"Jesus, grilled by the Pharisees on when the kingdom of God would come,
answered, 'The kingdom of God doesn't come by counting the days on the calendar.
Nor when someone says, 'Look here! Or, 'There it is! And why? Because God's
kingdom is already among you.'" Luke 17:20-21 (MSG)
In my teaching career, I remember one year having a very difficult class of kids. They were always in trouble, but somehow I still enjoyed them. Nonetheless, as the end of the year began to draw near, I couldn't help counting the weeks before summer vacation. What a relief when school was out!
Years later, I met one of the students from this difficult class, and she shared with me the following: "You were my best teacher ever! I have good news, I am not rebellious any longer. I gave up my friends who were influencing me not to do my best at school. I am now happy and I thank you for praying for me."
Counting days or weeks didn't make a difference to these kids. Prayer did! By counting days, we will never experience our Heavenly Father, for we are focusing way too much on ourselves.
The Pharisees and Sadducees were prone with this, but the truth is, "God's kingdom is already among us!"
Let me explain. When Jesus said this, He was already involved in our world, preparing his mission to save humanity, so that they would have the opportunity to experience Him. After His resurrection, weeks later, God's Holy Spirit came into full force to those who believed, and He still continues to do so: "When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force-no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them." Acts 2:1-4 (MSG) "The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what's ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we'll never settle for less." 2 Corinthians 5:5 (MSG)
The Kingdom of God is already here, and we have the occasion to work with Him, following His lead in all things.
Counting days is a waste of time. Loving others genuinely and praying for them will make a huge difference. I now try to focus on praying for those who err as well as anyone else.
Is there someone you would like to pray for?
The Illustrator: This daily newsletter is dedicated to encouraging everyone to look towards Jesus as the source of all the solutions to our problems. It contains a daily inspirational story, a Bible verse and encouraging messages. HTML and plain text versions available.
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