Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Breathe - Ephesians 1 (part 2)

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How shall I live as though the words of Ephesians are true? These poetic passages of the supremacy of Christ should move me to deep prayer and worship. This is true, but there is more.

If this is the king I serve, and he rules in justice, mercy, faithfulness, and love, then I am fully enabled to walk in the light of these laws of this just kingdom. I can walk in justice, mercy, and faithfulness, even in opposition to the culture, power, or authority surrounding me.

Ephesians 1:16-23
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power towards us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

In Christ, I can stand firm on the side of justice, and I can oppose injustice in this world. I do not need to be afraid. I do not need to rebel to resist. Injustice in this world has been conquered by Christ, and any authority who would dare to walk contrary to justice and reconciliation is contrary to the king. It is these authorities that are in rebellion.

Anything that would hinder me from walking according to justice and peace has been removed. Anything that would hinder me from resisting injustice and oppression in this world has been removed. God has made us free to live in and act for the demonstration of heaven on earth.

So the challenge for me in these verses is to do so. First, to respond to God in worship and prayer. Second, to live according to his kingdom. Third, to actively resist the rulers, authorities, powers, and titles that would rebel against his authority.

We were purchased at a high price, the life and blood of Jesus. We have been adopted into a community of love that has existed for eternity. We are citizens of the kingdom of highest authority and power in earth and heaven. We represent this kingdom of justice, unity, grace, and love here and now.

I have no excuse not to raise my life and voice as a living sacrifice for this king and kingdom. We were chosen for the praise of his glory. We are living seeds of heaven on earth. We are blessed and privileged to be a blessing to the world. I want God to be glorified in my life, the life he purchased. He deserves nothing less.

And so, for the kingdom of justice I will raise my voice. I will actively cry out with letters and marches and demonstrations for the oppressed. Here and now, I will do this for the Palestinians and the First Nations of Alberta especially. I will remain informed about the progress or hindrance of the Just Kingdom in the world, and I will participate. I will write letters to government. I will attend rallies and marches in solidarity. I will raise my fist against injustice. I will raise my finger to heaven, and the just king.

To the poor and homeless, the imprisoned and hospitalized, I will give my time and resources. I will personally feed the hungry who would otherwise not eat. I will give a bed to the shelterless who would otherwise sleep outside. I will seek opportunities to do this frequently. I will seek friendships with people who are hospitalized or in prison so that I can minister light and hope to them behind walls.

No authority, natural, legal, or spiritual, hinders me from living this life of sacrifice. It is in fact, hardly a sacrifice at all. I have been wildly blessed. I am incredibly wealthy. God has given me so much. I will never run out of what he's given me to give away.

For the king. For the kingdom.

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