Sunday, December 22, 2013

December 22, 2013 … God’s Kingdom is NOW!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 356

Devotional Song: Go to this link  – Please take your time to see a video of a worshipful song, sung by the group, Hillsong, singing You Are All I Need , leading us to worship – 24/7 – the One who brings God’s kingdom right into our hearts – here and now!

Highlight Passage #1 - NKJV: Matthew 6: 9-10  
9 In this manner, therefore, pray: … Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done … on earth as it is in heaven. 
Highlight Context - NKJV: Matthew, Chapter 6… GO TO THIS LINK … [Jesus’ sermon on kingdom liveing] … 

Reference Passage #1: Matthew 6: 33 [NKJV] … [Jesus reveals the Kingdom is now.] …  
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

 Reference Passage #2: Mark 1: 14-15 … [NKJV] … [Jesus preached the kingdom Gospel was for now.] …
  14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Reference Passage #3: John 10: 10 … [NKJV] … [The abundant life is for NOW!] … 
10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

My Journal for Today: If we could give all born-again (real-deal) Christians an anonymous survey and ask the simple question, ”Where is the kingdom of God?”, what do you think would be the answer? I think the great majority would say, “In heaven;” … but this was not the reality which Jesus’ life and teaching brought to His disciples, was it?

No, if you’ve actually studied through the Scripture passages I’ve cited above, which are all taken from the teachings of Jesus, the inescapable answer to my survey question above is … “NOW!” And that is what is depicted by the attached photo, isn’t it?

My fellow Christian, If you’re looking for the place where God’s gospel kingdom resides, it is populated by YOU and it is found in your heart. And that’s why, when Jesus’ disciples asked Him how to pray, He showed them to pray that God’s kingdom would come in the here-and-now, not just for their coming eternal life with God in heaven. And Jesus went on – over & over – preaching that His followers must live with kingdom values in the here and now. That’s what the Sermon on the Mount was all about, wasn’t it? He said [in Matt. 6: 33], flat out, that you and I are to seek first the KINGDOM OF GOD, while we are yet living, … not just to wait for God’s kingdom to come in heaven.

Think about it, fellow believer, why would anyone want to live if we could not have the “abundant life” promised in John 10: 10 unless that life is for living NOW? And Os Hillman uses an interesting metaphor to illustrate how many Christians live. He says that many – if not most – Christians drive through life like they’ve never used a car and we’re driving at 20 miles per hour because we have the emergency brake on and we don’t even know it’s engaged. We’re blissfully driving toward heaven with our brakes on because we don’t recognize that we could drive with so much more power if we’d just release the brakes we put on ourselves by sinful and selfish living.

That’s why Jesus wants us to pray – here and now – to our Heavenly Father, “Your kingdom come; … Your will be done, … on earth as it is in heaven!”

My Prayer for Today … Lord, help me to live out my life – full on - for You because, as Hillsong sings this morning, “You’re all I need!” … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online blog entitled Today God Is First [TGIF], authored by Os Hillman. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read Hillman’s TGIF blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

No comments: