• Fred Grossenbach

Thy Kingdom Come...

Jesus talked a lot about the Kingdom of God. It's a central theme of his teaching before his death and after his resurrection. In one of his first sermons he said, "Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand." He compared it to a mustard seed, a bit of yeast, a pearl of great value, and a lost coin. When he taught us how to pray, he told us to declare, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven".

If the kingdom of God is at hand, what does it look like? How are we supposed to experience the kingdom of God when the world is such a mess? When we are such a mess?

In Romans 8:5-6 Paul says that the mind set on and governed by the flesh is death and hostile to God. Clearly this is not what Jesus was talking about when he was talking about the kingdom of God. So I have to ask myself, "what is my mind set on? What is my mind governed by?" If I'm honest, I think a lot about what I'm going to eat and drink, and how I'm going to spend my time. And it's usually all about me. Thank God for Romans 8:1, "Therefore there is NOW no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

But, the mind set on the Spirit and governed by the Spirit is life and peace. So, kingdom living is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit - Romans 14:17. This is the realm of the Spirit Paul talks about in Romans 8:9. It looks like the realm of the Spirit and the kingdom of God are one in the same. Aha! I'm beginning to understand Matthew 6:32-33 a little better. "For the pagans run after all these things and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things (what to wear, eat, drink, spend my time etc.) will be given to you as well."

When Jesus is King, and we live by faith, with a mind set on the Spirit, governed by the Spirit, we live in an environment of grace. Our lives overflow with thanksgiving - Collosians 2:6-7 and hope - Romans 15:13. This kind of living is irresistible to the world. Jesus, the King, answers our prayers and the glory of God is revealed. John 14:13.

This is the kingdom of God.