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Finding the Kingdom of Heaven

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Man was created as an instrument to glorify God. And is an instrument for His service. God’s plan and purpose has always been since the fall in the Garden to restore man’s relationship with Him that he may live forever in His Kingdom. It is His will by His Word that our first priority in daily living is to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. All else that we do in life is second to this, if we are to have life and have it abundantly we must first seek His Kingdom. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

We spend much of our time seeking things in this world. We are as our ancestors of so long ago, gatherers. Look across our communities, our nation. We’ve built store houses everywhere and mini storage facilities. We have gathered so much that we cannot contain it. A big business thrives on the fact that we seek and want and still find not satisfaction in that we possess. Then we store it away and near forget about it as we continue to want and seek for more. What then can we gather that we can take with us when we leave this life behind into the next? The store houses will remain filled for the descendants to plunder. The truth is we will take nothing with us but what we do in the spirit either good or bad. That what our spirit bears is that which we will be held accountable for to God the just and justifier. Our deeds in the flesh leave their mark upon the spirit. “Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God.” (Romans 3:19)

The world will pass away, that which we have sought and found will pass away, and that which we will have to stand or fall on in the next life is that which has been marked upon our spirit. We must not have a vision chained to just the physical eye, we must see the vision of our spiritual eye. We must not become encumbered by the desires of this world but live for the world to come. We are here but for a wisp of time but eternity never ends. How we spend eternity will be judged by what we seek here in the flesh. “The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:17)

“We are to seek first His Kingdom.” Seeking the things of God’s Kingdom is the priority over seeking the things of the kingdom of this world. The Kingdom of Heaven is the sphere of God’s dominion of those who have placed their faith and obedience to Jesus Christ His Son and our Lord. By living in the Spirit of Truth, which is His Spirit that reveals all truth to us, His Kingdom is manifest by His rule over the hearts of His believers. This then is one answer as to where the Kingdom of Heaven is that we are to seek. We read this in the gospel of Luke, “Nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:21) Every Christian believer is a present manifestation of the Kingdom of Heaven. Every Christian believer should be growing into the image of their Lord Jesus Christ. The world should be able to see a snippet of Jesus in every Christian.

As members of the body of Christ the Christian is God’s representative from Heaven to the world. Those who are seeking the Kingdom of Heaven should be able to see a clear vision of that which they search for through the example of Christians in righteous living. The Christian is the sower of the seed of God’s powerful word, the Christian is the one who waters that seed, and the Christian is the one privileged to reap the early harvest of the seed which God has caused to grow. If someone is seeking the Kingdom of Heaven that person should be able to find it through Christ’s ambassadors. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)

Jesus, the incarnate God Almighty, came down from the Kingdom of Heaven with the gospel message that the lost might be saved. Jesus spent a three year ministry teaching His disciples the Word, healing the sick, seeking the lost sheep of His Father’s Kingdom, and sacrificing His life that men might find life. “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.” (1 John 4:9) Those who are seeking the Kingdom of Heaven find it through the Gospel message.

The Kingdom of Heaven is the free gift of salvation that all should seek. As people seek and come closer to the Kingdom of Heaven they realize the peril of their sinful nature. Upon calling on the name of the Lord and believing on Him, following Him in faith, the Holy Spirit resides within each Christian. Conversion is instant but the renewal of life is a process of regeneration. “And have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.” (Colossians 3:10) The more we grow spiritually towards the image of our Lord the more we realize the condition of our sinful nature. We also realize that try as we do we still stumble and fall and return many times in repentance to our knees. We wonder how we can be righteous enough to stand before a Holy God. Jesus, the Lamb of God, gave His life as a sacrifice to pay the sin debt that all mankind has which is death. By the sacrificial death of Jesus we all can stand in His righteousness. “So that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:17)

“His Righteousness.” The Gospel, which reveals the righteousness of God, is that which gives the right and title to the Christian to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. It is the Christians faith in Jesus Christ and trust in His word that we find righteous living. Faith in Jesus, acting on His word is essential to pleasing God. “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6) Faith is a challenge because it requires the believer to trust in things that cannot be seen. What is seen is passing way but what is not seen is eternal. (1 Corinthians 7:31) The vision must not be through the physical eye but through the spiritual eye. The Christian must be obedient to and have the faith to act on the multitude of promises found in God’s Word. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17) To find God’s righteousness we must study His Word. In the words of the Creator of the heavens and the earth is found the knowledge and wisdom to live a successful life bound for the glory of the Kingdom of Heaven. “But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction.” (Romans 3:22) The taming of the physical life is of some profit but the discipline of spiritual godliness is essential in the greater reward to come. The righteousness of God not only carries the Christian through this world in a life of inner peace with God but also prepares him for the life to come. “For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8)

“All these things will be added to you.” As an instrument of His service God will equip the Christian to accomplish His plan and purpose for his life. The Grace of God is sufficient to provide for all the needs of the Christian. God desires to give His gifts to His Children. His gifts come at the right time and meet the necessity of the time in which they are provided. The Heavenly Father who loves His children with unconditional love gives the good and perfect gifts to His children. “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” (James 1:17)

God loves you, God’s love for all in the world was so great that he gave His only begotten Son that all might not perish. (John 3:16) If God loved us so much that He would not spare His Son then we should be able to understand in relations to our own children how great, how deep, and how wide God’s love is for us. If we are aright with Him there is no reason that through His providence He would deny us that which we need. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)

The Christian should not be anxious for anything but remain trusting in the Lord. “Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) The unrighteous of the world hurry about trying to gather all their wants and needs in a frantic race in order to satisfy their endless craving, lust, and greed for the things of this world. But we the Christians have learned to trust the Lord, for His word is true, He is a faithful God, and He is able to provide. “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” (Matthew 6:32)

To the rich and the poor alike their measure is given according to their abilities. Those who can be trusted with little shall be given much. Those who squander their wealth in the passing things of this world will have had their reward and shall pass with it. Either way if one be rich or poor it is mere pittance in comparison with the riches of God’s glory. He will provide for His children as God cannot lie His Word must be ever the Word of Truth. “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

It is not about me, it is not about you, and it is not about this world, it is all about Jesus. He was before the beginning and He is with us today, (Matthew 28:20) and He will be with us through all eternity. His truth is proclaimed by the history of the prophets, by the testimony of His disciples, I have seen the proof of His Word throughout my life, and I have faith in the eternal hope in the vision of a heavenly home in the Kingdom. For He is there now preparing a place for me. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)

The Kingdom of Heaven can be found in the heart that is centered upon Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the Kingdom of Heaven can be found through the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and the Kingdom of Heaven is found in the gospel message of God’s free gift of salvation. The Kingdom of Heaven through it is here and glorified in the righteousness of His believing followers, the full glory of His Kingdom is yet to come. Because I have seen the truth and been freed from the error of my passing days, I can trust the vision of what I yet not comprehended, “But just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, 07/06/14

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