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The Title of today’s message is from Mark 6:22, “Ask me for anything you want. “
This is the word spoken by King Herod when his daughter pleased him and his dinner guests by dancing in front of them. Please read Mark 6:14-29. The tragedy of John the Baptist is written here that he was killed by king Herod. In the Bible, we can see the record of human nature both good and bad without disguise. Even the history of Israel itself includes good and bad. When we see these sinful human nature, we, Christians, are made humble to pray for His guidance and wisdom over our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This King Herod was King Herod Antipas who was married to his brother’s wife. John the Baptist criticized King Herod because of this, and that made him want to kill John the Baptist, so the perfect opportunity came at this time. King Antipas didn’t admit his wrong doings, not only that, he arrested John the Baptist, and he took away an opportunity for his daughter to learn from this incident. As a father, he could tell his daughter that she shouldn’t request such a crucial thing, but he didn’t correct her. When we see humans nature like selfishness, self-indulgence, boastfulness and murder, we see the importance of having a steady purpose for our lives.
Now, what is the lifestyle that we, as Christians should pursue? The Bible tells that human beings are created by God’s own image. That means human beings have God’s character / nature. We are created to understand and experience God’s love, His holiness, His righteousness, and His creativity, and we can live our lives having a deep relationship with Him. However, we chose the path that separates us from Him. We were separated from God, and we became salves of sin. As a result, we are living in the world that is full of war, environmental problems, violence, and broken families. Jesus Christ came to this earth to set people free from these sufferings, and through the cross, he gave us forgiveness and deliverance from sin. This is the Gospel, the good news.
We are loved by God. Christ died on the cross to forgive our sin. For those who believe in Christ, the forgiveness and eternal life is given. This is the faith that we, Christians have. Those who are forgiven, they are giving thanks to God, this is a true meaning of worship. When we live our lives as a worshipper, God’s glory will be revealed to us. That will lead us to discover our gifts, and we can live our lives faithfully by using our given gifts, and we can live as a faithful manager of our gifts. That is a new lifestyle that we can have on this earth. With a help of the Holy Spirit, we can live our lives as the salt of earth, light of the world. That is a new lifestyle / hopeful life that Christians can have.
One of the greatest Characters in the Bible who made a big mistake is king David. He had a faithful life with pure passion for God. However, after his throne was established, he became a selfish king who took the wife of faithful man and he even murdered her husband. But the greatest things about King David was (unlike King Herod) he repented from his sin, he kept having a teachable heart, he went back to God’s love, and he became a true worshipper of God out of his love for God. We can learn so much from his life.
On the other hand, King Herod had a life without repentance, and the next King Herod murdered Jacob. He saw the death of Jacob pleased the Jews, so he even tried to kill Peter. This king Herod, he pursued fame and favor from people. At the end, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died. (Please read Acts chapter 12)
God’s perspective is different from ours, and this is how He judged King Herod.
In conclusion, life is short. I feel like God is asking each one of us what our choices are today. From the bottom of our heart, we would like to live a life, following King David’s faith.
「The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.」
Psalms 23:1, 6 NIV