Sunday, April 17, 2011

Opposite Spirit Living

The principles and nature of the Kingdom of God absolutely and totally fascinate me.  The pictures that Jesus painted and the values that He modeled in the gospels are so fresh and so revolutionary.  Of the many things that I love about Jesus' vision of the Kingdom, my favorite is probably this: we are most like Jesus when we respond to people and circumstances with an opposite spirit.  This is a key component of this upside down kingdom. 

So, today is Palm Sunday.  Early this morning I was reading the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey!  A DONKEY!  This is the Messiah, the hope of the world....and he is on a Donkey.  Where is the white horse? Or the chariot?  Or the magic carpet? Something.  Anything other than a half breed, non-reproducing, donkey.

However, in everything Jesus did, he seemed to run against the grain of culture and expectation.  

And so it's supposed to be with you and I as people who are bringing the Kingdom here and now on earth as it is in heaven. We work with Jesus in ushering in this Kingdom when we learn to be "opposite-spirit people."   It looks something like this:

  • Respond to bitterness with forgiveness. The opposite spirit. 
  • Respond to fear with courage. The opposite spirit.
  • Respond to intimidation with confidence. The opposite spirit.
  • Respond to violence with peace. The opposite spirit.
  • Respond to hate with love. The opposite spirit.
  • Respond to suspicion with trust. The opposite spirit.
  • Respond to betrayal with loyalty. The opposite spirit.
  • Respond to greed with generosity. The opposite spirit.
  • Respond to selfishness with unselfishness. The opposite spirit.
  • Respond to judgement with graciousness. The opposite spirit.


What can you do today to represent the upside down, counter cultural, opposite spirit Jesus and to plant his kingdom where you are now?

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