Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
Where to build the Kingdom?
by Erik Momsen
CNN tells us we have the right to choose. This is only their justification to bombard us with billions of dollars of advertising.
It is however true that our God has given us “free will”, and this is one of our greatest human qualities. We have the right to make very many vital life changing choices, and we also have the right to experience the effect of these choices.
One important choice we make is where to belong. Many people make the choice not to belong to their families, their wives, their communities, their friends and even their countries. This is a product of the complex and divided world we call modern. Some have called our state alienated. We even reach a stage when we belong to nobody but ourselves and then we can even lose this.
The church, which if anything should be a family, suffers from this modern disease of “not belonging”. The church has become a gathering of perpetual visitors, observers and wanderers. Instead of being an army of soul savers and healers we have become a mob of spiritual experience seekers.
This comes from our fallen state. From our inability to live together, and from our disunity. I spent a morning with a group of Christian leaders and was dismayed by our disunity and inability to agree on almost anything.
I believe God is saying to us, “Lay down your issues and do the job of saving the lost”. A contemporary worship song goes; “As we follow your heart, we are led to the lost”. The degree to which we reach the lost will show how close we are to the Father's heart.
GOD IS TELLING US TO SETTLE DOWN AND START BUILDING
I was most impressed to hear one of our member's personal mission statement. His personal goal is; “To build spiritual and physical houses”.
The Jews were given the same message while in exile in Babylon. The cream of society was removed to ensure that no further revolt occurred and they were now without nation and temple. Psalm 137 says; “By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion”. They had no hope, no future and no God, or so they thought.
Jeremiah writes to them from Jerusalem were he elected to stay and try and pick up the pieces. He make some vitals points in Jer. 29:
v4 “This is what the Lord Almighty the God of Israel says to those I carried into exile” - God speaks into history and he also acts to discipline his people.
v5 “Build house and settle down” - The last thing they expected. Their false prophets told them they were returning soon. Not so, says Jeremiah. Build, carry on with your life, make a difference, build a future for you and your grandchildren. This is long-term.
v7 “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you ... Pray” -
How could they possibly pray away from Zion? How could they pray for an “evil” city? God did more in the hearts of these 4 600 Jews in exile than He did in most of their earlier history. He taught them that God is everywhere (Ezekiel 1’s "wheels"). He taught them to gather in small groups and teach each other the ways of the Lord. The synagogues were started here. He taught them to pray and that this was the way to speak to Him. They became prosperous and they grew physically and spiritually strong.
v11 “For I know the plans I have for you, ... plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” - They had lost hope and with that their future. The promise and love of God gives hope. God’s plans were dependant upon a new attitude of heart.
v13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” - God was and is available to all who seek.
MESSAGE FOR US
Make a difference where you are. Be part of the building of spiritual and physical houses. None of us know where we will be tomorrow. Building houses takes time, money and energy. Are you building God’s house or just watching?
Do you have the attitude that you will make a difference for God’s kingdom where you are or are you sitting around and waiting?
The future of the city is in your hands, pray for it and build it up.
The hope of God does rest on our response and obedience.
“I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.” (Psalm 37:25)
Righteousness brings prosperity and progress.
Date Added: 2008-10-01
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