Christians and unbelievers alike are both seeking contentment. We are all trying to find a peaceful existence that is fulfilling, meaningful, and void of discouragement, loneliness, and fear. Jesus came to earth to help us achieve this goal. Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is where we want to be in order to find the ultimate contentment that we all seek. So how do we get there? In a recent Bible study, I came across seven truths that will help us all focus on our journey. When we pay attention to these guiding principles, we can be certain we are moving in the right direction, and we can share this advice with others who are also seeking the kingdom of God.
Anyone who has cared for a newly-born baby knows all too well that they are totally dependent on their caregiver. Babies trust their caregiver for food, clothing, and a safe place to live. This dependency carries on for many years for most children. Jesus wants us to know that the first step toward finding the kingdom of God is to let go of our self-control and willingly accept a total dependence on our Father in heaven. “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” (Luke 18:17) When we truly trust God for all of our needs and desires, we are moving in the right direction.
We demonstrate our trust for God by placing our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as payment for our misdeeds and a guaranteed reward of eternal life. Our salvation through Jesus establishes our status as children of God. “The glory which You have given Me I also have given to them, so that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and You loved them, just as You loved Me.” (John 17:22-23) Our salvation is a grand demonstration of God’s love and His desire for us to be one with Him.
As a follower of Jesus, we need to separate ourselves from the darkness of this world. When we study the teachings of Jesus, we are transformed into a new understanding of what it means to love God and love our neighbor. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) Seeking God’s perfection in our interactions with others is our ultimate goal; and if we stay focused on our relationship with Jesus, we will reach this goal when he returns to destroy evil forever.
Until Jesus returns, we have to continue to exist in a world that is often hostile toward followers of Jesus. This is by design. We are to be a light pointing the way for others to find Jesus and pursue their journey toward the kingdom of God. Our mission is to present our spiritual self to the world in a way that is compelling and not judgmental. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6) When we continue to seek the righteousness of God, we will be supported in that effort by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and thereby able to help others along the way.
Following in the footsteps of Jesus is our daily calling. We need to see the world as Jesus sees it. We need to reach out to others as Jesus did during His ministry here on earth. And we need to take action to help anyone that we have the ability to help. When we follow this prescription, we are on the right road. “By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says that he remains in Him ought, himself also, walk just as He walked.” (1 John 2:5-6) Our desire to be more like Jesus every day is the energy that will carry us into the kingdom of God.
Knowing God brings peace. Letting go of worldly expectations that only bring anxiety, fear, and discouragement, in order to pursue a relationship with Jesus, is the key to our total transformation into the kingdom of God. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1) God sent His Son to earth as a guide for us to follow. This is a very simple process. The Word of God paints a clear picture and a detailed road map into the kingdom of God.
As a follower of Jesus, you are a member of the kingdom of God waiting for king Jesus to return and establish his kingdom here on earth. Until that glorious day, don’t allow the enemy to disrupt your progress. Keep your eyes on Jesus, trust the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and stay in contact with your Father in heaven through constant prayer. “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:20-21) Jesus is pointing the way. Keep moving in that direction and you will be there sooner than you think.
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