Monday, January 23, 2017

Divided Loyalties

I received the following comment from last Saturday’s blog:

Speaking of and on EARTHLY things? As an American? I am absolutely all about America 1st.

Below is my response.

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Thank you for reading, Friend. I think I understand your sentiment.

That being said, it's difficult to see how one can be "absolutely all about America 1st" and also be "absolutely all about the kingdom of God and His righteousness 1st."

A few things come to mind...

First, you and I have only one life to live, one worldview. So, which kingdom (America's or God's) will be "absolutely 1st" in our beliefs and behaviors?

Second, Jesus' kingdom is earthly. That is, His kingdom is right here on earth. He rules and reigns where we are. He rules and reigns in our hearts (unless our hearts belong to something or someone else—another kingdom).

Yes, Jesus teaches us that His kingdom is not of the world (meaning His kingdom does not originate from the world like other kingdoms) but He is quite clear that His kingdom is indeed in the world—here, now. (This is good news!)

Third and finally, Jesus fully understands the problem of divided loyalties. He teaches us that we cannot "serve two masters." (That is, we cannot be "absolutely all about" two—sometimes antithetical—kingdoms.) The fact is, many times the American kingdom is diametrically opposed to the Kingdom of God.

Thus, it is my sincere prayer that I and all others who would follow Jesus do so with hearts and minds given wholly to Him.

No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other;
you will be devoted to one and despise the other.
(Matthew 6:24)

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