The prophet, Daniel, declared in Daniel 2:44, “And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever.”
The Kingdom of God began when Jesus Christ started His ministry on earth and it was established through His death on the Cross. Since then, the eternal and glorious Kingdom has been growing, continues to grow, and is unstoppable. When Jesus began preaching, He declared that “this Kingdom” (that Daniel spoke about), has now come; saying: “Repent! For the kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).
The parables spoken by Jesus in Matthew 13 about the seeds sprouting, growing and producing into a harvest, illustrate the growth of the Kingdom. Among these seeds, Jesus said, the good seeds of the Kingdom grew and produced a harvest, despite weeds growing among them (Matthew 13:24-30). Even the presence of weeds cannot stop the good seeds from growing, maturing and harvesting.
The Lord also compared the Kingdom to the mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds that when fully grown, it will become a tree, greatest among herbs, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches (Matthew 13:32).
As Christians, we are living in the reality of an ever expanding and advancing Kingdom, through people giving their lives to Christ in all nations of the world, proclaiming Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Daniel also predicted, “… dominion and glory was given Him, and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages, should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:14). The worldwide advancement of the Kingdom of God is echoed in the mission reports which we read and hear about, and by testimonies of those serving in missions and in different ministries planted in all the nations of the world.
Daniel also declared in Daniel 7:27, “And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them.” It is clear to see that this truth is happening in our world today, that which no other generation had ever seen before and Christians today are all part of this generation. The eternal Kingdom which Daniel predicted has become a reality! All praise and glory to the Lord!
Family of God, let us remember to make the Kingdom of God our primary life focus in our daily living. Even as we live in a world of darkness which is ever changing in values, morals, world views and lifestyle – where ungodliness and unrighteous practices have become a norm and accepted by society; God will help, guide and shape the faithful, Kingdom focussed Christians — in righteousness and in purity. As the Kingdom of God progresses in our daily lives and in the world, may we be encouraged to walk in obedience, with confidence and trust in the Lord. He, who enlightens and strengthens us to face the challenges of our lives and the world, is alive! Praise God!
Jesus has called all believers to focus first on the Kingdom of God. When we do, we can count on Him to take care of us, for indeed, our Heavenly Father knows all our needs. The Lord said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” When our way seems dark, let us reach for His hand whether or not we feel His presence, for by faith, we know He is there with us. Deuteronomy 31:8 promises this saying: ”It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” No matter the circumstances we face; He, who is supreme and mighty; holds our lives in His hand, and is in control. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Although we understand that the reality of the Kingdom of God is mysterious and unknown to non-believers, this does not make the Kingdom any less real. God has given us the privilege of knowing the revealed truths of His everlasting Kingdom. Jesus reminds us that only those who have spiritual perception can see and understand the reality of the Kingdom. He said to the disciples in Matthew 13:9-11, “He who has ears, let him hear.” Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.”
The Kingdom of God will take over the world. The reality of the Kingdom begins by what God is doing in our lives, for it starts from inside us, long before we see the changes manifested in our way of life. When Christ reigns in our lives, we put away old habits of life and follow the Lord as committed disciples. Jesus says in Matthew 13:33, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.”
We need to remain watchful for as faithful children of God, for we are faced with a real enemy – Satan, who will do everything within his “limited power” to sabotage the spread and advance of the Kingdom of God. Jesus reminded us in Matthew 13:25-30, “… while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'”
Today, we are living in times when there is increasing persecution of Christians in many parts of the world than any other time in recent history. This reality is happening, even though some of us do not get to read or hear about it. Christians must recognise that the world, the flesh and the devil are all opposed to the advancement of the Kingdom of God.
Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6:12 that “… we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the advancement of God’s Kingdom, we need to be mindful and put on the whole armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Even as we face trials and challenging circumstances in our lives, we must trust God, we must remain united in faith, persevere and rule by prayer; for the apostle John assured us in First John 4:4, saying, “You are of God, little children, and you have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Let us proclaim the Word of God by faith and trusting Him to be above all situations, remembering that Christ’s authority is made effective by the use of His name. Jesus said in John 14:12-14, “Truly, truly, I say to you, He who believes on Me, the works that I do he shall do also, and greater works than these he shall do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you may ask in My name, that I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
The Kingdom of God is of greater value than any person and all things created in this world (our abilities and giftings; our wealth and possessions; the positions we hold and our reputation). Jesus said in Matthew 13:44-46, “Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which when a man has found it, he hides it, and for the joy of it goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls; when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” Nothing we possess will match our entering the Kingdom of God and experiencing the Kingdom’s rule and reign in our personal life. The Kingdom begins in the hearts and lives of all believers, working in them and through them, to become an godly influence in this fallen world. This is our responsibility and an act of obedience to God, for we are called to be the light of the world and salt of the earth.
Jesus, the supreme builder of leaders, is the leadership model for all to follow. In Matthew 4:19, we read that He called Simon (Peter) and his brother, Andrew, to follow Him: ”Jesus said to them, “Come, follow me, and I will make you a different kind of fishermen. You will bring in people, not fish.” This truth is evident in the growth of the church throughout the centuries. And in Matthew 11:29, Jesus said, “Accept my teaching. Learn from me. I am gentle and humble in spirit….”
As we respond to the call of God to serve in ministry, let us remember the grace of humility, an abiding characteristic, which we all need to exercise; for humility is the path to the glory of God. Humility is a virtue which comes in power when the fullness of the Spirit makes us partakers of the indwelling Christ who lives within us. All true ministries in the Kingdom are “Servant Ministries,” following the example set by Jesus who said in Matthew 20:28, ”Even as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Let us resist pride, a sin which God hates, for the Word of God in Proverbs 8:13 reads, “The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.”
“The Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (Romans 14:17-19).
Just like Paul, may we be encouraged and press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14), yielding to Him and remembering to “show that we are God’s servants by our pure lives, by our understanding, by our patience, and by our kindness. We show it by the Holy Spirit, by genuine love, by speaking the truth, and by depending on God’s power. This right way of living has prepared us to defend ourselves against every kind of attack. Some people honour us, but others shame us. Some people say good things about us, but others say bad things. Some people say we are liars, but we speak the truth. To some people we are not known, but we are well known. We seem to be dying, but look! We continue to live. We are punished, but we are not killed. We have much sadness, but we are always rejoicing. We are poor, but we are making many people rich in faith. We have nothing, but really we have everything” (Second Corinthians 6:6-10).
To God be the glory, the power and dominion forever and ever!
Amen and Amen!