Not of This World

Cathy Hurtado

"Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.  If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders.   But now my kingdom is from another place.”  “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.  Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king.  In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth.  Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”  John 18:36-37 

Three questions jumped out at me as I meditated on this passage this week.  First, do I really grasp that Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world, or am I living for and fighting for the things of this world?  Jesus didn’t fight His arrest because He wasn’t living for this world.  He was ushering in His kingdom.  In living for Jesus’ kingdom, we won’t have the same values as those we live around.  Self-preservation, self-exaltation and self-indulgence are not what drive us, but being instruments that God can use for His purposes. 

Second, do I seek to live for God’s purposes like Jesus did?  Jesus knew why He was here.  As a result, He wasn’t afraid to die, or face the hurt, pain and humiliation of the path to the cross.  He didn’t seek to protect His own life. Unless we are regularly in God’s Word and journeying through life with others of similar purpose, it is so easy to shift from living God’s purposes back to living for the world.  When a death occurs in the family, we lose precious material possessions, or we get a life-altering medical diagnosis, do we see it as the end of the world, or as a reminder of the hope we have because we are living for a kingdom which is not of this world?   

Third, am I on the side of truth?  Jesus gives us an easy test here.  Do I listen to Jesus?  And, I don’t think what He means here is that I sit and listen in worship service.  It means when I hear what God's Word says, do I follow?  Do I obey?  Do I not only accept it as the truth, but choose to live for truth?

Father, thanks for sending Jesus to earth so we can see how life should be lived.  I confess that I can be fearful, listen to the wrong people and make unhealthy choices because I am trying to preserve my earthly kingdom.  Give me a heart that wants Your kingdom and the discipline to live for Your kingdom purposes.  Amen.

 

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