Give Yourself to the Kingdom of Heaven
What do we think about when we think about the Kingdom of God? The Pharisees thought that the Messiah was going to come as an earthly ruler and begin a new age of financial prosperity and Jewish dominance in the world. When Jesus started preaching about the Kingdom of Heaven, they wondered when it would come. In Luke 17:20-21 we read: “Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, ‘The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, “Look, here it is!” or “There!” for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.’” In other words, the kingdom of God isn’t about armies fighting carnal battles, castles sitting on the mountain tops, or fabulous wealth pouring into the treasury. Jesus said, “the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” Other translations say it is “within you,” or “among you.” And why is that? Because the kingdom of God is composed of people! That is the fabulous wealth that God sought—you and me—we are the kingdom!
There is a practical aspect to this. Because the kingdom of God is God’s people, we need to be busy serving God’s people. In my studies, I ran across Proverbs 18:1. The English Standard Version translates it like this: “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;he breaks out against all sound judgment.” Because the kingdom of God is people, we are not to isolate ourselves, but be part of the citizenry of the kingdom by participating in its activities. We value God’s kingdom—Christians—by giving ourselves away to others! Why not do that today? Go out and find someone who has a need, and help them. God’s kingdom is other people.