Listen, Learn, and Practice: The Path to Redemption
The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand for all of us, but modern life can often get in the way. The things that God has given us — friendship, family, a sense of belonging — can often become overshadowed by the temptation and desperation that so often creep into our daily lives.
Matthew 3 and 4 speak of the glory of the Kingdom of God, and the fallenness of our own lives. In these verses, John the Baptist introduces the long-awaited Messiah and baptizes Him. Then Jesus is led into the desert to be confronted by Satan’s temptation. We often find ourselves in a similar present-day situation — wandering around lonely places, feeling hungry and tempted by those things that don’t feed our souls.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that experiencing the Kingdom of God is only problematic if we fail to practice Christ’s presence in our lives. In his sermon on Sunday, Pastor Steve advised us to start by asking the right questions. Here are a few that come to my mind:
Where are the John the Baptists in our lives? Where are the people crying out in the wilderness? Who are the people who make us very uncomfortable? What are they saying?
Pastor Steve in his sermon on January 8, 2017 – Jesus’ coming is evident in three ways – through listening, learning, and practice. Where is redemption happening in your life? Perhaps it’s in the voice of a member of your life group. Or maybe it’s something you read about in a bulletin from an organization you support. Can you identify where Jesus is on the move in your life?
Pastor Steve said we may trust in the Lord as the Devil tries to tempt us away because He stands ready to lead us through the temptation. Our prayerful “deliverance from evil” is the blessing of Christ coming into our lives.
Having listened, learned, and practiced, be ready when the Spirit prompts you. Demonstrate the life of Christ in your own life. Remember that “Lord Sabbath, His name from age to age the same, must win the battle.” – from ‘A Mighty Fortress is our God’, by Martin Luther.