All Kingdoms Fade But One
Saturday - May 30th
Scripture to Read for Today's Devotional: 1 John 2:15-17
Today's Selection from our Sermon on the Mount Reading Plan: Matthew 5:38-48
The world and its desires pass away,
but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
1 John 2:17
In the year 1324 A.D., he traveled from his kingdom, the Kingdom of Mali, in Africa to Europe. His entourage is said to have included 60,000 servants and soldiers. The journey spanned nearly a year. Every tribe, kingdom, and nation quaked as they saw this large group move toward their region. For the most part, it was a journey of peace and economics. But, the large caravan intimidated many along the way.
It is said that this king carried with him so much wealth in gold that when they stopped in Egypt for an extended period, Egypt's economy crashed. This king brought so much gold that the value of gold plummeted. From that period, historians of Egypt said it took the nation almost five years to recover from the economic collapse. One King, the Emporer of Mali, taking a little trip caused so much havoc. You would think we would know more about this King. It may be that the history we know comes from a western perspective and that our history books overlook African history. That may be true. But, even African history itself has forgotten much about King Mansa Musa. You didn't know what king I was describing, did you? He has faded from world history.
Mansa Musa had a massive empire that built incredibly complex structures and cities. His wealth cannot be measured even today. Yet, he is forgotten. As we began our study of the Sermon on the Mount last weekend, we talked about how much different Christ is as King and how much different His Kingdom is as compared to every other earthly Kingdom.
Human kingdoms fade from human memory. History tells us some of the stories, but much has been lost. 1 John 2:15-17 tells us the stuff we build our kingdoms around (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life) is so fleeting and temporary. Human kingdoms often build on power, lust, and greed. It all fades away. But, Christ's Kingdom and the values of that Kingdom that Jesus talked about in the Sermon on the Mount will never fade away.
We have to be careful as we build our careers, our families, our churches, our businesses, and our reputations. We can work a lifetime to accomplish so much, and it can fade away in a moment. We can build a legacy for our own name here on earth. But, it won't last. We need to invest, build, and achieve with the understanding that we make something temporary - unless it ultimately helps build Christ's Kingdom - a Kingdom that lasts forever!
The Christian band, Casting Crowns, has a song titled, "Only Jesus." The song reminds me of the temporary nature of anything and everything I invest in that has no link to Christ's Kingdom. Read the lyrics below. You can also watch the lyric version of the "Only Jesus" video by CLICKING HERE.
Ask yourself whether what you invest your time, dollars, heart, and energy in will last. Is it a part of Christ's eternal Kingdom? Evaluate if you are thinking of your eternal legacy more than you are thinking of your earthly one.
Let the words of this song sink into your heart today as you think about building what lasts forver versus what fades away.
Only Jesus by Casting Crowns
Make it count, leave a mark, build a name for yourself
Dream your dreams, chase your heart, above all else
Make a name the world remembers
But all an empty world can sell is empty dreams
I got lost in the light when it was up to me
To make a name the world remembers
But Jesus is the only name to remember
And I, I don't want to leave a legacy
I don't care if they remember me
And I, I've only got one life to live
I'll let every second point to Him
All the kingdoms built, all the trophies won
Will crumble into dust when it's said and done
'Cause all that really mattered
Did I live the truth to the ones I love?
Was my life the proof that there is only One
Whose name will last forever?