Our final readings for the theme, “Seeking the Kingdom of God” come from both the Old and New Testament. Each are beautiful glimpses into what we’ll see when God’s kingdom is fully revealed. These images should be enough to whet our appetites to not fear that day but look forward to its revelation.
We’re living now in the “in between time” waiting for the big reveal! We’re anxious and we want more! We can only imagine the ultimate splendor God will one day reveal. That’s why Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:33 ring out to us as a clear reminder of what we need to do while we wait. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
There is a lot going on in the world today. People can become quite fearful if they don’t have the assurance of eternal life in God’s kingdom. Lately, I feel especially drawn to the mission Jesus gave us to make sure everyone knows. I also find myself floundering at times wondering what that mission looks like and ask myself, “how can I possibly make a difference?”
One idea would be to comfort those in need. When we love others, we become memorable. There isn’t a lot of “loving” going on in the world right now. The news is filled with stories of division and hate. When we begin building a relationship of trust with others, we can soon share our faith and what Jesus has done for us. That’s an easy thing to do because we all have a story. People like stories. Even if it’s a very simple one, don’t discount it. What are some of your favorite stories to tell of how Jesus is working in your life?
We can also talk of what Jesus promises will happen someday. That can create curiosity and hope. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” For someone walking through a valley in their life, having this kind of hope sounds almost too good to be true. God’s word is full of all sorts of promises. We are sure to find one that is appropriate for a particular situation.
God’s word is also life-changing when we let it guide our lives. When we spend time reading and reflecting, so many of life’s trials come into focus. We ought not fear what we face in the world, but fear not having God in our lives to walk with us. When we focus on God and his provisions, and praise him for them, the dread or worry we feel will simply vanish.
We need to focus on the victory remembering we are more than conquerors. Paul reminds us in Romans 8:37, “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” You’ll recall the “things” Paul was talking about included trouble or calamity, persecution, death threats, etc. No matter what we are facing, Christ’s love gives us the final victory!
In Revelation 21:7, we are given quite a promise! “All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.” There is such a beautiful future awaiting us. Our time on earth is a gift, too. How we live our lives in the here and now is our gift back to God.
Take a moment or two today to reflect on how you are living your life. In fear? In grand expectation? Maybe you’re just going through the motions like so many people, just glad to get through another day. Let me ask then, “how do you want to live your life?” Think on that today. What changes do you need to make to live like that?
Let’s pray. Father, thank you for creating me just as I am. You have prepared me for this moment, and I look forward to the final victory and all the blessings you have in store for me. Help me to be mindful of the people who do not know these promises yet. Give me the eyes I need to see the needs of others and the compassion and love to help them see you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.