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Death Benefit #1: A Kingdom

Luke 22:29 And I bestow upon you a Kingdom,just as My Father bestowed one upon Me.

Just before He died, Jesus gave you something. Not a small business or a huge corporation. Not a new car or a dumpster filled with $20’s (though how cool would that be?) All of those would be awesome – maybe even life-changing – but that’s not this. That’s not what He gave.

“I bestow upon you a Kingdom…”

I once went to Westminster Abbey in England. Here are my official impressions: old, cold, and gold-ish (everything seemed plated over in in really old gold – as opposed to covered over in really gold paint, as is the kingdom of many televangelists.) I know it’s only the “kingdom chapel” so-to-speak, but it was still remarkably ornate and opulent and it made me wonder how magnificent the actual palace might be.

So, what if I read a scripture where Jesus said: “I bestow upon you, Bo, Kensington Palace and all that belongs to the Queen of England”? That would be incredible. I’d want to move in! I’d want to figure out how the coffee maker works and where the crowns are kept. I’d roam the halls and order the butlers around – probably using a really awful and annoying English accent the whole time – and schedule a bunch of meetings with the Princes to give them relationship advice because that’s just what I do.

Bottom line: if I thought I had inherited a spot – even just a time share – in England’s royal house, I wouldn’t waste a second booking a plane ticket and going to find out exactly what it is that I won.

And yet, for thirty years this scripture – and it’s magnificent implications – slipped by me.

“I bestow upon you a Kingdom…” and check this, because it’s about to get way-over-our-heads-good…”just like My Father bestowed upon Me.” Um…wow…a Kingdom just like that? The authority and power of the One who established Heaven & Earth…that Kingdom? Is mine?

“I bestow upon you a Kingdom.”

If that one sentence from the mouth of Jesus hasn’t changed the way we think and talk and live, then maybe we’ve left some money on the table. If it hasn’t caused us to work in a way that brings the scepter of heaven to earth, then maybe – as we remember the beautiful cross this week – we need to go back and figure out just what it is that we won.

Easter countdown? 7 days!

March 16, 2008 - 7:32 am

cass-a-rooh - um.
i’m going to need a day and three-quarters to process that. I feel like i just read a whole book and need to digest what i read before i can make a comment.

and then in the 2 minutes that i paused before writing this… i had like 10,000 thoughts about what you wrote…and um/wow are the two words. here is the thought that makes the most sense in my head:
I feel like i just figured out which key unlocks the door to discovering something amazing!– that something is a Kingdom!!!! I had the key in my hand the whole time, and yet i never unlocked the gate of what God gave me!!!!

what an adventure i have ahead of me!

March 16, 2008 - 3:20 pm

bolovesjoe - Cassie – remind me to show you something I just bought because of this crazy little scripture that’s been messing with my head since January.

March 17, 2008 - 9:47 pm

helenw13 - Bo…
I have clicked onto this post a half dozen times…just to read it again…and then I leave because how can I add anything to how exquisitely you put it down on “paper”…

So I will just leave this time with a quote from another great mind who had such an encounter with the Word as well…

“Indeed if we consider the unblushing promise of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” – C.S. Lewis

I am so glad you are writing regularly…it is a rich blessing to me and others.

March 18, 2008 - 12:17 am

bolovesjoe - Oh…wow. That quote literally (and I hate to use that word so you know how sincerely I mean it) gave me chills. So perfect for what I’m feeling in my life right now…such longing to want more than a glimpse.

Thanks for the encouragement. It means the world to me.

March 18, 2008 - 4:15 am

Jessica Carpenter - Are you going to be scheduling any meetings with the princesses to give them advice? Because I know of one who will be home on spring break next week… and might be stopping by your office unannounced! I don’t need relationship advice just yet, so maybe it will be a nice change of pace :).

March 18, 2008 - 5:10 pm

Katie - Wow, this is so what God has been showing me lately! The words “The Kingdom” have just been echoing in my spirit and it’s vast I just don’t know how to capture it – maybe I can’t. I feel like I’ve finally begun to explore the mansion I’ve owned for almost ten years though I’ve remained in the guest room the whole time. Bethany Dillon has a song called “The Kingdom” and it’s shredding my soul. A line says this,
“So I pour over pages, desperate to find out why
The cripple at Your table has what I’m longing to find.”

My prayer over the past month has been, “Show me the Kingdom.” The cripple gets it – it’s about time I step into this! Love you – thanks so much for writing!

March 18, 2008 - 7:20 pm

Bo - Jess – yep, I’m around next week…but maybe you could create some relationship drama so that I feel useful.

Katie – downloading the song ASAP. I love Bethany Dillon, but it’s been a long time since I’ve listened.