Do I Want What I Want More Than What He Wants?

casteA couple of weeks I posted about the series we were doing on God’s Kingdom in our High School class. We took a look at what Jesus meant when He talked about the Kingdom of God and what happens when God’s Kingdom bumps into our own kingdom(s).

We concluded our series this weekend by looking at the description of God’s Kingdom we see in Revelation. When Jesus returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, all pain and suffering will be gone, every tear will be wiped away and everything will be made new (Revelation 21:3-7). Also, in Matthew 4, Jesus told people to “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven was near.” We discussed the tension that exists as we strive to live out God’s Kingdom in a world filled with brokenness and pain, while waiting for the day all pain and brokenness will be taken away. What does it look like to live as if the Kingdom of Heaven is near?

Last week while listening to a podcast, I heard a good question we should ask ourselves. It will help us live as if God’s Kingdom is near. Remembering that God’s Kingdom means God’s will is done instead of our will, we can ask ourselves this question: “Do I want what God wants more than I want what I want?”

When I forgive, I’m living out God’s Kingdom. When I share with others or help meet their needs, I’m living out God’s Kingdom. When I love others like Jesus loves me, I’m living out God’s Kingdom.

This week, may we continue to ask ourselves that question: “Do I want what God wants more than I want what I want?”

Raising Jesus

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, most people – and churches – are focusing on Christmas. Last Sunday kicked off our latest sermon series and it is taking a look at the Christmas story. One of the cool things about this sermon series is that several churches in our area will be preaching from the same text each week. As we worship and study at WCC, there will be four other congregations examining the same piece of scripture.

The message this past Sunday focused on Mary and Joseph and how they responded to God’s call to be the parents of Jesus. Joseph, because Mary was pregnant outside of marriage (which was punishable by stoning), wanted to divorce her quietly. When the angel appeared to him, the Bible tells us Joseph was obedient.

Mary, when the angel appeared to her, was understandably taking by surprise that she would be chosen to carry God’s Son. When the angel explained God’s plan, she submitted to it – “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38)

In his message, our pastor made a great point. (He said it probably wasn’t original with him, but I’ll give him the credit). He pointed out that Jesus learned obedience and submission from his mom and dad. As an adult, Jesus was obedient to His Father – to the point of death on a cross – and he saw that attribute in His earthly parents. Jesus was also submissive to God’s will – an attribute He saw in Mary and Joseph.

While Mary and Joseph weren’t perfect, they were an example of obedience and submission as they fulfilled God’s plan for their lives. It’s interesting to think how their example impacted their son, Jesus, as He was growing from a young boy to a man who would give His life for us.