In Rick McKinley’s second book, This Beautiful Mess, he discusses kingdom life – what does living out the kingdom of God look like? Mr. McKinley believes that the American church has separated Jesus from his kingship & from his kingdom. But it is not like we are living Kingless lives. Each person is encouraged & even expected in some instances to be the king of their own life. And although many of us think it is in his job description, Jesus is not interested in helping us be better kings. He is looks to unseat us & to rule over our lives.
How do you know if you are the king of your domain? Well, one way is when you rule your “kingdom”, you blame God for your troubles. I caught myself in this trap. Something would happen which I didn’t think should, or didn’t like & would ask, “Why is all this happening to me?” The disciples had a concept of this as well. They came across a blind man & asked Jesus whose fault it was – his sin or the sin of his parents. Jesus tells him that it was neither, but that he was born blind so the glory of God could be shown in him. Mr. McKinley believes that we need to get out of this trap & to let Jesus reign in our lives & see mess as an opportunity & as a place to bring glory to God.
Another thing Mr. McKinley finds in the Gospels is that nowhere does Jesus speak of building the kingdom. He talks about being the kingdom. He says that the church has divided the kingdom into parts, evangelism, discipleship, justice, work life, family, etc. When we divide things up like a human or the kingdom or whatever, we lose sight of what it truly is & focus so narrowly on the individual aspects. We need to see the whole & not just the parts.
The kingdom is a beautiful thing, but not because it has all its ducks in a row, or because everyone who is a part of it has it all together. The kingdom is beautiful because it is about others & that brings glory to God. Mr. McKinley says that we have a GAP version of the kingdom. We have a “franchise faith where everyone is winsome & smiling.” We try to make Christianity look like once you “join” you will magically have your life put together & in place. I don’t know about you, but I have been a Christian for over two decades & that has yet to come close to happening.
Overall, I would recommend Mr. McKinley’s book. He has some very important things to say about the kingdom, & we would be wise to ponder them.
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