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The Upside Down Kingdom Part 7

The Leprosy Mission produces an internal daily devotional guide, The Bridge, for use in offices, hospitals, clinics and projects around the world. Current and former staff and trustees from many countries contribute to the guide. We will share with you contributions made by one of our team.

Norman Lazonby, a member of our board, has written this series of thoughts on the Beatitudes.

Matthew 5:9

When considering natural selection in Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, philosopher Herbert Spencer popularised the term ‘survival of the fittest’. The ‘fittest’ is often equated with the most aggressive and violent. But that is a misunderstanding; co-operation is an incredibly powerful survival strategy. The ‘fittest’ can be the most loving and selfless!

This world is often driven by jealousy, greed and power. People desire what they do not have. They are not satisfied with what they have got but always want more – a better car, a bigger house, a dream holiday, more salary, a lottery win …..

In his song, Knowing You (All I once held dear), Graham Hendrick wrote that there is “no greater thing than knowing Jesus”. He contrasts the great joy of knowing Jesus with the worthlessness of all that this world “reveres and wars to own”.

Wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition (which are earthly and unspiritual), we will find disorder and evil of every kind. In contrast, God’s wisdom is peace-loving, gentle at all times and willing to yield to others. (James 3:13-18).

As followers of Jesus, we should do all that we can to live in peace with everyone (Rom 12:18).

Those who work for peace will be called children of God. All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God (Rom 8:14). We are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus (John 1:12; Gal 3:26).

The book of 1 John is like an extended commentary on what it means to be children of God. It means that God loves us very much (3:1, 4:9-16), that we should love God and one another (2:5-7, 3:11-24, 4:7, 4:19-21) and not the things of this world (2:15-16). In fellowship with the Holy Spirit, Jesus and the Father, we enjoy the eternal life Jesus promised (2:25, 5;20).

Prayer: Lord Jesus, our Prince of Peace, please grant us peace of mind and calm our troubled hearts. Help us to avoid needless anxiety and worry. Free us from our covetous desires and enable us to be satisfied with, and find joy in, all the good things that we have received from God. Where there is hate, bring your unending love. Where there is conflict, help us to be your ambassadors of reconciliation. We pray for your Kingdom to come; your will to be done; and for your peace that surpasses all understanding.

Question: Do you have the assurance that you are a child of God?

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11th Aug 2020

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Opinions are the authors own and not necessarily those of The Leprosy Mission Scotland.