The gift of the kingdom
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
- Luke 12:32-33
God has so much more for us than we could ever gain on our own. We could scramble after food and drink, wealth and prestige, cars and houses; but, our heavenly Father has given us his kingdom. In fact, Jesus’ challenge to live a life marked by generosity is intimately linked to his desire that we would participate in and enjoy his kingdom.
In joyful generosity our Father has given us his kingdom. According to Dallas Willard the kingdom of God is “where what God wants done is done.” We can have access to God’s kingdom now, can live as citizens in the kingdom, and can experience his blessings and protections.
As kingdom citizens our lives begin to take the shape of the kingdom’s priorities. Care for the poor is an essential value in God’s kingdom because God pays special attention to those who live on the margins of society. We can’t claim to be a part of God’s kingdom and at the same time reject the values that mark God’s kingdom.
God’s kingdom is markedly different from the little fiefdoms of the world. Instead of hoarding wealth we give it away. We prioritize the good of others. We take a long view.
Next week we’ll experience another national election. Whoever wins the election; the results will have a discernable impact on the shape of our national discourse in the years ahead. And yet, as God’s kingdom people we need to maintain a clear perspective: our Father has been pleased to give us the kingdom, his kingdom, the kingdom “where what God wants done is done.”
God is our king and no earthly ruler can take his place. God is our king and we follow his leadership. God is our king and our primary allegiance is to him. We won’t let fear or uncertainty prevent us from living the generous lives he’s called us to live.
How does your citizenship in God’s kingdom impact your practice of generosity? What do you do differently because God is your king? How can you remind yourself that you’re a citizen of God’s kingdom as the election comes to a close?