Not So With You

By Michael Agnew
By Zabdi Piña
By Kristie Davis
By AJ Jerkins
By John Hames
By Makenzie Romero
By Caroline Khameneh
By Victoria Renken
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Paul Leadabrand
By Dawn Johnson
By DJ Newman
By Mary Weyand
By Rob Nickell
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Nila Odom
By Sherene Joseph Rajadurai
By Kristi Sheffy
By Sharon Arrington
By Sarah Crawford
By Betsy Paul
By Angel Piña
By Elizabeth Piña
By Justus George
By Lori Kuykendall
By Chris Kuykendall
By Matt Holland
By Courtney Grimes
By Jessie Yearwood
By Jeff Black
By Brian Severski
By Brian Arrington
By Sandhya Curran
By Will Meier
By Clint Calhoun
By Jen Mayes
By Alf Laukoter
By Neil Wiersum
By Jim Henry
By Erick Rodriguez
By Jenn Wright
By Kevin Harwood
By Nandi Roszhart
By Leah Vanhorn
By Janett Miller
By Isaac Harris
By Charlyn Valencia
By Chad Golden
By Jonathan Cortina
By Kuruvilla (K.O.) Oommen
By John Dyer
By Abe Paul
By Lauren Geppert
By Jennifer Durrett
By Penny Jones
By Jill Asibelua
By Jared Barnett
By Paul Martin
By Norm Headlam
By Kristi Herring
By Albán Snider
By Sissy Mathew
By Shannon Pugh
By Melanie Mechsner
By Kyla Mikusek
By Michelle Garza
By Armando Galvan
By Jeremiah Betron
By Camille Holland
By Rod Myers
By Crystal Elwell
By Darcy Peterson
By Jason Elwell
By Amy Aupperlee
By Tiffany Stein
By Barry Jones
By Bryan Eck
By Tricia Kinsman
By Jason Stein
By Nat Pugh
By Sarah Kemper
By Dana Myers
By Craig Pierce
By Jim Woodward
By Andy McQuitty
By Pete Hyndman
By Kevin Dial
By Jill Hoenig
By Sunitha John
By Tarrin Henry
By RozeLee Rugh
By Beverly Hogan
By Kendra Cordero
By Lisa Gajewski
By Bonnie Goree
By Young-Sam Won
By Chris Beach
By Tom Rugh
By Nick Vuicich
By Andy Franks
By Lead Team
By Jason Roszhart
By Harvard Medical School
By Justin K. Hughes, MA, LPC
By Sherene Joseph
By Earl Davidson
By Rebecca Perry
By Joe Padilla
By Christian Melendez
By Bruce Riley
By Isaac Harris
By Amy Leadabrand
By Ben Haile
By Shaun Robinson
By Natalie Franks
By Cathy Barnett
By Ryan Sanders
By Casey Pruet, The Grace Alliance
By Sharon Arrington
By Lauren Chapin
By Betsy Paul
By Alberto Negron
By Kelly Jarrell
By Michelle Mayes
By Jenn Wright
By Jill Jackson
By Terri Moore
By Robyn Wise
By Katherine Holloway
By Richard Ray
By Kurtlery Knight
By Bruce Hebel
By Neil Tomba
By Tony Bridwell
By Grayson McGovern
By Luke Donohoo
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Mike Moore
By Wade Raper
By Mike Gwartney
By Jo Saxton
By Dieula Previlon
By Jonathan Cude
By Ken Lawrence
By Jay Hohfeler
By Barb Haesecke
By Lindsay Casillas
By JoAnn Hummel
By Shawn Small
By Alice McQuitty
By Jonathan Murphy
By Peggy Norton
By Brent McKinney
By Irving Bible Church
By Irving Bible Church
By Ashley Tieperman
By Betsy Nichols
By Trey Grant
By Debbie Lucien
By Sue Edwards
By Suzie Robinson
By Paul Smith

If you’ve been around IBC these last couple weeks, you know we’re talking a lot about something called God’s Kingdom. We’re exploring the idea that while God’s Kingdom will come in its fullness someday, we have the opportunity to experience glimpses of the Kingdom today. It’s a beautiful concept, but I confess I have a hard time getting my head around it. As I’ve tried to process what it truly means to pray “Your kingdom come,” I’ve found myself clinging to a short sentence from the mouth of Jesus.

In Matthew 20 (as well as Mark 10) we find the story of a woman asking Jesus for a favor. She’s the mother of James and John — two of Jesus’s 12 disciples — and she asks Jesus if her boys can hold the two most prominent positions in his kingdom. Jesus finds a way to shake the mom, which, let’s face it, took some skill, but then he’s left with 12 disciples huffing and puffing about this attempted maternal power play. In his grace Jesus takes the opportunity to teach his students that his kingdom operates differently than the kingdoms and empires to which they’re accustomed.

Jesus called [the disciples] together and said,

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." — Matthew 20:25-28

And there was the short sentence that has given me something to hold onto in this whole Kingdom conversation: “Not so with you.” It’s a sentence I’ve read and heard and overlooked for years, but I’m beginning to see how rich it is. In those four words Jesus says so much to his disciples about the Kingdom he came to inaugurate and the shape of the Church he intended to found.

Not so with you.

In those four words Jesus says, I see you. I see the way the world works. I see the way you’ve been taught to think and act. But. But you were made for so much more.

Jesus names the domineering, authoritarian, marginalizing tactics of the ruling class, and then he declares that anyone who follows after him will be characterized by service, not superiority.

Jesus says, Here’s the status quo, but you are kingdom people. So with my help you’re going to embody a different way.

Encoded in that sentiment is the liberating reality that Christianity is not merely a set of ideas to agree to, but a whole new life to be lived in the power of the Spirit and in the fellowship of the saints. This is not a philosophy to ponder, it’s a journey to set out upon.

Not so with you.

Four words that invite us to imagine a new world within an old world. Four words that call us to listen for the whisper of the Spirit beneath the dizzying decibels of modern life. Four words that represent the life-changing implications of seeking God’s Kingdom and yielding to his will. Four words that ought to inform every word we speak.

Not so with us.

We don’t take our cues from culture or our own base desires. We don’t accept whatever version of The Good Life is fed to us in beer commercials and retouched Instagram photos. We don’t pursue or perpetuate the peeling veneer of the American Dream. We have been rescued and are being renewed by the Lord Jesus, and so our lives move to the cadence of his heartbeat.

In God’s Kingdom, where he rules and reigns, there is deep, abiding joy. There is rest and respect. There is humility and sacrifice. Brokenness gives way to healing. Men, women, and children love God with everything they have, and they love their neighbors as themselves. This is the story we’ve been invited into. We will live this story in its fullness someday, but may our good Father open our hearts and our eyes to the glimpses that surround us today.

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