Kingdom

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Art:

Not long ago, our oldest son, along with his wife and three youngest children, spent two years in China’s Yunnan province. I did this Ink with Pen and Brush at that time and felt it appropriate for our Thought today—Kingdom.

The Great Wall of China is the collective name of a series of fortification systems generally built across the historical northern borders of China. From as early as the 7th century BC, walls were being built. The most well-known sections of the walls were built by the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).

Thought:  

How do you like being a ‘king’ or ‘queen’?  Yes, I’m talking about you.  You are either a ‘king’ with a kingdom (males) or a ‘queen’ with a queendom (female).  Having a kingdom or a queendom was never your choice.  That was God’s choice for you.  Now, choices you make as the ‘king’ or ‘queen’ of your kingdom are yours to make.  Before we continue, let’s define a few terms:

Kingdom of Man is generally a piece of land ruled by a king or a queen, often called a monarchy: usually one person is the leader, or head of state.

Kingdom of Heaven is the spiritual realm over which God reigns as king, or the fulfillment on Earth of God’s will. The phrase is primarily used by Jesus in the first three Gospels.

Kingdom of Saints [1]”Every last one of us has a “kingdom”—or a “queendom”, or a “government”—a realm that is uniquely our own, where our choice determines what happens. Here is a truth that reaches into the deepest part of what it is to be a person.

What is a Kingdom?  “To gain a deeper understanding of our eternal kind of life in God’s present kingdom, we must be sure to understand what a kingdom is. A ‘Kingdom’ is simply the range of our effective will.   Whatever we genuinely have the say over is our kingdom. And our having the say over something is precisely what places it within our kingdom.  In creating human beings God made them to rule, to reign, to have dominion in a limited sphere.  Only so, can they be persons.

“We are made to “have dominion” within an appropriate domain of reality.  This is the core of the likeness or image of God in us and is the basis of the destiny for which we were formed.  We are, all of us, never-ceasing spiritual beings with a unique eternal calling to count for good in God’s great universe.”

 As created persons in the image of God [“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27] we are citizens of God’s Kingdom, where God’s effective will is in control. He is the creator and “sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Hebrews 1:3

As part of the Kingdom of God, men and women are subject to God’s effective will.  Out of love for his creation, God’s effective will for mankind has given each individual their own personal kingdom: A place where he or she has a range of effective will: Where what you say is what happens. Evidence of this begins in Genesis 1:26-28 where God said “… fill the earth and subdue [have dominion or rule over] it.

Our guidelines, for making these choices in our kingdom, are given to us by Jesus: Love God, Love yourself and Love neighbors.  This God-kind-of-love is “…acting intentionally, in sympathetic response to others (including God), to promote overall well-being.” — Thomas Oord, The Science of Love. 

[2]“Love, then, is a condition of the will, embodied in the fundamental dimensions of the human personality, guiding them for the purpose of serving the good.  In the deepest sense love is not something you choose to do; it is what you become—a loving person.  Your will is your capacity to bring things and events and processes into existence.”

How may I approach my Kingdom?

Love God:  He loved you first (John 3:16).  He gave you his Spirit. Spend time with him!

Love Yourself: You are God’s temple (1 Cor. 3:16). Take care of your body in every way.

Love Other: All God’s creation and people, within your sphere of influence (Gen. 1:26-28). Start at home.

“His master replied, “Well done good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things [in your kingdom]: I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness.”

Matthew 25:23

[1] The Divine Conspiracy, Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God, Dallas Willard, p. 21

[2] Live Without Lack, Living in the fullness of Psalm 23, Dallas Willard,  p, 170

2 thoughts on “Kingdom

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