A few days ago I published the post, “The Kingdom Of Heaven Is Within You - No! That’s Not In The Bible” While the statement “the kingdom of heaven is within you” is not in the Bible, it does exist. Two years ago I published Heaven...What...Where...Who’s Been There? Yesterday I published What About Life-After-Death And Near-Death Experiences? All of these posts talk about heaven which is the place that Christians believe is where God’s throne is and where they will go to be in God’s presence until Jesus returns and there will be a new heaven and new earth on which they will live eternally.
In the post “The Kingdom Of Heaven Is Within You…”, I write that The Kingdom of Heaven and Kingdom of God are synonymous. The phrase “Kingdom of God” occurs 68 times, and the “Kingdom of Heaven” 10 times in the New Testament.
One of the most quoted verses in the Bible is;
Matthew 6:33 (NIV) But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
The context of that verse is that we should not worry about material things but that we should focus our attention on God and His kingdom and He will make sure that we have the things that we need for life.
That begs the question exactly “What does it mean to seek the Kingdom of God?”
Greg Laurie tells us what that means.
What Does it Mean to Seek God's Kingdom?
A verse every Christian should commit to memory is Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
What does it mean to seek first the kingdom of God? God’s kingdom is the rule and reign of Christ in our lives. Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven”
“Matthew 6:9-10 (NIV) 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.
This is praying for a day when God will bring heaven to earth and will bring His rule on this planet. God still has a plan for planet Earth. He will rule and reign here, and as believers, we will rule and reign with Him. So that is in the future.
But when we pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven,” we are also praying for the rule and reign of the kingdom of God in our lives. This is when Jesus is in charge. On one occasion Jesus said, “For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you”, where He was speaking of himself.
Luke 17:20-21 (NIV) Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
When you are under His lordship, and when He is in control of your life, that is the kingdom of God. It is not rules and regulations, but “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”.
Romans 14:17-18 (NIV) For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.
Have you, as a Christian, surrendered your life to Christ? Have you said, “Lord, I want Your will more than I want my own will. I am willing to surrender to You now”? Because you cannot pray, “Your kingdom come” until you first pray, “My kingdom go.” Have you done that yet?
A lack of faith can bring a lot of anxiety into our lives. So instead of worrying, we should put God and His will first in our lives. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Taken from “First Things First” by Harvest Ministries (used by permission).
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.