I strive to live my life, each day, knowing that the kingdom of heaven is near and I want to do my best to be a part of that kingdom.
Reference: v.17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (NIV Bible)
Explore: I’ve just taken up jogging in the mornings again. (I say ‘jogging’ but I’m sure it can only be classed as a bouncy walk!!) I like to head out as soon as I get up otherwise I find reasons not to go! The early start is also advantageous as my jogging route takes me past two schools and I’m usually out early enough before parents are doing their daily drop off or children are walking to school. One thing I notice, however, is that when I do come across another person outside – whether they are out walking or tradesmen working – I tend to put more energy into my exercise. For that brief moment when someone might actually be watching me I am able to put in a bit more effort and move a little faster (now classified as a bouncy fast walk!!) When I know someone is near I make sure I look that little bit more impressive. While I realise this is completely vain I know I’m not alone. Teenagers clean up their language when they know an adult is in ear shot, employers pick up the pace when they know their boss is in the office and parents are much more patient with children when there are other families around.
As Jesus began his public ministry he began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” If we are close to meeting with God then surely we would want to be on our best behaviour! However Jesus did not mean that we were going to die and go to Heaven soon, He was proclaiming Himself as Messiah and highlighting the fact that the kingdom of heaven is near, even before you die.
Application: God is present in our lives today and always. He promises never to leave us nor forsake us. Some people struggle with this concept and feel like it is Big Brother always watching their every move and telling them off when they make the wrong step. However I feel that it motivates and comforts me. It motivates me because I want to live a life that is honoring to God and if He is always there then I am mindful of my actions. But it also comforts me because I know that God understands me better than anyone else. He has been there through all my good and bad times and I don’t have to go back and fill Him in on all the pivotal times in my life. He understands me probably better than I understand myself. And so I strive to live my life, each day, knowing that the kingdom of heaven is near and I want to do my best to be a part of that kingdom.
Prayer: Lord, you know us so well and yet you still love us! May we not be afraid of your presence but comforted in the knowledge of living in your grace and mercy. Amen.
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.