Did you ever notice that Jesus talked a lot more about the kingdom of God then he did about salvation and eternity? He mentions the kingdom over 100 times in the Gospels, and even the “kingdom of heaven” that Matthew uses is usually not actually talking about what we think of as heaven. Did you ever consider the possibility that all that stuff applies today, not just when we are no longer in this world?
Sometimes people ask me what’s the minimum to be saved: “Is John 3:16 enough?” And the answer is that it depends why you’re asking. While a very limited and basic faith in salvation by the work of Christ on the cross and his resurrection is enough to give eternal life, why would we want to wait until we die to begin that life with God? If we don’t like that life now, why would we want it forever? And if we don’t want it now or don’t want to make it part of our lives, do we really have faith, or just acknowledge certain historical facts
Through the death and resurrection of Christ, God has given us everything. Even if you’re broke, starving to death, and dying of an incurable disease, you still have all that you need. That may be easy for me to say in a comfortable office chair while I sip my tea, but while comfort comes from material things, purpose and fulfillment come from Christ alone. And that reality becomes obvious when Christ rules in our lives, when is kingdom comes among us.
And soon, through faith in our king, the natural response is to love God as he has loved us, with everything that we are and everything that we value. Loving God with our whole heart means every day is a blank check for God to write in the amount. With his infinite resources, we submit our whole lives to him and love and service according to his calling.
Of course, we get stingy with his resources, as if they’re going to somehow run out, and we limit what we are willing to give to him because we don’t trust that he will supply all our needs. And yet even then, he reminds us that he has paid for us as well by the blood of his Son.
But just as God’s resources never run out in our lives, so his forgiveness never runs out either. In the kingdom of God is revealed when God shows his love both to us and through us, as it is in heaven.
So what part of your life are you withholding from God’s rule? What false king is ruling in your life that needs to submit to the King of kings? I pray that all of you may see God reigning in your life more each day.