Scripture: Luke 17:20 Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.”
Observation: The Pharisees asked Jesus a common question. When is the Kingdom of God coming? For many years they’d been looking for certain signs – the coming of the Messiah, the expulsion of their Roman rulers, renewed faithfulness among the Israelites. What they’d failed to realize is that the Kingdom of God was already among them. The miracles Jesus performed were a testament to that fact. But because Jesus wasn’t the sort of Messiah they’d expected or wanted, they’d missed it.
Application: I’m pretty sure this kind of thing happens to me all the time. Earlier this year I went on retreat with the council members of the church I lead. We set some goals for 2016, which included the desire to improve our connection with younger families. As you might expect, we’ve been doing some ministry planning to that end and hope to launch some new things in the fall. Sounds good.
However, a couple of months ago, a delightful man showed up in our offices unexpectedly. He told us he represented a group of about 100 Christians originally from the African nation of Kenya who were searching for a place to hold worship services on Sunday afternoons. Our church is centrally located for the people and he wondered if this might be possible? We entered a trial period of four weeks which ended yesterday and I believe it went very well. And you know what? It’s almost all young families. Kids everywhere!
Makes me wonder. Is it possible this group of Kenyans represents God’s response to our desire to reach more young families?
Question for you: Is it possible God has already answered your prayers, but in an unexpected way?
Prayer: Gracious Lord, it’s true that we can be guilty of narrow thinking. Give us grace to see the places where you’re already answering our prayers. Even if you choose to do so in unexpected ways. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.