Is God what we expect?

The keys to the Kingdom are only available to an open heart. (Luke 4:21-30)

In Jesus’ day, a popular idea about the Messiah was that he would be a triumphant king, perhaps with extraordinary abilities. Someone familiar and ordinary was not what people expected.

Still, when the friends and neighbors from his childhood heard Jesus read Isaiah’s prophesy about the Messiah and announce that he was its fulfillment, they were excited. They had heard reports about Jesus’ miracles and wondered if their native son was the promised savior.

That wonder and joy changed to anger and disbelief when they heard the tough message Jesus had for the children of Israel about who would inherit the kingdom and what it would take. Jesus’ audience threw him out when his words didn’t please them. They forfeited his blessings because they rejected his words.

How often do we have an idea of how God should act in our lives and get disappointed if he doesn’t meet our preconceived idea? God is an infinite being, not bound by our ideas of him. Our limited minds can’t comprehend the full wonder of who he truly is, yet we expect him to conform to those ideas. The truth is much different from what we imagine.

There is no substitute for the truth, and trying to force God to be who we expect will close the doors of the kingdom to us. The reality of who God is far more awesome than we can comprehend. The key is to open ourselves to receive the fullness of God. For a child of God, there is no substitute. It’s the only way to enjoy God’s blessings and grace.

The key to the Kingdom is a heart open to God's grace.

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