The word, “kingdom,” brings up visions of kings and of history. Are we part of a current kingdom?
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. 8 Cherish her [wisdom], and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. 9 She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.
The United Kingdom is England plus northern Ireland. The United States is not a kingdom, but a republic. At the same time, it fits the historic description of a kingdom, but with a chosen ruler. We do not pledge allegiance to the president, but to the flag, which represents the republic of America. That republic is built upon the Constitution and is protected by the judicial branch of our government. Everyone in America answers to the Constitution in some way: most through obedience, but some through the disciplinary arm of the government.
We Christians, answer to the law of the land (Romans 13:1-7), but we answer to a higher King, the Lord Jesus. He came to establish His kingdom and to reign forever. Let’s look as some of the passages that talk about His kingdom:
32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:32-33
17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matthew 4:17
20 But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Luke 11:20
21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst [within you].” Luke 17:21
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32
36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” John 18:36
We know that God has made us His kingdom (Ephesians 2:19-21, 1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 5:9-10). We know that we reign in this world on a spiritual basis (Luke 10:17, John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11, Revelation 20:1-3). We triumph over Satan and his forces by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). The rest of that verse says, “they did not love their [earthly] lives so much as to shrink from death.” We must never forget where our true and highest allegiance lies, which is to Jesus Christ and His kingdom.
How does that translate into our everyday lives?
- We must be connected and stay connected to King Jesus through prayer.
- We must find out all we can about His kingdom, how it works, and what it is like.
- We must store up treasures there rather than down here.
- We must be willing to do as Jesus asks.
This last one needs some explaining. If Jesus is in control of our lives, then we will be all about His mission. If the best witness to a person or persons is for us to give our time, resources, money, or even our lives, we will do it gladly. The best way for us to be in a position to do so is to be in a constant state of readiness to do just that. The only way to be ready is to be connected and stay connected to King Jesus through prayer–and now we are back to our list.
On this Independence Day, let’s make it our Dependence Day to our Lord Jesus Christ, along with every other day this year.
Abba, thank You for our country. May I love it and serve it, but may I never forget that Your kingdom takes precedence over it. May I be ready to serve You in whatever manner You deem best, knowing that my ultimate goal is to stand in Your presence whole, complete, blameless, and faultless. Wow! Now, that’s worth living for! Amen.