Jesus said that His kingdom is within us. How does that happen? It defies the laws of this world–or, does it?
18 The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and whoever protects their master will be honored [mutual benefit].
We are studying Matthew in my SS class (Sunday School, or what I call “Sunday’s Cool). As we walk through the book, my view of the kingdom of heaven is changing. When Jesus talks about the kingdom of heaven, sometimes it is in present tense and sometimes it is coming in the immediate future. One of the references shows that the physical kingdom in which we live and the spiritual kingdom of Christ can coexist and mutually benefit each other.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given/added to you as well. Matthew 6:33
How do we seek God’s kingdom?
- We are to recognize our spiritual poverty. We seek the Father and receive the kingdom. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
- We are to acknowledge that we will be persecuted for the kingdom. “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10
- Our righteousness (that we have in Christ) is to surpass the Pharisees, who depended upon their works for salvation. “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20
- We must do the will of the Father (by listening, trusting, believing and obeying Him). “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.“
The kingdom of heaven is wherever Jesus is.
When we seek His righteousness, we are seeking Him.
The verse says that “all these things” will be given/added to us. What are “all these things?” They are all that Jesus knows we need at any given time. All our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met in Christ.
There is a caveat. We must seek Christ Jesus. He wants a one-on-one relationship with us. Any works done FOR Christ can be considered wood, hay and stubble rather than gold, silver or precious gems (1 Corinthians 3:12-13). He doesn’t need our works; He wants us! Unless we have heard from Him about church, quiet time, teaching, conversation, routine, ministry, and numerous other things, we are doing them in our own power and in our own way based upon our very limited perspective.
I no longer see the rewards of heaven as in the future. I see them right here, right now in the presence and participation of Christ.
Abba, thank You that Your kingdom is in me because You are in me. Likewise, You are the kingdom and I am in You. It’s confusing to me with my 3D, finite mind. Please help me understand more and more of Your kingdom as I grow in You. Amen.