Living Out God's Kingdom
I would like to share with you some things that I wrote down that focus on what we could call “Kingdom Living.” What we mean is that though I do believe that Christ will rule and reign on earth in a future kingdom, a physical presence, we could say, what I am talking about is not that kingdom but a spiritual one.
This spiritual kingdom is seen in the new life that God gives us when we become followers of Jesus Christ. This internal kingdom, which is in us in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, is seen visibly as you and I are being conformed to the image of Jesus as Romans 8:28-29 tells us is happening.
So I thought I would write down what, for lack of a better way of putting it, are the “pillars of the kingdom life.” Many more could be added to this list but these ten, to me, are vital when it comes to living the life Jesus offers us as His followers.
I would encourage each of us to study the Bible and see what God shows us as individuals when it comes to our personal lives and living out the kingdom of God. As I share this list, my prayer is that some of these will be an encouragement to you as you journey through life. Here are some thoughts on kingdom living,
1) We take the call to Christ as Lord of our lives, not as an option, but an expectation and something that we desire to do. Jesus Himself asked in Luke 6:46 why people called Him Lord and did not do what He asked. Lordship is not an option, it is an expectation of the grace life of the follower of Christ. Desiring to know Christ and obey Him is a result of our new life in Christ, not a way to gain eternal life.
2) We deal with sin as followers of Christ – no excuses, no hiding, no putting on masks and playing church as a way to cover up things we know we need to deal with. We get serious about things hurting our walk with God. We repent of those sins and deal with them through repentance and change (Eph. 4; Rev. 2-3). We take steps to correct things that need to be corrected.
3) When we pray ‘Thy will be done” we mean it. We must die to self, seek God above all and pick up the cross and be identified with Christ, wherever and however He leads (Lk. 14:25-32). We don’t spend time grumbling and complaining about all that we see around us, instead we view the world in need of Christ in their lives (Mt. 28:18-20).
4) We do not just look at and read the Word, we do what it says. We obey it with the Spirit’s help and consciously choose to live out what it tells us (Jam. 1:22-25).
5) We live a life filled with joy. Joy is found in being immersed in Christ (Jn. 15:11). The reason this is important is that people need to see Jesus in us. Even in the difficult times people will see Jesus in us as we handle trials and difficult times (Jam. 1:2-4). But joy goes beyond handling hard times. We should experience joy (The inward calm God gives us, seen in Gal. 5:22), and people need to see followers of Jesus smile and enjoy life and have fun.
6) We will serve the Lord, and do so by discovering our spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12). Combining our gifts, talents, and passion or interests, we serve in areas that we enjoy and feel fulfilled in.
7) Our identity in Christ is real. We recognize, believe, and apply the fact that we are dead to sin’s power and control in our life as Romans 6 teaches. In turn, with the Lord’s help, as Romans 6 teaches, we can give our life to God to be used for His glory. We choose to believe the facts of our new life in Christ, and then, with the Holy Spirit’s help, live them out.
8) We will pursue loving God with our heart, soul, and mind (Mt. 22:34-40) along with loving our neighbors by showing the love of God to them. This takes commitment and time.
9) We see church, not as a building, but as a people gathered together to encourage each other as we grow in our faith, and in turn, to go into the world around us, prepared to live Jesus before others. We see church as an important part of life as Heb. 10:24-25 reminds us. If we are staying away from church for some reason, we, if we truly desire to live for the Kingdom of God, will deal with whatever is keeping us away.
10) Our prayers will come from our heart, whenever and wherever we are led to pray because we are wanting to have that close relationship with God. We desire and pursue living out 1 Thess. 5:17, to pray without ceasing, which is an attitude that becomes a reality as we practice it.
These were some things I jotted down regarding kingdom living that I need to focus on for myself. Hopefully they encourage you in your relationship with Christ.