What is the “For the Kingdom” focus all about?
As Christians we have been born again by the Holy Spirit (Jn. 3:3) as a result of our faith in Jesus Christ. As such, we have been adopted (Gal. 4:5) into the family of God, we have been born again not by our will but by His (Jn. 1:12-13), and we have been made citizens of a kingdom ruled by King Jesus (Phil. 3:20).
To be a part of God’s kingdom means that every sphere of life if under His rule and reign. Jesus us Lord over His kingdom. This means that everything within our sphere of influence – the places we go, the people we know, the possessions we possess, the thoughts we think – are under His sphere of Lordship.
We must continually ask ourselves two questions: First, how can I use all that falls within my sphere of influence for the advancement of the Kingdom of God? And second, how can my life be an answer to the prayer of Matthew 6:10: “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
These two questions change everything. They challenge us to avoid compartmentalizing our lives, where God has say over what happens on Sunday, but no influence on what happens Monday through Saturday. God wants it all – our work, families, hobbies, fun time, play time, relationships, etc. All of it can and ought to be used for His glory, our good and the advancement of God’s Kingdom influence in a world in need of the Kingdom of light.
Was Jesus a Kingdom Savior?
From the very beginning of His earthly ministry (Mk. 1:14-15) until right before He ascended back to heaven (Acts 1:1-3), Jesus lived and preached the kingdom of God.
“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom f God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.'”
Why is this passage important for our focus on the kingdom of God? Because it distills the essence of Christianity down to a few words, Notice the components of the verses.
- The perilous circumstances – John the Baptist had been arrested fr preaching truth.
- Jesus was on mission in Galilee, the pattern of movement toward the lost to be mimicked by the church.
- Jesus came preaching the gospel of God.
- The gospel has much to do with time: the timing of Jesus’ coming and the time for needed change.
- Further, the gospel is about God’s kingdom – His rule and reign in the life of His people, the Church.
- And what is the message Jesus proclaimed? Repent, change, turn around, alter your direction and believe the good news that in Jesus Christ there is new life, forgiveness of sin, and the promise of eternal life.
How up-to-date is this message? D we not live in perilous times? Are we not called to be on the move toward the lost? Haven’t we been called to preach the gospel? Isn’t time of the essence? Are we not called to live as a part of God’s kingdom in kingdom ways with a kingdom mentality? And isn’t our message the same – turn away for sin and look to the Savior, Jesus Christ? Let us be kingdom people where every part of life is under His control!