Jesus after Easter (a 50-day series), “…speaking about the Kingdom…”

Most of us long for miracles.  And Jesus’ perfect life, death on sinners’ behalf as the fulfillment of Passover, and His physical resurrection prove that He is willing and able to meet our greatest needs:  complete forgiveness and a new heart to follow Him as our living King.  But even in the Bible, most of the journey with Jesus is lived in the moments between miracles.  In this 50-day series, we’ll consider some of those moments leading up to the next great miracle in the New Testament:  the fulfillment of Pentecost and the incredible growth of the Church.

 

If you knew that you would only have a few days to talk with the people you love the most, what subject would dominate your time?  In Acts 1:3, we read that the risen Jesus talked with His disciples about the Kingdom of God.  Did He talk with them about the Kingdom in the sense of God’s here and now work in His people or the coming Kingdom in which He will perfect His people and bring them to live with Him in paradise forever?

The passage doesn’t say.  But since He talked about both during the three years with them before His crucifixion, I suspect He talked about both during those forty days afterward.  I know that I need both.

As I write this, it’s my 54th birthday, but I’m away from home visiting some of the people in my Army unit who are stationed in another state.  And I miss my family.  By God’s grace, I’ve had a few deeper talks with some of the people, and I believe that I’ve built bridges for some of them to read my weekly emails of devotionals, Christian education videos, Bible studies, etc. that I send to the leaders of our 14,000+ personnel in 28 states and 11 countries.

Still, it’s hard for me to I’m struggling to plant seeds of the gospel with people I can only see once a year or so.  I need to know and rejoice in the here and now work of God’s Kingdom in me and others by the work of Jesus and His Spirit.  I want to know that my work doesn’t depend solely on my.  I need to know that their hope and my joy in Christ is based in His love and not mine, because I’m not feeling as much as I’d like this morning.

It was hard to discipline myself to go to bed early last night so I could get up early.  But at my age, I know that I have to start early in the gym or I’m not likely to go at all today.  I’ll come home physically and emotionally tired, have dinner and feel more relaxed.  Then I need to do a little more writing.  And, of course, I should have my devotional time in God’s Word and prayer before I go to the gym.

I share some of my daily grind with you because I suspect yours in similar.  In addition to knowing the work of God’s Kingdom in us and others now, we need to know the hope of God’s Kingdom to come.  This world simply isn’t enough to keep us going.  Even the Lord focused His Disciples on the coming Kingdom when they were especially stressed about Him leaving them.  Read Jesus’ statement in John 13:33ff as a springboard into chapters 14-16.

What are some of the most encouraging promises in that passage?  Consider memorizing those sections of Scripture, praising God for that specific aspect of His love for you, and sharing that hope with others.  God is building His Kingdom in His people now, but this is not our home.

 

I hope today’s thought and others in this series will be helpful to you as you journey with Jesus in the moments between miracles.

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If you’d like to know more about who publishes the articles, videos, and other materials on tools4trenches, you can click on the picture of me and my wife.

 

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