“And He said to them, ‘You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.’”
– Luke 16:15
Jesus, like none before or after Him, has made it abundantly clear that humanity belongs to one of two kingdoms that are in extreme contrast to one another. So much that is acceptable, honorable, and valued in our fallen world is an “abomination” in the sight of God. Conversely, what is an abomination, disregarded, and put to shame in our fallen world is often glorious in God’s. In the Kingdom of God things are not right or wrong based upon our own self-interests and self idolatry. Consider some of the examples of this in this passage (16:14-17:19). God’s way for humanity is rooted in the principle that life finds true meaning when lived to love God and one another. There is no place for the self-idolatry that seeks to make a life lived for self-serving interests a life that could ever be seen as righteous in the eyes of God (16:14).
Self-serving interests that insulate the conscience of those whose wealth is created at the expense of the merciless treatment of the poor finds no support in God’s Kingdom. The power that wealth creates in a fallen world is powerless in the Kingdom of God. In God’s Kingdom the rich man’s money and position have no influence upon Him. In contrast, the poor man whose only real hope is God will find in that hope the greatest wealth and honor possible for all eternity (16:19-31).
In our fallen world those who use their power to hurt, oppress, and damage the souls of the “little ones”—the weak and vulnerable—will suffer by God’s hand the same fate. The “little ones will inherit the Kingdom of God” and the oppressors will be lost. The ways of God’s Kingdom are to be lived out as consistently as breathing. Lastly, Jesus shows us that thankfulness is one of the crowning jewels of God’s Kingdom, just as murmuring, complaining, and ingratitude are in our fallen world (17:1-19).
Make no mistake about these two kingdoms. What is highly esteemed in one kingdom is an abomination in the other. Choose this day whose Kingdom will be your eternal dwelling. Choose this day which Kingdom you will be an ambassador for. There is no neutral ground. We will either be citizens of light or citizens of darkness (Acts 26:18). Therefore, let us pray with deep desire, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” And let it begin with us, though in this world we are weak vessels of clay. By the empowering of Christ’s grace may our lives become an ever-brighter light that brings glory to the Kingdom of our God.
This post is adapted from Pastor Bob’s Daily Devotional Series, which can be found in the Study Materials section under the Resources tab.