Day 3 of 40 Days to Celebrate the King: Allegiance to Another King
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Reading for today, Psalm 44, Acts 17:1-9
There’s a DNA strain that runs through my family. Some may say it has affected me but I don’t think so. It is evident in my sister, my son Jacob, and my grandson Jakson (not Jacob’s son.) It might be called the strain of marching to the beat of a different drum, or the strain of seeing the world through a different lens, or, to borrow a phrase from the New Living Translation of the Bible, the strain of allegiance to another king.
Three quick stories: We were standing in the funeral home for the second time in as many years. My youngest sister had succumbed to leukemia, less than 24 months after Charlotta, the oldest girl was taken in an auto accident. The funeral home got quiet all of a sudden, as crowded rooms do when the conversations all seem to end at the same time. In that silent moment, Chonda looked at me and said, in her very recognizable voice, “Man, we are dropping like flies.”
Jacob got a tattoo when he was 19. Now I’m not against tattoos. I just didn’t want my baby to have any marks, scars, or flaws. I said, “Jacob, I’m just afraid that there will come a time when you will wish you didn’t have that.” He replied immediately, “I thought about that Dad. In my 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s a tattoo will be really cool. From my 60’s on, I will be an old man with a tattoo, and THAT’S really cool. So, I figure there will only be the 10 years of my 50’s that I will wish I didn’t have it.”
Jakson is a drummer. A really good one for 10 years old. He’s been taking lessons for a few years and even Mr. Ross, his drum teacher, says he is exceptional. One day I picked him up from his lesson and he asked me a very important question. “PoppyC, do musicians make a lot of money?” I said that a very few who make it to the top do, but for the most part, a professional musician is not going make a lot. He quickly responded, “Oh, that’s okay. I’m doing it for the fame.”
All three of those have the strain, the DNA thread that, when they open their mouth you just know they are playing a “whole nuther game” from the rest of us. And that’s probably not a bad thing.
In fact, in this story in Acts, the Christ-followers, those that have come to know Jesus through the ministry of Paul are accused of that very thing. I love the NLT version of it. The accusers (if you haven’t had any accusers in your life you probably are not living bold enough for Jesus), the accusers shout, “They are guilty of treason against Caesar, for they profess allegiance to another king, named Jesus.” (Acts 17:7) Wow! Isn’t that good? I read that and I wonder, “Does anyone claim that I profess allegiance to another King?”
My friend, Preston Sharpe, wrote in a commentary this week, “We are reminded that the Kingdom of God looks radically different from the other kingdoms of this world. As Christians, we have the opportunity to be a people of this different kingdom, this different story, a people of self-giving love.”
Do I do that? Do I respond to the guy that cuts me off in traffic, or the lady who takes a buggy full of stuff into the self-checking line at Walmart, in such a way that people say, “You must follow Him?” Do I deal with things like mask mandates, and the pressure to be vaccinated in a manner that makes people wonder where my “grace” comes from? Do I look at political personalities, especially the ones that I didn’t vote for, and have words come out of my lips that cause people to look and ask if I’m a Jesus person? I’m not saying that I don’t get frustrated, or that I agree with every Fauci decision, or I love all the people on the Hill in Washington. I am saying that a one who claims Christ as the King of my heart, the words that come out of my mouth, the actions of my hands and feet, even the thoughts that run through my mind should shout, “He professes allegiance to another King, named Jesus.” God, help me to be accused of that a few times today.
The prayer we are praying this week is: “Almighty God, as you have given Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior grant us now grace to accept and rejoice in His Lordship. Amen”
Some questions to think about:
How is the Kingdom of God different from the kingdoms of this world?
Where does the power come from for a follower of Jesus?
How may I respond differently to those people that follow this world’s kings?
It might be fun to post a FEW of your thoughts on my Facebook page or write on the branchesblog.com site with any prayer requests you are comfortable sharing. If you want to keep prayer requests private feel free to email me. Thanks. See you tomorrow.