Monday, March 15, 2010

Devotional 150310

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good afternoon. It has been two weeks since I last sent you my devotional. The two weeks of study was really intensive. I dedicated all my waked up hours on either class work or home work. Praise God for giving me another two weeks of spiritual retreat. The class was spiritually uplifting and inspiring. I came to perceive theology and the Bible from a different angle. I did not really know what theology of mission was all about. Most seminaries did not offer this kind of class or require this kind of study 30 years ago. When I started putting on “missional” lenses to see the Scripture last week, I am convicted that our God is truly a “missio Dei” = missional God. And the Scripture is a calling for all His children to take part in His mission. Are you ready for action in following your missio Dei?

"Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message” (Mark 1:15). A common way to misunderstand prophecy, and especially the prophecy of the Revelation, is to suppose that it means prediction. But that is not the biblical use of the word. Prophets are not fortune tellers. The prophet is the person who declares, “Thus says the Lord.” He speaks what God is speaking. He brings God’s word into le immediate world of the present, insisting that it be heard here and now. The prophet says that God is speaking now, not yesterday; rod is speaking now, not tomorrow. It is not a past word that can be analyzed and then walked away from. It is not a future word that can be fantasized into escapist diversion. It is personal address now: ‘for the time is near” (Rev. 1:3, 22:10). “Near” means “at hand.” Not far off in the future but immediately before us; only our unbelief, or ignorance, or timid hesitancy separate us from it. Jesus also announced the immediacy of the prophetic word when he preached “the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15). St. John’s “near” and Jesus’ “at hand” are the same root word prophetic word eliminates the distance between God’s speaking and our learning. If we make the prophetic word a predictive word we are procrastinating, putting distance between ourselves and the application of the word, putting off dealing with it until some future date. This is what God intended for His revelation.

I have been meditating on the Kingdom of God in the past two weeks. Mission is about pronouncing the coming of the Kingdom of God since the King has already come. Matthew made it clear on this point as he recalled what his Master proclaimed, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt 28:18-19). The authority in heaven and earth represents the supreme reign of God. The resurrected Christ is the King of kings and Lord of lords. The Kingdom of God has arrived. We are the witnesses of this kingdom. God wants us to proclaim the reign of God on earth even though the ultimate maturation of this Kingdom is not here yet.

The model prayer that Jesus taught to his disciples also pointed to this spiritual reality, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” (Matt 6:9-10). This is not a prophecy about something that is to come. It is a proclamation of a spiritual reality that has already taken place.
We make disciples not because we feel that it is a good idea. We do so because of our submission to the reign of Christ who is our King of kings. On a contrary, when we fail to do it, it is a deliberate rebellion against His reign or kingship in our lives. We are called to walk and talk like ambassador of this new Kingdom. Only when we recognize the kingship of our Lord Jesus in our own lives by obedience, we will not make disciples of all nations even with the power and resources vested in us.

With love in His kingdom,

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