How does the kingdom come?
This week these words began to follow me around. They first appeared while I was out for a walk and it was as though I had never read them or heard them before. I love that about the Bible! I just love it when a familiar passage suddenly settles on me with a new fresh feeling causing me to look at it as though discovering it for the first time. Truly the living word of God!
As I walked and thought about this passage I wondered what it really means for the kingdom of God to come? I wondered what God is asking me to do to make that happen. As I thought about this a bit more I realized that what Jesus is saying here is that we are to pray that God’s kingdom priorities will be manifested on earth. We are to pray for the ongoing forward advancement of God’s rule in this earth upon which we live. God has given us the power and authority by virtue of our covenant relationship as His children to advance his kingdom where we live.
So how do I do that? What does that really mean in terms of my daily life? The more I thought about that the more complicated it started to get. Until I realized that it’s not at all. The kingdom of God coming to earth refers to the reign of Jesus in the hearts and lives of those who believe. It refers to the reign of Jesus in the body-the church. It refers to each of us who have received salvation from the act of grace at the cross-increasingly obeying God, honoring Him with our lives daily and living as lights in a dark world.
It refers quite simply to love. Jesus says in John 15:17, “this is my command. Love each other.” With every act of love we allow the kingdom of God to break through. Every time we serve in love not out of duty, the kingdom comes. Every time we patiently allow someone else’s needs to take priority, the kingdom comes. Every time we are kind, forgiving, and unselfish-the kingdom comes. Not complicated at all.
It has been said that love is much more than a feeling. It is in fact a verb-an action word. And every time we love someone with our actions, God’s kingdom comes.