Do you realize that God’s kingdom is here on earth right now? And do you realize that you have a special place in that kingdom? The next few posts are going to explore the what, the how, and the why – so that you can grasp your place in God’s great plan for your life!
So let’s get right to it.
When Jesus walked the earth, He repeatedly emphasized a new kingdom which was coming: The Kingdom of God. Then, as now, most people misunderstood.
Some thought that He was talking about heaven, where people would go after they died. Others just thought he was talking nonsense.
Well, He was speaking about now – and He certainly wasn’t speaking nonsense. God’s Kingdom of Heaven is here with us today, and If you are a Christian, you are a citizen of that Kingdom.
In fact, if you are a Christian, you are called to be an Ambassador representing that Kingdom.
This mean so much more than most people realize. In the next few posts, I want to explore what that does mean.
What is that Kingdom? What does it mean to be a citizen of that Kingdom? And how do I operate my life so as to live on earth and in that Kingdom also?
Today I want to begin with prayer for all of us. Read the prayer out loud to yourself and concentrate on what you are saying.
I am asking for our eyes to be opened to what you want to say to us. We know that your Word contains so much more than we have understood or manifested in our lives. Open the eyes of our hearts so that we can truly grasp what you want us to know. We love you. Amen
Our foundational scriptures:
II Corinthians 5:16-20 (NIV)
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do no longer.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone. The new is here.
All this is from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. That God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting peoples’ sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
We are therefore, Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God.
God has made Him who knew no sin to be made sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
Throughout the Old Testament, the Jews were taught that a king would come to rule and reign forever. Of course, they understood this in earthly terms. They weren’t ready to receive the spiritual significance of what was to come.
But they were looking for this Messiah. A coming king.
So it had to bring lots of confusion to some of the Bible scholars when Jesus came on the scene and began talking about the Kingdom of God.
What was this Kingdom? What could He mean?
But he repeated the term over and over. (That exact term is mentioned 68 times in the Gospels).
There was a Kingdom of God which was about to spring to the earth, and natural men could not enter it – or even understand it. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless they are born again.” John 3:3 (NIV)
But it was clear that it was Good News that this Kingdom was about to come. Mark introduces it as the “Gospel (Good News) of the Kingdom.” Mark 1:15
Now it has been here for more than two thousand years, and we are still trying to figure it out. Even those of us who know about this Kingdom and are attempting to live there are not fulfilling all that God has for us.
Nobody has grasped all of it yet.
So let’s look at this Kingdom and what it involves bit by bit. Let’s delve deeper into every aspect of what God wants to say.
The first aspect is to be born again. We have to be Born Again to enter this new kingdom.
God created mankind in three parts. Spirit, soul and body.
Our spirit is the part of us that communicates with God – hears His voice and understands what God has for us.
Our soul is what most people recognize about us. Our mind, our will, and our emotions. Our personality. Our gifts to excel in math, languages, or sports. Our creativity.
And our body – our “earth suit” which we have to have to stay here on earth. When our earth suit gets too damaged, we have to leave the planet.
Now God created man’s spirit to be alive and well, communicating with the Father. Yet because of the fall of man, our spirits were disconnected from God. They became dormant. Our spirits were supposed to rule over our lives to guide us into the paths God had for us. But in the absence of God’s connection, our soul was the ruler.
The soul of man can be very gifted, but without God, it is always selfish. Without God’s guidance and empowerment, all of us are self-centered.
Even when we are doing heroic things, we want to be noticed. We want people to admire us. We want wealth and we want power.
My husband has a great analogy which compares man’s predicament to an air tool. Let’s say an air wrench.
A mechanic, when changing a tire will employ an air wrench. He hooks the wrench to the air hose and then can quickly and easily remove the bolts without having to exert much pressure. The power from the air hose does the trick.
If you were to purchase an air wrench from your local store and attempt to use it right out of the box, you would be disappointed. It wouldn’t work.
It looks like an air wrench and connects like an air wrench, but without the power of the air, it wouldn’t work.
We people were designed to have God’s Spirit – His breath – blowing through us. The source of wisdom – or power – of true life. When we are disconnected, we no longer have that intended power. We are like the air wrench which is not hooked up.
We aren’t working properly.
So when we receive Jesus as our Savior, we get born again. Our Spirits come alive and reconnect with God, our source of life and breath. We can see what God is doing for us and through us. We are new creations. Our sins are forgiven. New things have come – and all of these new things are from God Himself.
A new world awaits us. A new kingdom – with a new King – who happens to be our Daddy!
Oh yeah! Galatians 4:6 says as new born people we are children of God and our spirits cry out Abba, Father. (Which means Daddy)!
No longer are we selfishly trying to control things to our advantage. We submit our lives to our Creator, who loves us and cares for us.
At that point, there is so much to learn.
Through prayer, spending time with God, and through His Word, we start to understand these new things of His Kingdom.
If we continue in our pursuit of God and His plans, we will continue to grow in our relationship with Him all the days of our lives. We never stop learning more. And we never stop needing to feed on His Word.
His Word will bring us understanding and faith. We will be reading His Word and suddenly verses will leap off the page. There will be understanding and direction. Correction when we need it. Encouragement when we need it.
So back to our foundational scriptures: the verses in II Corinthians 5:16.
Paul says, we no longer regard anyone from a worldly point of view. We don’t look at the outward man.
And we don’t regard ourselves as what others can see outwardly.
We are spirit men. We are new creations. All of the new things are from God, who created us. We have a significant purpose, and as we look to God and His Word for our answers, we begin to see this Kingdom of God we are talking about.
This new Kingdom. Made up of citizens from all nations and all walks of life. All forgiven and made new because they have received the sacrifice of Jesus as applying to them.
New Creatures. New Kingdom. New Purposes. And now preparing to be ambassadors for this New Kingdom.
Next we want to take a good look at this Kingdom. What does it entail?
Are there benefits? O course.
Does it mean we have to act spooky or weird? Of course not!
In the next post we are going to delve deeper into this Kingdom of God and remind ourselves of how our Heavenly Father wants us to live.
See you there…
Note: This series is an adaptation of a series taught by Mickey Estes. Ambassadors for Christ, first taught at Good News Church in Blue Mountain, Mississippi.