Responses | As we saw last week, when Jesus went around Galilee [pic ] announcing the arrival of the kingdom of God, people were filled with great joy because he was going around cleansing lepers, healing paralytics, calming storms, expelling demons, raising the dead and restoring sight to the blind . But not everyone was happy. The Pharisees, for example, accused him of being in cahoots with the Devil: “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons” .
Division | Jesus responded, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself … But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” . In other words, “It makes no sense that Satan would work against himself and, if I’m not working under his authority, then I must be working under God’s.” These are the only two options because this is the only real battle – God vs. Satan, good vs. evil, healing vs. injury, generosity vs. jealousy, etc. 
Means | Have you ever realized that we are God’s appointed means by which He answers our prayer, “May your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”?  It is through us – our daily decisions, activities and conversations – that God brings His kingdom on earth and declares it to be full of goodness, healing and generosity. We are His hands and feet “to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” . As Jesus told his disciples, “Whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father” .
Prayer | Lord, We confess that we have been a kingdom divided against itself. Instead of using our lives to proclaim forgiveness and healing, we have sometimes embraced bitterness and injury. Forgive us, Lord, and give us great joy as the Spirit works in us to answer your great call on our lives. Glorify your name in our decisions, activities and conversations, so that others may see your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven and give glory to God. Amen.
 This photograph was taken by Bethany Jenkins at the Sea of Galilee on her recent trip to the Holy Land. She is currently in the process of creating a 5-day email course that explores the spiritual significance of various sites in the Holy Land. If you would like to receive this course when it becomes available (later this summer), you can sign up: here |  See 843 Acres. “The Proclamation of the New King.” 28 June 2012. 843 Acres. “Lift Your Voice! It’s the Year of Jubilee!” 29 June 2012. |  Matthew 12:24 ESV |  Matthew 12:25-28 ESV |  See Ephesians 6:2. |  See 843 Acres. “The Lord’s Prayer Expanded.” 26 June 2012. |  Isaiah 61:1-2 ESV; Luke 4:18-19 ESV |  John 14:12 ESV