Kingdom Principle: It is not about arriving, it is about rising.
Rising points to the direction which we are moving…. Arriving looks back at where we have come.
|1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26||Psalm 148||Colossians 3:12-17||Luke 2:41-52|
Jesus arrived full of Grace & Truth, and in life increased (rise) in Wisdom & Stature
No one who puts there hand to the plow and looks back – is fit for the Kingdom of God. (Luke 9:62) No matter what you did to arrive at the kingdom or how hard it your labor – the joy of the kingdom is the same for all… (Matthew 20:1-16)
There is no arrival in this life. This does not mean give-up, in fact this means – never give up! Jesus arrived full of grace and truth (John 1:14) yet he throughout his life increased in wisdom and stature, and favor with God and men. For someone to experience an increase, means that there was room for growth/improvement. In Christ we discover Grace & Truth which opens the door to the freedom to grow, just as Jesus Christ can increase and grow, so must we. The grace is the provision of learning, the truth is that relationships are dynamic and organic meaning that as we enter into a new relationship there is always something to learn.
You have not arrived, and neither did Jesus even though he was sinless and perfect. I don’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead because he was perfect; rather it was because it was the will of the Father and Jesus was in perfect submission. Most people are fully aware of the fact that they have not arrived – And all too often they are confronted with failure and frustration in that they have no clue neither how to progress from where they are or how they got there in the first place. (I am not excluded from the company.) Here is the beauty of this post – Every time you are in a place of confusion or frustration… know that you have simple arrived at the end of you – and if you choose – the beginning of a deeper relationship with Jesus. While the enemy would love to claim victory over you in your defeat, it is at this point that Jesus Christ has the greatest victory with you.
Again this is not a defeating or disappointment message –in fact – this is the crux of the message about freedom– To be truly free by the truth (John 8:32) is to be able to choose growth; to choose to serve the God of Love, rather than being a slave to the Law. Under the Law, growth is not the goal, obedience is the goal. We have addressed before how obedience comes up short in the Kingdom of God. It’s Submission where the goal is growth in relationships – where truth prevails and freedom is won.
Arriving is to manage the outcome of complex situations and to achieve a desired goal.
Rising is to embrace the outcome of all situations and reach forward beyond the present.
However, we cannot grow beyond those who are leading us, teaching us, raising us. For us to rise there must be something to aspire to – The call this week is on multiple levels of growth:
1. To grow as individuals into the fullness of the identity that God has called you to.
2. To grow as parents in raising our children, we must lead the way for their growth.
3. To grow as the family of God into the reality we grow together through hardship and trial.
4. To grow in our understanding that we have true freedom in Christ.
Jesus increased in Wisdom and Stature as well as Favor with God and men… Samuel also increased in Stature and Favor… but there is no reference to Wisdom…
In short – Jesus had his parents model the fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom and Samuel did not have such a discipline modeled in his mentor/father Eli the priest. Further this is made clear in that Jesus knew who is true Father was – God almighty. This is not simply because Jesus was begotten of the Father – rather it is the placement of Jesus in submission to the Father above. For we too are to become children of God. In the text this week we see how Joseph and Mary had in 12 short years forgotten to be lead by the Father, and so Jesus is now growing beyond them – led by the Father.
In this season of the lectionary – we are in preparation of what is next. The birth is complete – but the ministry of Christ is yet to begin. Where is your focus today? On what you have learned, accomplished, and arrived too. Or – Where you are headed, what challenges are yet to overcome and how to rise to the occasion as Christ leads the way.