Being in another kingdom, even while we are right here on earth, means that we are to exercise the responsibilities and privileges, Christ has given us. For instance, every citizen knows that he must learn the history of his nation in order to understand it. We Americans had to go to school and take American History, and thus learn what has happened in the past. And, in a sense, that is what I attempt to do with Morning Messages and all of my studies. For instance, here, from Paul’s writings, we are learning the history of our Father’s kingdom — what it is, and what has happened, and why we have certain privileges.
Then, we have particular concerns we must manifest, and individual choices to make. For those of you who live in America, remember that we had recently voted in a national election. Even if you voted for the loser, you at least exercised the right of choice. As a citizen, you had this right. Well, in Yahweh’s kingdom, it is the same. Particular choices are now possible for you, and, just to let you know, you must make them. You also have specific concerns you must confront.
But the thing which makes us rejoice in our citizenship is that we have certain privileges. I am always glad that I am an American citizen. I know there is much in the history of our country that we regret. But every nation has had similar problems. And I can’t think of any country that has done more to benefit more people of the earth. So I rejoice in the great privileges which are mine as an American citizen. I have access to many resources which other nationalities cannot enjoy. I possess more protection to me as an American citizen which others do not have.
You have something similar in the kingdom of God. You have the protection of a King, and you have the right to expect him to protect you. There is power available — resurrection power, the kind that works beyond human thinking and planning. And our Father is inviting us to call on Him for that resource any time we have a need. There is support for whenever you face a problem. Jesus said,
“When you are reviled and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers — wonderful! Be happy about it! Be very glad! for a tremendous reward awaits you up in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted too,” (Matthew 5:11-12)
He knows what to do.
“Leave vengeance to God, because He has said that He will deal with those who deserve it,” (Romans 12:19)
Or as one Translation more pointedly renders that verse:
“Don’t try to work it out on your own,” He says, “I have not forgotten. I know to straighten it out, and to do so in a way that you will ultimately be glad of and not ashamed. I am not merely going to move in and crack heads together; I’m going to solve the problem in a way that will be permanently peaceful.”
So we have access to our king, and we can expect His protection and his justice.
And, as Paul also points out, we share in a tremendous degree of glory. We are fellow citizens with the saints. Who are these saints he is mentioning? As Paul writes, he is thinking of the great saints of the Old Testament, men like Abraham and Moses, Elijah and Elisha, and David, and Isaiah and Jeremiah. We have an inheritance with them; we belong to the same kingdom.
As Americans, many of us are proud that we belong to the nation which produced George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and other great men I feature on one of my blogs: From The Wisdom of Our Founders.
As you read and study the history of our Faith, we become personal friends with men such as Abraham, Moses, David, and Noah. Jesus himself said, “I can guarantee that many will come from all over the world. They will eat with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 8:11). Whoa! Think of that! What a tremendous privilege to know these men of great faith Yahweh has honored in the past — Paul and Peter and James and John, Luther and Augustine and Wesley. Many of us have sung the hymns of Charles Wesley and his brother John. Bill Newton and I bet that there will be a day when we can sit down with “Chuck” and “Jack” Wesley and talk to them about what they had been doing. I tell you what, this is the intimacy of the kingdom of God, of “fellow citizens with the saints,” and is what it means to receive honor and glory and protection and power — not just for the future, but now.
Then, the final glory of all — we have access to the King himself. He walks with us; he tells us His plans, His programs, where He is going in history, what He is doing. Just think of the tremendous possibilities of this! We don’t have to dwell on it, but this is something of what the apostle wants us to grasp and reckon upon as a result of the figure he employs here — the marvelous privileges we have in Christ.
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I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.