DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: September 27
Building Bridges to the Kingdom
Scripture refers to "the kingdom of God" frequently, but many people are unclear as to its meaning. Let's look at the past, present, and future reality of this concept.
The first thing we must realize is that the heavenly kingdom refers to everything under Christ's control. At the moment of salvation, we are transferred from the reign of darkness to the bright authority of Jesus. And we are eternally secure in Him.As today's verses explain, Jesus' kingdom and reign have been planned since the foundation of the world. From the beginning, God has been preparing mankind for what is to come. One way was by using prophets to foretell how He would redeem humanity and sovereignly rule over heaven and earth.
Once Jesus came and gave His life, He established the "present" kingdom. This isn't a geographical locale; it's a term describing the heart, where God's Holy Spirit indwells believers to guide, counsel, and empower.
But there is also a future aspect of the kingdom, which we can anticipate with excitement. You are probably familiar with the words "Thy kingdom come" from the Lord's Prayer (Luke 11:2 kjv). This speaks of the new heaven and new earth, where we will enjoy freedom from pain and sin. There, we will worship Jesus with gladness and joy for all eternity.
As God's kingdom ambassadors, we who are His children have the responsibility and privilege of sharing the good news: Through Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection, all who trust in Him are forgiven of sin and assured of eternal life with God. Whom can you tell about this amazing gift?Nothing Will Defeat Me
This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. - 2 Corinthians 4:7
The apostle Paul led a hard life. He survived a shipwreck, persecution, and repeated imprisonment, not to mention the rigors of constant travel, the need to make a living while preaching the gospel, and the continual challenge of a chronic personal issue he described only as a "thorn in my flesh" (2 Corinthians 12:7). And yet he wrote, "We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed" (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
Why was Paul so resilient? He relied on God as the source of his power.
Our problems may be different from Paul’s, but we all struggle with life at times. To make it through the turmoil, we must be plugged in to a source of power that is greater than what we can generate on our own. Pretending we are strong only leads to frustration and pain. But relying on God for our power allows us to live fully and resiliently in the midst of our ups and downs.
Can you think of times when you tried on your own to "be strong" in painful or difficult situations? What was the outcome?
What are some practical ways you can "plug in" to God as the source of power in your life?
Jesus, I want you to be my power source. I surrender my own powerlessness to your care and lean on your strength. Give me the courage to more consistently surrender my will to your will.by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop