Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate.  Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach.  For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.

 
 
 

Going to Jesus

Daily Thoughts

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3-29

What “Kingdom” Means

The Lord reigns! Let the earth rejoice!

Psalm 97:1

Make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King.”

Psalm 98:6

A kingdom is the domain of a king; it is not a democratic state. None of God’s subjects advise Him or have a hand in determining the laws of His kingdom. His word is the law, the only law, of His kingdom. Heaven and earth, and all things visible and invisible, exist and move at the King’s pleasure, and there is nothing that can resist His power. His title, “Lord of hosts”, means “Lord of armies”, but in reality, He needs no army. He governs by His word. The universe itself was created and is sustained by the breath that comes out of His mouth (Ps. 33:6). We exist only because the King wants us to exist.

God does whatever He pleases to do in His kingdom, and “there is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord” (Prov. 21:30). There is no second ruler, or third, in God’s kingdom; there are only servants and sons. He does not need Jesus any more than He needs the heavenly armies of angels. It is only because He willed to have a Son that He has one, and the Son’s very life came from God and is in God’s hands. Jesus made this point when he said that God had given him life (Jn. 5:26) and that he lives only by the Father’s continued mercy (Jn. 6:57). God raises up, and God casts down, and there is no creature who can begin to comprehend His power and wisdom.

In God’s kingdom, He alone determines everything, and because of that, only a fool would dare to devise a standard of his own rather than to submit to the standard that God has ordained. Beyond that, it is a privilege to be allowed to live by God’s holy and good standard, for God is no beggar. “The Lord is a great God and a great King” (Ps. 95:3), and no great king begs for followers; a great king makes men bow.

Our King has chosen to make men bow by overwhelming us with His goodness. “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord” (Ps. 33:5), and yet, for all that, most people on earth refuse to bow . . . for now. The King will not tolerate such insult forever. He has already announced that at some point, “every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess” (Rom. 14:11). But for the time being, wise men repent and submit themselves to the King of glory because of His goodness (Rom. 2:4).

God will be King forever (Ps. 10:16). He will always govern. For this reason, those who “despise government” will be cast into the Lake of Fire. God will always reign; He will always have standards that He expects His servants to meet; He will always give commandments (though “His commandments are not grievous”); and He will always be good.

Those who think that commandments are oppressive feel that way only because they are like Satan, who envied God’s power to make the rules. Those who seek a place where there is no government are fools; there is no such place anywhere. Even in Hell, God reigns according to His own good pleasure.

We praise God precisely because there is no place where He does not reign. We do not want to be anywhere without Him; we do not want to be anywhere but where He reigns because “He is good, and His mercy endures forever.” We praise Him because we cannot live without Him. We don’t want to live without Him because He is good, and He loves us too much to leave us without His protective shadow. Like Jesus, we live by Him, and we love living by Him.

Our God is great! He is a great King and a good God. His kingdom (thankfully!) is forever, and if His holy Spirit is in us, then we are in the eternal kingdom “of His dear Son”, for in Christ, “the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17). The King loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son so that we could partake of life in His kingdom. He will move heaven and earth for those who trust Him. He would make the sun stand still, or cast the stars down from heaven, or make a sea move back to make a way of escape for His children. It is no wonder that David sang, “The Lord reigns! Let the earth rejoice!” Who else would a sane man want to have sitting on the eternal throne?

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