Scripture selection: Luke 12:32

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.  Sell your possessions and give to the poor.  Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

It’s quite an amazing promise.

God has been pleased to give us the kingdom.

Of all the things with which we might be concerned, all the things for which we might strive,  life in the kingdom of God is surely, ultimately, beyond comparison.

And, according to Jesus, God has given it to us – a gift of love.

Sadly, so many spend so much of their lives “striving” for lesser things.

We worry over how much money we make.

We fret over whether we like our jobs or not.

We lie awake at night thinking about some slight that has happened to us.

We dream, we hope, we regret, we have victories and we suffer small – or not so small defeats.

But, as if there is some great backdrop to our lives, these words live on:

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”

That ought to put everything in proper perspective.

Life is so much more than what occupies our waking hours.

Life is about being “kingdom people” – all by the grace of God.

So take heart, do not be afraid, one day the true nature of everything will become crystal clear.

We will wake up one day and realize what life has been all about – being part of God’s kingdom – His wonderful, eternal, amazing, kingdom.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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