For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17 ESV) Over the last three weeks we’ve looked at these three eternal elements, so identified because they are not limited to this space-time continuum. The righteousness of God imputed to us by faith and the satisfaction of His holiness in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, His Christ. The peace of God, in which we live because of His supreme authority and right to rule. And, the Joy of God, which sustains us and infuses His and our everlasting life.
When we begin to realize that heaven came down, not to enhance our life on earth, rather to restore us to a right-standing, to make us vessels fit for His use, and to usher us into His eternal glory, we are situated to witness the advancing of His Kingdom, which is not about human achievement, progress, rule or governing. Indeed, I doubt we will see the true nature of this ever-increasing Kingdom until we become part of the “great cloud of witnesses.” (Hebrews 12:1)
There is so much we do not know or understand. That is why it is crucial that we trust the One who is the Truth, the Way and the Life. When we fall in love with Him and then set about demonstrating love for Him and for the people He created, we ought to highly value and guard our time with Him. Even in the natural world when we marry, we do not continue to live alone as though it is only ourselves we must care for. How much more important it is for us to be committed in our relationship with Him to honor His Lordship, learn of His ways, and represent Him with dignity.
Even so, we are not advancing His Kingdom by our “right living.” He is advancing, and we are moving with Him.
As a board member of a local charitable foundation, I recently had the opportunity to suggest a grant to an organization whose mission is loving and equipping local communities through the development of young people. A representative of that organization was then asked to speak at one of our fundraisers, which resulted in re-connections and new connections for this individual and his team. The entire event was graced with God’s favor, and I witnessed the sparking and development of relationships with the potential to impact the lives of many. God advanced His Kingdom, and all I did was follow His leading in the place He had made for me.
Dear One, where do you want to see His righteousness, peace and joy? In your own heart? In the lives of your loved ones? Meet with Him as often as you can. As we behold Him in His word, in His creation, and in others, we cannot help but be changed. In His presence we hear His voice and know His heart, and we begin to see that everything flows from Him and back to Him for His glory.
(Was not able to imbed the video, but the link will take you there.)
Until next week, beloved, live in the conviction that His Kingdom will never end.