The kingdom in our midst!
Scripture reading for April 4th: Joshua 14-17, Luke 17
Luke 17:15-19 “Then one of them (the 10 lepers), when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no on found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”
The Jews thought that their Jewish blood made them citizens of God’s kingdom. They were the ‘chosen’ people through Abraham. In this story, Jesus healed ten lepers who came to him. One of the ten, a Samaritan, returned to give thanks and praise God. The others, presumably Jews, did not. Jesus honored the Samaritan’s faith and granted healing–he was ‘made well!’ The Pharisees asked Jesus after this, when the kingdom would come. Jesus answered them with a puzzling statement. No one can actually observe the kingdom of heaven now, because it is within each person possessing faith in the Son of God. It is not what we eat or drink, healing, or miracles; it is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit! (Romans 14:17)
Luke 17:20-21 “Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your great salvation! Like the ten lepers, I was unclean and in need of a miracle. You touched me and I was cleansed and given the kingdom of heaven in place of my filthy rags. I know righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit! Like Caleb of old, my strength is renewed each day and I trust You to give me my full inheritance!
Joshua 14:11-12 “And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me: my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.”