“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as
it is in heaven.’” (Matthew 6:9-13)
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these
things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!
You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have
neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and
faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting
the former.” (Matthew 23:23)
Which of the following would be the more acceptable testimony in the
#1 “Before I met the Lord, I was a lazy, irresponsible, smoking,
foul-mouthed drunkard. But now I am saved and I don’t do those
#2 “Before I met the Lord, I neglected my family and abandoned my
children to be raised by unbelievers, used the church only as a source
of entertainment, ignored my neighbors, lived in constant debt spending
borrowed money on unnecessary possessions, and sacrificed my freedom for
a job doing work I didn’t believe in. But now that I am saved and
I don’t do those things anymore.”
Imagine the discomfort the latter of these two announcements would
create in a typical church congregation. We have a consensus that the
sins listed in the first testimony are wrong. But no such consensus
exists for the culturally acceptable sins listed in the second
testimony. What is it that allows Christians to be apathetic toward some
of the “weightier matters” of the Christian life? Why is
there so little conviction of the Holy Spirit in some of the most
practical areas of our lives? I believe it is because we lack a proper
sense of the kingdom of God.
Thy Kingdom Come
Everything God’s Word has to say is summed up in the good news
that the kingdom of God is at hand. The rock on which the church is
built, is the revelation from the Father that Jesus of Nazareth is the
Christ, the Son of God. The true king is here. Everything else flows
from that. The kingdom of God is the territory under the dominion of His
Son, the king. And wherever King Jesus is in charge, things are done
differently from the kingdoms of this world. Very differently!
I believe home schooling, family business, hospitality,
neighborhood-based church ministry, and Christian civil leadership are
practical expressions of the new way of life in God’s kingdom.
When we repent and turn away from the ways of this world, these are some
of the things we turn to.
A Kingdom of Righteousness
All kingdoms are built on relationships. God’s kingdom, based as
it is on righteousness, is a kingdom of right relationships.
Satan’s kingdom is based on broken and distorted relationships.
This should cause us to question the way the world does everything. As
Christians we should expect our king to provide a better way to do
everything. Everything from making a living and training up our
children, to feeding the poor and ruling the nations, deserves to be
examined in the light of God’s word. To do less is to continue
blundering about in the darkness.
God’s ways are not merely different. They are far superior. Just
as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God’s ways higher
Better Ends & Better Means
God’s kingdom is superior in every way. First, His ends are
better. He consistently feeds, clothes, nurses, educates, establishes
justice, and so on. Satan never does this. But God’s means to
these ends are also better. He calls His people to love one another in
very personal ways. Husbands must love their wives, parents must care
for their own children, neighbors must care for neighbors, and rulers
must be the servants of all. In other words, God’s kingdom is a
kingdom of right relationships that produce right results.
Big, impersonal institutions, like the public schools with their factory
atmosphere, have no place in God’s kingdom—because here,
relationships are as important as results.
If home schooling, family business, and hospitality are more compatible
with God’s kingdom than public schools and international
corporations are, then anyone with a true sense of the Kingdom of God
will eventually feel convicted about his “worldly ways,”
repent, and turn to the ways of God’s kingdom.
Think about what happens to the kingdom of God when Christian parents
neglect their own children and presume that unbelievers will train them.
What happens in the kingdom when a family disregards God’s counsel
concerning debt? What do you think takes place, or fails to take place,
when Christians do not practice guest room and meal-time hospitality?
Righteous relationships and righteous results are aborted!
So, repent of more than just your smoking, drinking, and carrying on.
“Seek first His kingdom and his righteousness” and
everything you need will flow to you through the right relationships—the
personal relationships—the family, church, and neighborhood
relationships—that make up God’s kingdom.