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. Romans 14:17-18
From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matthew 4:17
Just like obedience fueled by obligation never leads to joy and freedom, neither does rule following provide access to God. Many of us live our lives as if the Kingdom of God is a place we win a ticket to based on our behavior and adherence to the rules.
If we act well enough, behave properly and obey all the rules deemed worthy on our checklist, then, and only then, will God accept us and allow us in.
Yet, this isn’t why the commands were given.
The rules weren't created to make us right, but to expose our need for a Savior. We couldn’t do it on our own. We were incapable of reaching God’s impossible standard of holiness.
Jesus died on a cross to reconcile us to God so that our life lived in obedience would serve as an expression of God's faithfulness. Righteousness is not about our behavior; it’s about being right with God.
Due to being reconciled with God, we are able to trust His authority.
When we recognize this point, we approach God differently. Faith is acting on our trust. We submit to His authority because we know that is where life is found. We have the courage to examine our motives and realize that being transparent about its current state is the first step in our transformation.
If we look underneath our actions we find who or what we trust. What we do and what we say proclaims to others our view of God and His authority in our life.
Inheriting the Kingdom of God is not about access, but stewardship.
We must become stewards of the Kingdom of God and express that to the world around us. Every action is an expression of something. We want our hearts to be so captured by God’s love that His ways come out in or action.
Our job isn’t to obey the rules, but to be an expression of His Kingdom in the world.
Every action is an expression of something. If this is true, what are your actions over the past few weeks expressing? How does this expression make you feel?
God, may my life serve as an expression of faith and trust. Give me the courage to look at what drives my actions and my words. Help me to submit my ways to Your own. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.