Live DAILY by the STANDARDS of ‘GOD’s KINGDOM’
November 19 Bible Reading: Romans Chapters 13-16
“For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” (Romans 14:17-19)
When John the Baptist started his public ministry, he began with preaching about the kingdom of heaven: In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matt. 3:1-2) After John was put in prison, Jesus began preaching on the same lines: Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)
It is therefore evident that the gospel of the kingdom of God had a different level of standards that should be followed by all God’s children. What really counts in the kingdom of God is that the Almighty God is acknowledged as the King and Supreme Ruler. In the words of Jesus, "the kingdom of God is within us" (Luke 17:21). In its inward reality the kingdom of God include only those who are born again (John 3:3, 5) and have become God’s children (John 1:12-13). The subjects of God’s kingdom have lives of practical righteousness, by dispositions of peace and harmony, and by mind-sets of joy in the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 5:6, 9, 10, 12; 6:31)
The standards of God’s kingdom in our lives are characterized by righteousness (perfect uprightness in our daily walk), peace (perfect peace with God and a consistent attempt to promote peace among others), and joy (through the Holy Spirit). The kingdom of God consists of spiritual realities like righteousness in action and thought, peace that seeks harmony and joy that comes from the Holy Spirit. Those who understand the spiritual realities of God’s kingdom will not choose the fleeting joy of satisfying selfish carnal desires over the lasting spiritual joy of putting aside those desires for the sake of others. They serve Christ by obeying His teachings thus winning both God’s honor and man’s approval.
If we are part of God’s kingdom, it will make a difference in how we live daily in this world since the impact of our actions on others play a vital role in our fellowship and evangelism. Where we live makes demands on how we live. God has placed us in the kingdom of His Son Jesus Christ (Col. 1:13). As we live according to the standards of God’s kingdom, there are life-transforming behavior patterns that should reflect our spiritual location. We will make every effort to maintain peace and harmony in the Christian fellowship. We will spread peace, edify and help others to grow stronger in the Christian faith and are a source of joy in everyday relationships. We will then have peace with God as we bless others as well.