First Mennonite Morton



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    The Mystery of the Kingdom

    June 10, 2020 Aaron Yoder
    Filed Under:
    Prayer, Faith, Commune Together
    You may also listen to this devotional by clicking here.

    Matthew 4:17 (ESV)
    “Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”
    Jesus taught frequently about the ‘kingdom of heaven’ (or ‘kingdom of God’) throughout His public ministry.  In fact, some would say that proclaiming the kingdom was as much a part of Jesus’ goal as was laying down his life for the sins of humanity.

    But for as much as he taught this joyful, eternal reign, it can be easy for us to misunderstand what he meant and how it applies to our lives.  So let’s re-discover some of the mysteries of the ‘kingdom.’

    MYSTERY 1:  The kingdom is both a present reality and a future reality.
    In Luke 17:21, Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”  It was present in the first century because the King was walking on the earth.  Likewise, he said in Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  The kingdom is a present reality for those who admit their need and publicly confess “Jesus is Lord!” 

    And yet, we are also invited to pray “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” (Mt 6:10).  What we experience with Jesus reigning in our hearts now is only but a foretaste of what life will be like when King returns and brings heaven to the new earth.

    MYSTERY 2: The kingdom began with humble power and will be consummated with unparalleled power.
    King Jesus was born to a virgin and raised in a less-than-desirable village.  He surrounded himself with simple laborers and needy crowds.  He formally entered the capital city while perched upon the foal of a donkey.  His ‘kingly’ movement began like a small mustard seed planted in the ground and had only grown to the size of a pesky shrub when it was temporarily cut off. 

    Yet since the time of the Jesus’ resurrection, His ‘kingdom of priests’ has spread onto every continent.  Billions of believers now await the day when every knee will bow as He returns on a white horse with the sword of judgement (Phil. 2:9, Rev. 19:15) to establish His final conquest over sin and death.

    MYSTERY 3: All are invited but not all will enter.  Freedom from indwelling sin by following the King is a message for every person regardless of their ethnicity or skin color.  Someday there will be multitudes of people from every nation, tribe and language (Rev. 7:9) who will inherit the kingdom prepared from before the foundation of the world (Mt 25:34). 

    However, the seed of this good news is snatched up by Satan, scorched by trials or choked by the allure of worldly treasures.  Sadly, there will be some to whom the King will say, “Depart from me, and go into the eternal fire.  I never knew you” (Mt 7:23, 25:41). 

    With these mysteries unwrapped before us, Jesus continues to invite his disciples to “seek first the kingdom of God” (Mt. 6:33) and pray that it is established “on earth as it is in Heaven (6:10).”  To that end, would you consider taking time this summer to meditate upon the Matthew 5-7?  As division and hatred grows within our world, perhaps there are new opportunities for us to know Jesus as King and to proclaim true life under His reign. 

    Jesus, may your kingdom be established in our hearts and in our world for your glory. Amen!

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