2 Samuel 16-18 Luke 17:20-37
“Some of the Pharisees asked Jesus, ‘When will the kingdom of God come?’ Jesus answered, ‘God’s kingdom is coming, but not in a way that you will be able to see with your eyes. People will not say, “Look, here it is!” or, “There it is!” because God’s kingdom is within you.’” (Luke 17:20-21 NCV)
Given the cries of the crowd that Jesus was a king, the Pharisees asked an appropriate question: “When will this kingdom of yours come about?” Jesus Himself talked about His Kingdom coming, but when they looked around, all they could see were Romans. Jesus made it clear: you won’t see the trappings of royalty in His kingdom. There was no king riding on a white horse, although I believe it will happen eventually. There were no soldiers outfitted in shining armor marching down the streets. God’s Kingdom is within His subjects when He rules in their hearts.
Sometimes I think dictators and other tyrants understand the Kingdom of God better than most Christians, which is why they persecute us. The message of the Kingdom of God can change the world for good. Imagine what would happen if God’s people became the ambassadors for Christ that Paul called us. Imagine what would happen if God’s people lived in the grace, forgiveness, and freedom of His Kingdom. When people are obedient to God and live in His love, they change the world and make it a better place. Sadly, instead of inviting people to live in God’s Kingdom, we want to force others to act like they’re citizens. Instead of boldly proclaiming the Kingdom of God as an invitation to God’s grace, we look forward to the Kingdom that will be when Christ comes again. We set dates for Christ’s return (today is one of those dates, by the way) and rejoice that unbelievers will get what’s coming to them. Rather than setting dates or trying to force others to live the way citizens of God should, let us proclaim God’s Kingdom, live joyously in His grace, and share with others how they can enter God’s Kingdom. We have that blessed opportunity to help others experience God’ grace every day. Dwell in God’s Kingdom and be the reason that others want to enter as you exemplify God’s love.
Lord, I know that there’s still room in Your Kingdom for others. Work through me to make others want to enjoy life with You.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.