A King and His Kingdom
I grew up with a wonderful Christian allegory trilogy called: “Kingdom Tales”. I don’t receive commission, but I do highly recommend it! (Here’s one place you can find it: http://kingdomtales.com/ ) They were exciting stories of Scarboy escaping from Enchanted City to Great Park and coming to learn about the King. Scarboy receives a new name, HERO, and is sent back to Enchanted City on mission by the King to save more orphans from the Enchanter. Brilliant and riveting!
Those tales of the Kingdom were just an allegory, but this Fall at Riverbend Church of God we are reading true tales of the Kingdom of God as we spend time in the New Testament book of Acts! We kicked off our sermon series, “Kingdom Builders”, this past Sunday. In the first eleven verses of chapter 1 the direction is set for all that will follow. Jesus spends time for 40 days with his disciples after his resurrection talking to them about the Kingdom of God (v.3). When the disciples ask him about a timeline (v.6) he responds that time is none of their business (v.7). Instead what their concern is is the role they get to play in advancing the Kingdom by being witnesses (v.8)! Then King Jesus is taken up into heaven (vs 9-11).
Even though he is absent in a literal, physical, visual sense, he is actually very present physically through the indwelling Holy Spirit in each believer globally! We see this as the disciples carry on the works and teachings of Jesus. We see the same things in Acts as we do from Jesus in the gospels (exorcisms, healings, raising the dead)! Acts will challenge us with the call to also be Kingdom Builders, just like the disciples in the early church were.
Jesus is not an absent King. Christ is now reigning as Lord at God’s right hand (Heb.1:3- “The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.”) He is extending his reign and rule as people everywhere acknowledge his Lordship and step into the protection and provision of his Kingdom! It is a beautiful thing to witness the power of his Kingdom at work: seeing broken lives made new; seeing people leave old ways of thinking and living and finding life and freedom by stepping into new ways of love and forgiveness and looking to the interests of others; seeing people find the joy and peace of acceptance and value in a God-given identity rather than allowing other human beings to have power over us by granting acceptance and giving us identity.
Is Jesus your King? Are you living in the Kingdom of God? There is no greater adventure, no greater security, and no greater hope to find elsewhere.