Keys to the Kingdom: the path to divine citizenship…

August 30, 2011

America is unique in that it is one of the only nations in the world where one can become ‘an American’ regardless of where you’re from or who you are. Everyone here is from somewhere else. We define being American not simply in terms of legal status, but also as a way of life, a set of ideals, principles and habits. Americans have a walk, a talk, and an appearance, which is recognized, throughout the world. Sometimes it is mimicked and sometimes it is mocked. These are the marks of citizenship.

Being a citizen is not simply a recognition of some sovereign power, but the lawful submission to that sovereignty in deeds as well as thought. When submission is absent, anarchy breeds and soon one could rightfully begin to question citizenship altogether.

Jesus calls us to be part of a new sovereign state, and He gives us the path to citizenship. The kingdom of Heaven is near, indeed it is upon us. So how does the this kingdom manifest itself? Since Christ’s life, death and resurrection, much has happened in the world to make us question whether or not this kingdom has truly come. Certainly His disciples, most of whom died at the hands of earthly sovereign oppressors, would have wondered if the kingdom had arrived.

What Jesus gives us in the beatitudes is the keys to this in-breaking kingdom. Martin Lloyd-Jones once preached, in his sermon on the Beatitudes, that,

“When He said to the Pharisees ‘the kingdom of God is among you, ‘ it was though He were saying, ‘it is being manifested in your midst.’ Don’t say ‘look here’ or ‘look there’. Get rid of this materialistic view. I am here amongst you; I am doing things, it is here.’ Wherever the reign of Christ is being manifested, the kingdom of God is there.”

The kingdom is the practiced life of the King by His subjects. Where Christ rules, the kingdom reigns. When we approach God in spiritual poverty, we approach the King with empty hands and humble hearts. And at that moment we become blessed, our hands are freed from earthly bonds and our hearts are filled with the riches of the kingdom. And as we proceed through life, we are to act like the King and in so doing our culture changes and the presence of the kingdom becomes more clear. We must be gentle, merciful, peaceful and pure, and in doing so we will be blessed. We will still mourn, but we will be comforted. We will still hunger but we will be satisfied. And while we are still persecuted, we rest under the rule of our King; walking in the shadow of His throne, in the light of His love and according to the code of His kingdom written on our hearts.

One comment

  1. Reblogged this on The Implanted Word.

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