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  • Writer's pictureJames

The Gospel Many People Have Never Heard

Chapter 2.

In “The Good and Beautiful Life” by James Bryan Smith, the author talks about the good news of the gospel and how the message is somewhat incomplete. The gospel Jesus preached includes more than being loved, forgiven, reconciled and given a new identity. The gospel also invites us to go on a great adventure as we have the option of living in the kingdom of God.

The author uses a quote to say that one day as Christ-followers we will outlive death and be with God in the kingdom of heaven, however, Jesus has preached that we can even experience the kingdom of God during our time on Earth. Jesus said in his ministry, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This quote has a meaning behind it. Jesus wanted the people to change the way they had been thinking because a life of intimacy and interaction with God was now available. He offered the people a gracious invitation to live their lives through the kingdom of heaven.

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“With as much biblical scholarship as we have available today, it is shocking to me that we have not heard more about the kingdom. If this is indeed the central message of the gospel, we simply cannot be wrong about it.”

The author realizes he does not always live the kingdom of God, he sometimes only lives the “kingdom of Jim,” but this does not mean the kingdom is not a present reality that will come together fully in the future. Jesus and his disciples taught about the kingdom in a present tense, and it became part of their message to change the world.

As Christians, we need to work on the aspects needed for us to enter the kingdom someday. Humility, pure heart, gentleness, respect. Does your life have those things? What about your inner life? I don’t know if mine does.

The soul training exercise for the chapter suggests that Jesus favored children for their kind attitudes towards life, yet adults get so tied down with gree

d, worry, and commitments, and so it asks us to engage in joyful play with our children or a younger relative, or join a group that allows us to be active and carefree.

I haven’t been looking to write a blog the past month or so. I was trying to fix something in my life and I was not successful. I eventually decided that instead of trying, and trying, and falling on deaf ears the way I was, I needed to make a change in my life which went beyond them, and would allow me to find my own happiness.

If that person ever needs me, I will always be there for them.

We had four registers open at Walmart and lines twenty people long. A customer came through my line, and he became angry at another customer and his son who did not speak English. He was looking to beat the guy up, and I made him more angry by saying “You don’t need to do this.” I cashed the c

ustomer out and sent him on his way. The other guy wasn’t through yet. He was looking to beat me up too. The cashier. On security camera. In front of everyone in the store. Over something small. I answered him a few more times, “You don’t need to do this.” He took off, his lady paid for the groceries, and I’m sure he left assuming he did nothing wrong. A manager showed up after the yelling and took me off the register.

The angry customer probably had never heard the gospel, or if he did he did not apply it to his life. I meet many people who I could say that about. I had a customer bully me once, and that was five minutes he wasn’t bullying his children. People put all their effort into stealing. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat their cashier.

Despite this upset, I see more customers who know the gospel and live it out everyday and that can be very inspiring. I’ve had people assure me i’m a great cashier and do things to make my job easier. Most people are friendly. I gave a foreign college student a ride home once. We have all these struggles, but we can still see the kingdom of God active here on Earth in everyday people. The kingdom is active despite the news media and its attempts to only focus on the worst things happening in the world. If you feel you need to live out a story or make a change yourself, there is no better day for it than today!

-James-

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