Sharpening the Axe

What if one day you see Donald Trump in heaven? Will you be stunned? Upset? Will you wonder how you and he both arrived in the same place? Will you want to have an immediate word with The Management?

To those who deeply dislike Donald Trump: When was the last time you asked God to show him mercy? Honest question: Do you even want God to show him mercy?

Have you ever tried to pray for an enemy in the same manner as you pray for those you genuinely like? It’s almost impossible in our own strength.

I wonder: Do I really trust God to deal best with those who make life miserable for me and half the other sheep in the pen? Or would I just as soon they were banished from the flock and left to fend for themselves? Honestly, it’s better for everyone that they’re gone. Good riddance.

Am I willing to ask God to guide and grow those I deeply dislike with the same hopefulness in which I pray he grows and guides my loved ones and me? Can I honestly ask God to tend to my enemy’s eternal best interest; to bring them, as gently as they will come, to himself?

Or would I rather my enemy be allowed to walk themselves straight off a cliff to the delight of the hungry wolves below? They had it coming.

Or. What if one day you encounter Nancy Pelosi in the city of God? Can you even imagine her presence there? Is that too great a stretch for even you? Would you be angry that someone like her could ever afford the forgiveness of a holy and just God?

Or do you – secretly of course – hope that she receives not one shred of mercy; that not a single drop of precious grace would be wasted on such a person? She made her own bed in this life, God knows, now she’ll need to lie in it.

Christians believe that one day heaven’s shalom will come again to earth. There will be one Shepherd-King and the whole world over will once again enjoy the benefit of his just and generous rule.

And all those who bear God’s name, people from every nation and tribe, will flow, unopposed and unhindered, through the wide-open gates of the city of God.

On that day, those loyal to the King in the heavens and on the earth will clap their hands in astonishment and wonder. What a finish! Who could ever have imagined?

Christians also believe that as citizens of this future kingdom we’re not to sit around and wait for that day. No, we’re to get busy with the healing kingdom work of our King. We are to live in our world as if heaven has already come.

And even though our king is temporarily absent from us in body, we’ve been given his presence – his Name – to live in us and with us until he returns.

So while we can’t see him, the presence of our Shepherd-King guards and guides the family of God entrusted to him. The Father has tasked his Son; his Namesake; to keep his own children secure and bring them safely home to the place – the home – he’s prepared for them.

Finally and importantly, the presence of the absent Jesus also empowers us do what we cannot do in our own strength: He helps us to forgive sins in his name.

God knows I’ve looked into another person’s heart and declared it utterly deplorable. I’ve carefully examined another’s soul and found it seething with sin and worthy of my full condemnation. I’ve observed the rotting fruit on lifeless branches, considered it dead, and sharpened my ax so as to fell the entire hollow tree.

But here’s the deal. It’s not my place to chop down dead (to me) trees and throw them outside the city gates on the burn pile. They belong to God.

It’s my place to serve the King. And my King has asked me to love my neighbor, and even my enemy, in his own Name. Can I do it? Not without some serious help.

“But I will ask my Father to send a Helper,” Jesus said to his troubled disciples the night before he was crucified by his enemies.

“The world won’t know him, because they can’t see him. But you will know him, for he will come and dwell with you and will be in you.”

“Let not your heart be troubled, friends, neither let them be afraid.”

“Rise. Let us go from here.”

Shalom, and may the true King’s will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

In Jesus’ name.

Kim

(John 14, paraphrased)

6 responses to Sharpening the Axe

  1. Amanda Johnson says:

    Beautiful post. I have some family members I am going to share it with. An important message for certain. Thanks. God Bless

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am learning to be thankful for conviction. So today I thank the Holy Spirit who has spoken through Kim mightily to my spirit. He tells me that my temple needs cleaning and that He will do it whenever I ask Him. So Lord I am asking you to cleanse your house and make it a house of prayer for my enemies.

  3. Delia Hunt says:

    Dear Kim

    Your post causes me to wonder just how much people are invested in the understanding of issues that concern voters, leaders , and our country.

    Do we investigate or do we observe? Are we driven by emotion or information?

    How diligent are we to find out politicians understanding and held opinions on abortion, support of Israel, immigration, unemployment, prayer in our Nation’s capital and in our public schools, foreign trade, fossil vs. reusable fuels, our military and do we or our leaders understand the original intent by the founders of separation of church and state.

    How often do we attend meetings, correspond with our representatives, and look into their voting records?

    It appears to me that we have a tendency to be swayed by opinion makers , polls and personalities as we go about our uninterrupted routines.

    Our job is to be in constant prayer for the authorities (Romans 13:1-7) Placed by God. I don’t remember reading in scripture that The Lord demands that I like and approve them.

    “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. “ Col. 4:2-6

    My prayer is that God will show me mercy.

    Keep us on our toes ❤️In Him alone Delia Sent from my iPhone

    >

  4. Suzanne Modder says:

    Am thankful for God’s promise of the resurrection and that the old will pass away.

  5. Mary B says:

    Wow! I was compelled to look within my own heart. ❤️🙏🏻

  6. hashivestu says:

    I am leery of appeals that equate criticism of governing officials with animosity. For example, on the Right it is common to refer to those who criticize the President as “Trump haters.” This is of course propagandistic manipulation. There are two choices. We can call all who criticize the President as Trump haters providing all who criticize Obama, or Clinton, or Biden are labeled Obama haters, Clinton haters, or Biden Haters, or Pelosi haters. OR, we can totally accept that someone can criticize American politicians without being shamed or vilified for doing so. The choice is clear: Hate labeling? Or respect for the right to criticize? Choose which view you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the latter.

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