Here is a wonderful Saint to spotlight for Mother’s Day. We encounter Phoebe as we read through the book of Romans, her life as a mother to the church and a deacon of the church translates through the centuries to our own day and time.

Paul refers to Phoebe as a deacon of the church in Romans chapter 16:

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me.

-Romans 16 1-2

The word at the end of verse 2, “benefactor” specifically lends meaning towards being a guardian and a protector of others. Clearly, Phoebe exemplified caring, helping, and protecting others as a follower of Christ, all things to aspire to. A calling to ministry in the diaconate is not necessary to be a mother, but those who care, help and protect others are often called mothers, or “mom” even when those cared for aren’t their own children.

I have been a part of the church a long time, and there have been many good women, mothers of the church, who have mirrored the qualities of Saint Phoebe the deacon. The church is better for it. Celebrate these ladies today!

Show Me Your Heart

I laugh that a social media status can show the condition of our heart and attitude.  We’re very good at complaining and grumbling as it seems to come naturally.

Grumbling defined:

  1.  To show one’s unhappiness or critical attitude.
  2. To make complaining remarks or noises under one’s breath.
  3. To murmur or mutter in discontent; complain sullenly.

In the book of Exodus we see account after account of God’s miraculous move on behalf of His people. (parting the Red Sea, feeding them with manna, water in the desert, provision time and again) however, Moses, and God, had to put up with the children of Israel’s horrid complaining:

-They grumbled because they didn’t have enough water.

-They grumbled because they didn’t like the wilderness.

-They grumbled because they thought Moses was a bad leader.

-They grumbled because they missed Egypt.

-They grumbled because they weren’t yet in the Promised Land.

-They grumbled because they thought God had let them down.

…it was a real “Festivus” BUT we are the same way, often we complain, and we think we’ve been forsaken by God 5 minutes after seeing goodness, even miracles, from His hand.

What do you find yourself guilty of complaining about?

Reading about the Day Laborers in Matthew chapter 20;

The owner of the Vineyard went out to hire workers at -9am, Noon, 3pm,  and 5pm…

When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first. ’The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius.

So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner… But he answered one of them, I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Jesus is trying to show us The Way of a Disciple. Not of complaining but being thankful.

In this story we see:

  • God is just. No one will be underpaid
  • God is generous. Everyone will be surprised
  • God sees differently than we do

We may say, “What did you do and accomplish?” But God says, “Why did you do it?”

We may say, “What’s the bottom line?” But God says, “Were you doing it for me?”

We may say, “Show me your stuff.” But God says, “Show me your heart.”

How to have a Thankful Heart

1)Thank God for the Blessings Your Have Already Experienced.

2)Don’t Judge Yourself by the Way God Treats Someone Else.

3) Practice Contentment and Thankfulness

What are you thankful for today?

Discipleship scripture: I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.                          – Philippians 4:11