The Lord's Prayer begins with the simple words, "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:9-10). At the core of this prayer is a desire for earth to become like heaven. In the hardest times, we can find ourselves dreaming of heaven or new creation, forgetting that we actually have a role to play here on earth. We are called to bring about a foretaste of the future kingdom into the present.
Life can be difficult, and God understands this struggle. But His command is not to just sit and wait for the future kingdom. He wants you to be a part of realizing the kingdom now.
In Luke 4:16-21, Jesus gives His inaugural address to His hometown crowd when He says, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." This was Christ's ministry on earth, and it should be a real part of ours as well.
Our kingdom calling does not lie somewhere in the future, but it is woven into the fabric of the here and now. How do you do that? How do you live the kingdom?
Are You a Tsaddiq?
In this video, George Moss describes how our everyday work can be light and salt to the world. This intro video sets up the theme "Live the Kingdom," which you will explore in video clips 5-8.
Reflect and Discuss
Jesus said, "By their fruit you will recognize them" (Matthew 7:16). In other words, when you look at someone's life, you should be able to see things that indicate whether or not they are followers of Jesus. Their faith should be reflected in their actions. What are those things? What sets a Christian apart from the rest of the world? Depending on background and culture, many people will answer those questions differently.
Either way, following Jesus will lead us to live in a uniquely "kingdom" sort of way. We will allow the kingdom of God to change us so that the world gets a taste of God's love, justice and righteousness.
- Describe a time when you saw someone's behavior and, without the person saying anything about Jesus, you could tell he or she is probably His follower? What characteristics or behaviors tipped you off? What made the individual stand out?