What is the character of the people who belong to God’s Kingdom? And, what does entrance into this kingdom requires of us? Jesus tells us that only BELIEVER‘S, those who put their TRUST and FAITH in Him, will understand what he has to say as He reveals the secrets of the kingdom. Character matters!
Matthew 13:11 (TNIV)
He replied, ‘The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.’
By SEEKING the Kingdom first, Jesus tells us to SEEK Him–to SEEK God first in our life; to LIVE righteously. He, in turn, will provide for our needs. As Lord and Creator, He wants to help provide what you need as well as guide how you use what He provides. The Kingdom is a place that is close to God, close to Jesus. It is a place where God desires US to be and where, as followers of Jesus….we desire to be.
Listen to what Jesus says in Matthew 6:33 (TNIV)
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
What is next, I believe, is the key that opens the door to the kingdom. Jesus tells us that to be great in the kingdom of heaven/ kingdom of God that we must be HUMBLE like a child, that we must adopt an attitude of HUMBLE SERVANTHOOD.
Listen to what He says in Matthew 18:1-5 (TNIV)
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus explained that little children have the kind of FAITH AND TRUST needed to enter God’s kingdom. They came to Jesus in HUMILITY and received his blessing as a GIFT. In ancient days children had no authority or rights, but they came to him in trust and love.
Matthew 19:14 (TNIV)
Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’
Jesus teaches us this in Matthew 13:44-46 (TNIV)
44 The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. 45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
Both of these parables (The Treasure in the Field and The Merchant Looking for Fine Pearls) tell of a joy in finding peace with God. Both men, the one who stumbled upon the kingdom and the one who was seeking the kingdom realize when they find it that it is the ANSWER to their HOPES and DREAMS. There is a tremendous value in becoming a true citizen of the kingdom of God.
My prayer is that you will look at your life. My prayer is that you will actively participate in the restoration of this world by loving God and loving others….all people….regardless of race and regardless of what they believe. And my prayer, as that as you become a citizen of that kingdom, that others will choose to do the same also as you serve with a heart like Jesus. Let others see Jesus in you. Character matters.