Randy's Reflections
August 30, 2019, 1:00 PM

September Randy's Reflections


 

“The gospel is less about how to get into the Kingdom of Heaven after you die,
and more about how to live in the Kingdom of Heaven before you die.” Dallas Willard

 

           

         

So how has your walk been this summer? I wrote in the June Newsletter about the WALKS in our life. Those include: taking up the challenge of Walking the neighborhood, Acknowledging others, Listening to the Spirit, Keeping hope alive, and Sharing our blessings as we witness God's calling for each of us.

 

This practice is one way you can make a positive impact in the world. We all know that our world certainly needs people making a positive impact, but we also have our own salvation to be concerned about.

 

Wait, did you say we need to be concerned about our salvation? Don’t we believe that once we accept Jesus as Lord we are saved? Well, yes, we do, but Paul also says in Philippians 2:12-13, “12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

 

Early Christians did not focus much on what happens when people die. They were more concerned about the “Kingdom of God.” Those early believers considered God’s kingdom to be a present reality, but that the final fulfillment of this Kingdom was still in the future. It won’t be completed until the day when there is a restoration of the whole of creation, when Jesus comes again.

 

They believed God’s kingdom had been launched through the events of Jesus’ life and was infiltrating the world right then.  Salvation was not a “one and done” thing, but a continual process in their lives.

 

This is why it so important that once you begin the Christian walk you continue in it. This is why we seek God’s guidance on a daily basis. This is why we can take confidence, like the Philippians in chapter 1 when Paul says, “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” The work is happening right now if you are committed. We are on the road to complete salvation, but have not yet arrived.

 

These may be new ideas for some of us, but that is why I want us to explore Paul’s “take” on faith this fall. We will be studying Paul and looking at his journey throughout the Mediterranean as he reflects on his faith, and explore what it means to be a Jesus follower, one who seeks the Kingdom of God.

 

Come and explore with us. Everyone is welcome. Each and every participant will add to our understanding. We will be richer for everyone who attends. If you can’t come, you can still get a copy of the book. If you email me questions, we can discuss them in class as well. Of course, those who are there will have first crack, but remember, some questions are to drive us deeper and may not be answered on this side of the grave.

 

I look forward to our Walks together.

 

Blessings,         Pastor Randy