Sunday, February 10, 2013
In a movie made 60 years ago called THE ROBE, a fictional Roman is converted to become a Christian. The movie is a classic and it is very dramatic. It is seen through the point of view of the Romans, which in this movie represents "the world", as opposed to the kingdom of Christ. For the photo to go with this post, I chose the closing scene of the movie. In this scene, the Roman tribune who has been converted, a fictional character named Marcelus, goes before the Emperor Caligula who really lived and is not a fictional character.
Even today many people struggle with the idea of a kingdom of God. Is there a God that is over all the earth? If so, is he a loving god or a god to be feared? Who is this Jesus? If he is the Son of God, then why is there so much trouble in the world? SO many questions that seem to be left unanswered to people who will not take the time to study the scriptures and pray with faith.
Are we not all creating our own kingdoms by the choices we make? For instance, I choose to not drink alcoholic drinks. That's my choice. Do I have friends who drink? Yes, I do. Do I spend a lot of time with them drinking? No, I don't. Are they welcome into my home? Yes, of course. Will I offer them alcoholic drinks at my home? Nope. Do they expect to be served alcoholic drinks when they come over? No, they don't. And everybody is ok with that. That is an example of one aspect of my kingdom - no alcoholic drinks. Other examples include the humor I choose to laugh at, the level of modesty in the way I dress, the type of music I choose, the way I treat others, etc. All the choices I make create my kingdom.
Jesus Christ also has his kingdom. He chooses to do everything his Father wants him to do. He has chosen to ascribe to what his Father has done in the Kingdom of God and Christ continues to teach us how to be a part of that kingdom if we want to. It is totally up to us. He has given us the scriptures to use as a written manual. He has given us commandments to use as guidelines. He even promises that the Holy Spirit will reveal truths to us if we seek them.
Jesus Christ has given us an open invitation to be a part of his Kingdom. The doors of his kingdom are open to every single person who has ever lived or who will live on this earth. We can open the doors and come toward Christ, or we can choose to back away and do something different. He doesn't change. When he came to earth and taught his followers he was the same as he is today. He lives.
We are the ones who must choose. We can choose to be fully engulfed with the world and its empty promises or we can be fully engaged and make covenants to live in a kingdom that Christ has invited us to be a part of. He has even asked us to help him make it grow.
Who is on the Lord's side?
And yes, Jesus does love you. He always will. His love is not based on your behavior. He loves you unconditionally and waits with open arms for you to come to him. I promise you this.