Kingdom Realignment (Chapter 4) brings us to the end of section 1 The Big picture. The Authors introduce the point that Adam and Eve chose to be king and queen of their own kingdom rather than joyfully submitting to the authority of God as King. By extension all humans have done the very same thing; trying to establish our own kingdoms. We may come to the appreciation that if we are ever going to get swept up into God’s kingdom, we will have to let go of our own.
Section 1/Chapter 4 – The Big Picture/Kingdom Realignment
In this chapter the authors highlight the point that God is still King of His kingdom and Jesus is a King who gets down into the mess of humanity, who goes to ultimate lengths to seek and save the lost and restore people back into His kingdom. They continue explaining that in the standard economy of a kingdom, kings are not servants and servants are not kings, yet King Jesus is both. He calls us to repent of building our own kingdoms.
The kingdom of God is presented as the best thing we could ever get swept up in. God calls us to repent of chasing after our own fame and glory, and instead pursue His fame and glory. It’s the best trade we could ever make. Just as Jesus went all over Galilee preaching the good news of the kingdom (Matthew 4:23), the writers believe we are called to do the same today.
The chapter emphasizes the great news that the King is on His throne reigning over His kingdom. And that Jesus is not only the King, creator, sustainer, and brilliance of God’s glory, but also the means by which sinful man can be made clean again. It is truly a good kingdom, with a great king, with good news for a hurting world. Additionally we are told we only have the opportunity to spread this news and plead on His behalf when we practice kingdom realignment – when we leave behind our own kingdoms and pursue His.
Chapter four makes it clear that throughout His ministry, Jesus’ message resounded with the truth that His kingdom had come, and that it was a kingdom of good news – not a kingdom of oppression and corruption.
We decide what’s meaningful or worthwhile and live accordingly. We may pursue entertainment or comfort. Or, perhaps, security or wealth. If we’re honest we may admit that we don’t feel much like we’re a part of God’s grand mission. We get bogged down in the everyday details of our lives instead of the everyday mission of God. Sometimes we don’t embrace the mission of God because we have our own mission and agenda in life. The truth is, we like to be the boss of our own lives. We think we could never be like Adam and Eve, forsaking God’s kingdom for our own self-interest, yet in one way or another, we’re all guilty of not submitting to the authority of God as King. The good news of the kingdom is that God doesn’t leave us in a state of sinful devastation, but calls us to turn from our sin and to look to Jesus for hope and restoration. Indeed, it is a kingdom of the best news.
Considering the fact that God is on His throne and that Jesus is building His Church brings me great relief even in the decline of the church in North America. There is hope! Hopelessness in the present can turn into a bright future. It adds meaning and purpose to my life knowing that Jesus is a King who lowered His status to undertake sullied humanity, who went to ultimate length to seek and save the lost and restore people back into His kingdom. We are citizens of God’s kingdom and our purpose is to take the good news to all who will hear, hence helping to build God’s kingdom. It is true that “Our own ways of seeing and approaching our lives will have to be radically reoriented.”
In conclusion, every life on mission matters. We live in a society where popular culture dictates our norms but as kingdom citizens, we know God’s truths are real and can turn the world upside-down. This kingdom realignment leads us to a kingdom mentality, where, as everyday missionaries, we are more concerned with the bigger picture of God’s kingdom than we are with ourselves.
Matthew 4:17&23 – From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand…” He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people.
What are your thoughts?
See you for Section 2/Chapter 5 next week.
~ Garfield Miller, Missions Coordinator, Jamaica