LOOKING INSIDE GOD’S KINGDOM ON EARTH

 

We pray for God’s kingdom to be one earth as it is in heaven where his will is done like it is in heaven. But what does that really look like down close, where we live? If you look into Matthew 6, where Jesus gave us the Lord’s Prayer he says a whole bunch about what the kingdom on earth should look like.

It’s a place where we lay up treasures in heaven instead of on earth. That sure sounds strange. What does it mean anyway? I think it means that we aren’t trying to make our heaven now. We aren’t to build our lives around what we own or what we can purchase. Our life should be built around Jesus and living for him in the world. It should show that we trust him with our life, our future and our eternity. We must not turn money and things into our God that we glory in all the time. Money makes a wonderful servant but a lousy god.

He said that we shouldn’t worry about everything if he is the king in our lives. Instead we should have faith in him about what will happen. It is difficult for most of us not to worry about all kinds of things. He mentioned worrying about where we will live, what we will wear, and how we will take care of ourselves. He said that worry about these things and anything else was a sign of a lack of faith in him. Do you suppose today he would say, worry about who is elected as the next president of the country shows a lack of faith in Him? I think he would. He wants us to trust him even in things like that. As strange as it seems to us, God has said all along that he is the one who chooses the leaders of a nation and he is the one to takes them down. He said he was the one that raised up Nebuchadnezzar as king of Babylon and he was the one who took him out with the Persian army under Cyrus. I sometimes am confused on his choices but he hasn’t asked me what I thought on the matter. His word is “Trust me.”

After this he gave the command to “Seek his kingdom and righteousness first, and he would provide the things like food and clothes and shelter that we need.” Again, the notion is if we really allow him to reign as king in our lives, we must trust him to provide for our needs. Now that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want us to work, to plan and even to save. It just means we should do all those things trusting him to take care of our future.

His final charge in this context of Matthew 6 was to stop worrying about tomorrow and live today. There is enough to keep us busy and concerned right now, so live today and don’t try to solve all of the problems of the future. Imagine the difference it would make in your life if you didn’t worry about anything that happened in your past but just asked for forgiveness of any wrongs and trusted that God fully forgave you. Then imagine not ever worrying about what will happen someday. We can’t know the future. It is out of our hands. So, stop worrying and trust God who is already there.

That is what I believe it means to have God’s kingdom on earth now.

Leon Barnes

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