16 April 2017
Reading: 1 Samuel 18; 1 Chronicles 6; Psalm 11; Matthew 3
John said, “I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. The real action comes next: The main character in this drama—compared to him I’m a mere stagehand—will ignite the kingdom life within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out.” (Matthew 3:11 MSG)
The Jews were expecting that some day the promised Messiah would come and declare himself the King of Israel – he would restore the kingdom as it had been in the glorious days of David and Solomon.
What they didn’t expect was that the Messiah would establish his kingdom in the hearts and lives of those who believed in him, Jews and non-Jews alike. They didn’t expect that anyone who believed this Good News Message could exchange their old life of slavery to sin for a new life of freedom in faith.
John’s message was that the King is already here and we can have the kingdom life now!Later, Jesus himself said, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21 NIV)
When we live the Kingdom of God Life, the Holy Spirit is within us, changing us from the inside out. I want to have an inside-out Kingdom Life. I want Jesus to ignite the Kingdom Life in me and change me from the inside out.
I know it means my false self, my ego self, has to stop getting his way and running things. I know that my true self, my new self, the new me in Christ, must grow up, stand up, and represent me in life’s daily actions and interactions. I know it means acting on what I believe, honestly facing the things that need to change, and submitting obediently to his Holy Spirit direction. I want it anyway! How about you?
Father, I believe you sent Jesus into the world to ignite the Kingdom Life in us from the inside out. Lord Jesus, I submit to your kingly authority in my life and I affirm my desire and commitment to grow and change as you desire to change me. Holy Spirit, please teach me to listen and respond to your instruction and promptings. Please ignite the Kingdom Life in me and change me from the inside out. May it be so.