Members of One Another

This week we were reminded of Jesus' desire to see His church, the body of Christ, bring about His kingdom and continue His work on the earth. A key component of how that happens is knowing that we are members of Christ's body and that we belong to one another. The Father gave Jesus a new body, the church, to minister to each other and to the world (Ephesians 4:25; Romans 12:5-6; 1 Corinthians 12:27; 1 Corinthians 14:1-3). 

The Treasure Trap

Having taught His disciples to pray, Jesus then teaches them what will keep them (and us) from advancing the kingdom - treasures! We are made to treasure Christ above all, but if we love our treasures and possessions more than Christ, we will be led into anxiety and fear. (Matthew 6:19-44)

The Religious Trap

In Matthew chapter 6 Jesus goes after two issues that will keep his followers from seeing His kingdom advance on earth - money and the "religious trap". When Jesus followers start doing things for the approval of man and not God, bondage, criticism, control and disunity are never far behind. Honesty (with God and others) and repentance are the keys to avoiding this trap (Matthew 6:1-6; Matthew 6:16-18; Matthew 16:5-12; Psalm 51:6; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6). 

An Enemy-Loving God

This week we learned that our God is an enemy-loving God and Jesus asks us to be the same. This is yet another example of how His Kingdom is so different than the kingdom of the world. The difficult task of loving our enemies becomes possible as we receive God's love and surrender to His ways (Matthew 5:38-48; Mark 10:42-45; Mark 15:24-27).