The Kingdom of God has Come Near P.1
Luke 10: 9 | By Jolene DeHeer
What does it mean when people say “the kingdom of God is near?" Several weeks ago I had the privilege of hearing Rev. Scott Hoezee preach an anointed sermon that skillfully answered that question. He said, “the kingdom of heaven comes near anywhere and everywhere the will of the King [..] is calling the shots.”* As I meditated on that, I was struck anew that drawing near to Christ enables us to experience and know the reality of God’s kingdom coming upon us.
Since drawing near to His presence is where we come to know the Father’s will and gain the ability to obediently do it. We need to daily make space for Him in our lives by both listening and talking to Him. We need to see Him in other people, and love Him more each day. Equipped with the sure knowledge of His powerful presence, we become ready to be sent out to declare the great good news of the nearness of God’s kingdom. Rev. Hoezee reminds us that this great news is not something we keep to ourselves. As individuals and as the church we are sent "out into God’s fallen world and give witness to the nearness of God’s kingdom.” We are called to not only tell people the truth of the nearness of God’s kingdom, but also to “show them this truth by ourselves living lives that make it clear that the power and the sway and the will of our eternal King are calling the shots in our lives.”
Is there any news more glorious than the hope of God’s kingdom being present? This is what the world needs to hear. God’s kingdom is near when we struggle with illness, relationships, finances, injustice, wars, and even death. The kingdom of God is near when we are walking paths of joy and gratitude. Are we daily drawn to prepare ourselves to be sent with the great news of God’s nearness? Are we hungering and thirsting for a deeper, more intimate connection with Christ? Are we eager and excited to obediently follow the call to share it not just in our churches and communities, but world-wide?
I leave you with this key thought from Rev. Hoezee, “Indeed, for us as witnesses to the wider world we need to make it clear that the kingdom of heaven has come upon us, and we never want to exit this kingdom. Not now, not ever. It is our very life!"
*Quotes used with permission.
Thank you, Jesus, for bringing God’s kingdom near. Thank you for giving us the privilege of sharing the good news of grace. Draw us ever closer to you and equip us to boldly proclaim, “The kingdom of God is near!”
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