I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
This is our last post on our first step to “Palpable Kingdom Presence” – to “Encourage a vibrant relationship with the Creator”. We were very intentional in choosing that verb “encourage”. Here’s why.
One of my favorite TV sitcoms growing up was “I Dream of Jeannie”. Two astronauts, Captain Tony Nelson and Major Roger Healey, found a bottle on a deserted beach. Out of that bottle came Jeannie, a 2,000 year-old genie. The amazing thing about Jeannie is that the number of wishes given to Tony, her eventual husband, was not limited to three. For better or worse (and it was often the latter), Jeannie wasn’t subject to the three-wish maximum. I often wondered as a kid growing up what it would be like to have someone like Jeannie!
Now let’s come back to our Key Verse: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” In the minds of some, this may almost sound like Jeannie has surfaced again in the form of Jesus, except this Jesus never flubs up like Jeannie often did! Who in their right mind would not want to “accept Jesus” and have a vibrant relationship with Him with a promise like that?!
The unfortunate reality is that, for at least one of many reasons, many choose not to accept the offer. We can only “encourage” such a relationship – we can never impose it on anyone. The best way to “encourage” it is to have such a vibrant relationship with Jesus – one grounded in His humility and service – that those around us see the “palpable kingdom presence” we experience and extend to others. Upon seeing that, they want what we have, given to us and them freely. Encouraging a vibrant relationship with the Creator is not just the first step to “palpable kingdom presence”, it is every step. The steps on that journey allow us to do “all things” so that many can experience the kingdom and be encouraged to say “yes” to following Jesus.
This is the fourth in the “Encourage a Vibrant Relationship with the Creator” series of blog posts on our Journey to Palpable Kingdom Presence.