KINGDOM: Welcome to the New World!

PuzzlePieceKingdomOne area of study that has been so inspiring for me these past few years & an inspiration behind many of the songs I’ve been writing these past few years is the Kingdom of God. For many it is a piece of their faith that they find it easy to overlook, yet it’s central to Jesus’ Good News.

What we’re left with when we forget about the Kingdom of God is something we’ve all heard a thousand times: You’re a Sinner; God became a man & died on the cross for your sins, & if you ONLY pray to receive Him into your heart, you’ll go to Heaven when you die.  And for the most part this is true – BUT it’s not ALL that’s true, & without the greater context of the Kingdom of God, it all sounds a bit trite – as they say “pie in the sky, by and by.”  If that’s the WHOLE picture – if the “Good News” is simply that some day you won’t go to Hell, what about till then?  What about NOW

The reason it can sound silly is that we’re hearing a tiny portion of a larger story, devoid of important context. This is the larger story: God made everything, & He made it out of the overflow of God’s love for God. You see, God loves Himself – the Father loves the Son loves the Holy Spirit – God, Himself, is a relationship – a perfect family – That is what it means when we say “God IS LOVE.” Out of that overflow of God’s love for God, He creates USin His image.  God made us powerful… from the beginning He created us, like Him, to RULE. He empowered us, gave us authority – even now, God gives each believer certain spiritual gifts for the purpose of having an impact on the world around us!  Sin came because we thought God was holding back on us – we bought the serpent’s lie & tried to make ourselves into gods, but let me tell you…we’re only mediocre humans… we are AWFUL gods!
In spite of this, God – the one true, good king – made boundaries to protect & guide us, but much like if I were to drive a new car off of the lot directly off of the pier and into the ocean, and then try to sue the car company – angry that my car no longer runs – we again & again defied God’s operations manual & then raged that life didn’t WORK, even though it is we who broke it.
So, like a good dad often does, God let us make our mistakes & taste the consequences of our actions, until one day, God the King put skin on, & He took the weight of all of that natural brokenness & pain onto Himself so we’d know that He still loves us – that He REALLY loves us. We can see that He truly understood our pain – He faced it Himself. Not only that, He began healing us of all of that evil, pain, & brokenness. Lastly, He offered to welcome us back into His family as princes and princesses – children of the KING.
And in that context, it’s not about Heaven, so much as it’s about being God’s child… living as part of God’s Kingdom while living in this one… seeing everything that we do as a part of Jesus’ prayer (“Your Kingdom come, Your will be done…”), ushering in the magnificent return of God’s PERFECT RULE, when SIN is UNDONE, justice reigns, & pure peace rules once again!
That is the greater context of the Gospel! This is the good news: you no longer need to serve that which enslaves you – every time you’ve tried to be your own god you’re made a mess of things, but the one true King offer’s you a better Kingdom! The door lies open: He offers to adopt you & call you His own!
We only need respond in faith, which simply means; WILL YOU TRUST HIM? If so, the moment by moment decision to walk in that new reality changes the world around you because though you may still be IN this world, it does not OWN YOU. This is “Kingdom Living.”
Welcome to the new world!
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