|Posted on November 22, 2017 at 7:25 AM|
Romans 14:17-19 "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For the one who serves Christ in this way is acceptable to God, AND approved of men. So then, let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another."
In scripture the title 'kingdom of God' is referenced 76 times. It is of great importance to take note of its significance. Personally, the phrase has captured my attention for some time. I could say it even enamored my spirit to know more.
Matthew 12:28 says, "But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you." Jesus is saying this to the Pharisees when they literally accused him of casting out devils in the name of Beelzebub. For a long time, I thought it meant in the miracle-working power of God. It does, BUT...if we put in the definition described in Romans 14, it is enhanced! Let us see how it reads: 'But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then righteousness, and peace, and joy is come unto you.' That’s Good News!
Matthew 6:33 "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." What 'things' is Jesus talking about? Food and clothes! People have been, and continue to be, concerned about having enough food to eat and clothes to wear. These are two of three elements of our ministry here in North Carolina. But Jesus went on to say, "Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; YET your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?"
The key definition inserted: 'Seek ye first righteousness, peace, and joy; and all these things shall be added unto you.' IT IS SO TRUE! In my walk, though circumstances at times seemed bleak, if I kept the focus of my elementary knowledge of what the kingdom of God is, God honored my efforts. I NEVER LACKED ANY GOOD THING! That is one of his great promises in Psalm 23, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want..." Philippians 4:19, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." More Good News!
Let's look at one more passage; there are many. You can look them up yourselves, insert the above definition, and allow the Holy Spirit to quicken YOUR spirit. It is this kind of revelation I receive at four, five or six o'clock in the morning, that wakes me up and keeps me up through another challenging day.
Mark 14:25 "Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God." This passage struck me this way today. Jesus is saying he will not partake of the fruit of the vine again UNTIL righteousness, peace and joy will be ultimately attained and complete when the new heaven and new earth is forever established. GLORY! Our Savior is holding out, fasting if you will, until all has been reconciled in the universe, back to our Father. This is my simplistic view and interpretation only. But it is MINE as of today, and this excites me!
In conclusion, let us pursue the things which make for righteousness, peace, and joy. The Hebrew for peace is 'Shalom'. When you hear people greet one another by saying, "Shalom", they are actually wishing their brethren total wholeness: physically, spiritually, and materially. It is a beautiful word, with abundant blessings attached to it. SHALOM my friends!