Posts Tagged ‘Kingdom of God’

“When you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.”—Luke 21:31

More than a third of Americans, as well as the world, believe that recent natural and political disasters point to Jesus’ imminent return. The Public Religion Research Institute says that this belief is especially strong among Protestants.

Today’s verse is one of the biblical passages that connect Christ’s second coming with weather and political-related events. Here we read about some truly extraordinary events: “the roaring and tossing of the sea” and “the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

This is an incredible portrayal of the end times. Provided to give hope and assurance to people in the middle of our suffering, it’s more poetry than instruction manual. First, Jesus talks about “signs” that will be evident to everyone. Then we are told to be alert that the last day will not close on us “suddenly like a trap.”

One philosopher defined “anxiety” as “the next day.” We do not know what might happen tomorrow. A tragedy strikes someone every day: the loss of a loved one, a divorce, a spot on an X-ray. The time will come when that someone is us. Our world might collapse.

But God is in charge, no matter what happens. He is near. And he will get nearer yet in his time. That’s the sure promise of his eternal Word.


Our Father, what a joy to know that your kingdom is near! Help me overcome my worries, as I look forward to that great day when everyone will see you in your power and glory. Amen.

awesomeLet me give you 3 examples, and consider which is the best display of humility:
Example 1: A teenage girl walks to school with her head down and a chip on her shoulder. She often utters to herself – “I’m fat, stupid, and ugly.”
Example 2: A man talks to his friends about his terrible job – he doesn’t brag about his job because he hates his job, but he dominates the conversation with talks of how terrible his job is.
Example 3: A woman talks with her friends. She interjects briefly, but for the most part she listens to what her friends have to say.
The real example of humility is of course example number 3. The other two are not really displaying humility. Example number 1 is an example of ‘low self esteem.’  Low self esteem is not the same as the quality of humility!  Example number 2 is really displaying pride! It’s difficult to see because he’s not saying something positive about himself, but by dominating the conversation with facts about himself he says, “My life is very interesting! Everybody look at me!” This is not humility – it’s pride. The third example displays a mature soul who does not draw attention to herself. She is not consumed with thoughts about herself but shows interest in other people. Applying this to the Christian life – Christian humility is shown when a believer dwells primarily on God and God’s glory and not his or her own self-image.
CS Lewis put it like this: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less”.
Let us be a people who do not obsess with our own issues and self-image – but on God’s kingdom and glory.
Philippians 2:3-5 “(3) Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; (4) do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. (5) Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,”

serviceWhosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his rewardMark 9:41

We often look for the big, splashy acts of service or devotion by which we can prove our love for God. But Jesus says even the smallest act of service in his name is never missed, will never go unrewarded by God.

Genuine Christian service can be as simple and practical and otherwise forgettable as giving a thirsty person a cup of water to drink. The person themselves might forget you brought them the water; you may forget the service the moment after you render it (Matthew 25:37); but God will not forget it.

Most Christians are not required to be martyred for their faith, or to be tortured for the sake of Christ. But every Christian is required to die daily to self, to think of others and how the kingdom of God can be served in even the smallest way.

Are there widows in your church whom you could encourage with a visit or phone call? Is there a brother or sister in Christ who has some physical or financial need with which you could help? Is there a young person in your church who just needs a little attention and direction in order to overcome personal insecurities or pressures from peers?

The one who is willing to anonymously serve in the kingdom of Christ shall not lose his reward. Notice, Jesus didn’t just say he will receive a reward, but he shall not lose it! There are eternal blessings to each and every practical act of Christian service.