July 12

Romans 8:1-11

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

In spite of all the corruption, violence and oppression in the world, God reigns. It is God’s world by creation and by redemption. That theme runs through the Scriptures and has been carried by the Church over the centuries, but no matter how often it is announced, many people just don’t get it. They prefer their own desires over the will of God. This is what Paul called having the mind set on the flesh. Among those who do get it there are those who get enthusiastic about it for a while but then let it fade away, and there are those who accept it but allow themselves to be overwhelmed by other interests and concerns so that the good news is forgotten and the old ways of the world creep back in. However, there are those who accept it and let God’s reign extend over their lives, some more than others, but in their lives, they show God’s reign by the way they live. They display that love for God and love for neighbour that Jesus said summarized the whole will of God. They allow the Spirit of God to guide and to motivate. They are new creatures made alive by the Spirit. Then we are called to live by these convictions: this is God’s world and life is to be lived God’s way; the Spirit of Christ is within us seeking to shape and to guide us. This is the life of faith that we are called to: living under God’s reign in spite of all that is going on in the world, allowing the Spirit of Christ to shape and guide us rather than the social influences that impinge upon us.

  • What does it mean to say that God reigns when many things happen that are clearly not of God?
  • Give examples of human desires being on conflict with the will and purpose of God.
  • What sort of things are most likely to crowd the will of God out of our lives?
  • What are the most important features of a life lived with faith in God’s reign?