Thursday, June 5, 2008

God's Kingdom

There are times when even the most vibrant spirit feels it can hardly take any more of this world. When conversations constantly turn toward rising prices, rumors of wars, environmental disaster, and imminent collapse of Social Security; when the doctor finds a tumor and you're already out of work with bills two weeks overdue; when To Do lists get so long that it seems the only hope for rest is to land in the hospital--then the prayer "Thy Kingdom come" takes on special urgency.

Not that there's anything inherently wrong with that--the Bible itself urges us to pray for Christ's coming (cf. Rev. 22:20). Life's troubles are actually a blessing in that they keep us from loving this world too much for our own good. But if our only motive for wanting the Kingdom to come is to see an end to our problems, the prayer intended to express a yearning for God's glory and righteousness becomes a cry of selfishness. Especially if we are unwilling to make the effort to be productive citizens of the Kingdom.

Heaven does not mean the privilege of lounging around on clouds forever; it means finally being able to worship and serve God with pure, untainted hearts and minds. Work existed in the Garden of Eden before the Fall (Gen. 2:15), so it's safe to assume that God will keep us busy in the future Kingdom. The difference will be freedom from frustration and reluctance; we will serve God with our all because we will love Him with our all.

It's a good idea to practice for that time right now. If your first thought tomorrow morning (and this can happen to "morning people" as well) is, "Do I have to get up?" try immediately replacing that thought with this one:

"God has wonderful things in store for me today, and I am so blessed to have the privilege of serving His Kingdom."

There's a crown for every servant
In a land with just one King;
It's a place where least is greatest,
And to work a joyous thing;
It's a Kingdom where the wisest
Is as trusting as a child,
And a world where every question
Will at last be reconciled.

It's God's country, everlasting,
Where all pain at last will end,
Each of us a prince or princess,
Every stranger turned a friend.
If you wish to seek this Kingdom
Where all saints one day will stand,
Use your earthly life to practice
All the servant-love you can.


Trish said...

Hey...I was searching the net for some words of encouragement for a friend and I found your site and posts. I've enjoyed the visit. The hour is late but I will return. Thanks for the great post on 'God's Kingdom'

Kelly Jene said...

Superb! Praise God for such a well-written word. I feel so up-lifted. I'm going to share this with my husband who has a rough time in the morning.

Thank you and God bless you!