Kingdom . . .
In the ancient world, it could mean either a geographical place or the influence and authority of the sovereign. A substantial portion of the Bible is all about kingdom authority, its acquisition and exercise, and the rise and fall of those who would wield it.
No one typifies this more than David. To this very day, the flag of the nation of Israel is called the Star of David. His story is the story of every man or woman who has a heart to make a difference. He had no credentials to speak of. He was, in fact, the least likely to exert any influence beyond tending sheep.
I and II Samuel, I and II Kings, and I and II Chronicles are books in which we read about the history of the Kings of Israel. As we read, I think we need to remember that their stories also point us to the reality that we in our day are part of a kingdom, too, the Kingdom of God.
Jesus often spoke about the Kingdom. "The Kingdom of God is like...." He would then go on to show how ordinary people like you and me could be used by the Holy Spirit to implement the Kingly influence of Jesus in very real day to day situations. Our praying reflects this. When His disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He said, "When you pray, say, Father in Heaven . . . Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
In Mark's Gospel, he begins by showing that Jesus came, "preaching the Kingdom of God." He then goes on to chronicle how the Lord supernaturally healed all manner of diseases and set people free from demonic control. It becomes clear, that the Lord meant for His church to continue the extension of His Kingdom by the same means.
For this next season, I want us to look long and hard at this whole issue of Kingdom influence. I want it to be not merely a study, but an encounter. I believe that the Lord has all this in the Bible so you and I could learn how to live lives of great significance for His Kingdom. Let's get started.
Copyright 2007 by Jim Jenkins. All rights reserved.