Have you ever experienced a vision that took your breath away? Maybe watched a brilliant sunrise or witnessed a pod of graceful dolphins swimming together in ocean waters? We take notice of majestic landscapes, stunning waterfalls, and even the glimmer of dew on the early morning blades of grass. All of these sights are undeniably remarkable, yet, none shall compare to what Jesus calls “The Kingdom of Heaven.” Have you tried to imagine it?
I’ve thought a lot about what it will be like when I leave this life and walk into eternity with Jesus. Even the thought of dying used to greatly scare me. Now, I am ready, but I still have questions. Maybe you do too. Will I miss my earthly life? Will I even remember it? Is Jesus going to be waiting with arms open wide, ready to greet me at the gates? Oh, how wonderful that day will be when we see our Savior face to face, and know, if we have received Him as our Lord and Savior, we will be in the presence of God forever.
What if I told you – you don’t have to wait for your body to perish in order to experience the presence of God? Please don’t take my word for it; I am merely a girl trying to figure it all out. As we look for truth about the Kingdom of God, we need look only to the words of Scripture. Thus begins our new series called, “Thy Kingdom Come.” What does Jesus have to say about His Kingdom? This, my sister, is going to be quite an exciting journey!
I hope you are reading this today in a quiet place. A place with little to distract you, tempt you, or lure you away. For one moment, breathe deep and immerse yourself in the following scriptures:
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10 ESV)
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 ESV)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17 ESV)
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:26 ESV)
Marinate as long as you’d like. I’ll wait.
Ok. How do you feel? What do you think? Is your heart open to these truths today or is your heart already surrendered to Christ? Why is it important for you to realize the difference? One reason — your first step in entering the Kingdom of Heaven is by stepping into a relationship with Jesus Christ. He wants you all in. Don’t just believe in Him — get to know Him! What a gift you have! A holy, loving, faithful, and just Savior is in your presence. I have goose bumps just imagining your joy!
Just as John 14:26 tells us, God’s Holy Spirit is sent to dwell within us, as we become true followers of Jesus. And because of this, God’s Kingdom is in us. We are a dwelling place for Him.
For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (2 Corinthians 6:16 ESV)
When we have questions – He has answers, if we need wisdom – He gives generously, and when we pray – He helps us form the words when we don’t know what to say. It just doesn’t get any better than this!
Jesus calls His Kingdom by both “The Kingdom of God” and “The Kingdom of Heaven.” Do not be confused by the words in the gospels. One of the most important facts about the kingdom is found in John 18:36:
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
Let us rejoice that the Kingdom of Heaven is not of this world! It doesn’t look the same, feel the same, or even smell the same. Just as our souls will be awakened in our eternal life, our lives on earth will never be the same once His Holy Spirit is within us. Grow closer in friendship, fall deeper in love with, and take time to be still in His presence every single day.
Holding Fast to Hope,