“By faith Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter when he was grown up. He chose to be mistreated with God’s people instead of having the temporary pleasures of sin. He thought that the abuses he suffered for Christ were more valuable than the treasures of Egypt, since he was looking forward to the reward” (Hebrews 11:24-26, CEB).
A few years ago I wrote a book entitled, The Kingdom Order: Living for the Future in the Present. It took me 12 chapters and about 250 pages in the book to make the same point about the Christian life that the Hebrews writer makes in these 3 verses describing the godly legacy of Moses.
Like Moses, Christians live life by looking forward to their reward–living forward!
Human beings were created for eternal life! God created people for eternity and eternity is ever present in the life we now live.
So, when you follow Jesus, you start to live life life forward…
“I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away“ (Luke 19:26, NASB).
Jesus told a parable about a prince who went to a far country to receive a kingdom. Before the prince departed he gave a significant sum of money to several servants and ordered them to engage in business with the money until he returns.
Upon his return he ordered each servant to give an accounting of his business activities. One servant profited ten times more with the money and he was given authority over ten cities in the prince’s new kingdom; another profited five times more with the money and was given authority over five cities. The third said he held the money without investing it because he was afraid of the prince’s fury if he did not make a profit.
So, the prince condemned the complacent servant and took the money he had given him and gave it to the one who had earned ten times more.
“As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came down on them, just as on us at the beginning. Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, if God gave them the same gift that He also gave to us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, how could I possibly hinder God? When they heard this they became silent. Then they glorified God, saying, ‘So God has granted repentance resulting in life even to the Gentiles!'” (Acts 11:15-18, HCSB).
Citizenship is generally a function of where you are born. You are a citizen of the country in which you are geographically born or of which your parents are a citizen.
The same is true for citizenship in the Kingdom of God. Kingdom citizens must be born of God; they must be birthed by the Holy Spirit.
“How great is the Lord, how deserving of praise, in the city of our God, which sits on his holy mountain! It is high and magnificent; the whole earth rejoices to see it! Mount Zion, the holy mountain, is the city of the great King!” (Psalm 48:1-2, NLT).
Zion is the Hebrew name for the mountain in Jerusalem where the Temple was located. On the one hand Zion was synonymous with the actual city of Jerusalem that was destroyed in 586 BC and again in AD 70. On the other hand Zion was the City of God that transcended geographical location. Zion was the City in which God dwelled!
“The whole statue was crushed into small pieces of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. Then the wind blew them away without a trace, like chaff on a threshing floor. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth. That was the dream. Now we will tell the king what it means…the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever.” (Daniel 2:35, 44, NLT).
When King Nebuchadnezzar had a troubling dream, God gave Daniel the ability to reveal the dream and its meaning to the king.
This meditation is Part 1 of a three-part series of meditations on Romans 6-8.
In Genesis 25 we read of the birth of Jacob and Esau. Isaac was Abraham’s son and Jacob’s (Israel’s) father. Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah. Though Isaac was the heir of the covenant God had with Abraham, he had produced no heir. Isaac’s wife, Rebekah was childless so Isaac prayed for his wife. God heard Isaac’s prayer and Rebekah conceived after almost twenty years of marriage to Isaac.
“Those who were once enlightened, who tasted the heavenly gift, became companions with the Holy Spirit, tasted God’s good word and the powers of the coming age…” (Hebrews 6:4-5, HCSB).
I’ve lifted this phrase out of its context for a reason. The context of the verses is, of course, the apostasy of believers in Christ (actual or figurative, depending upon your theological perspective) .
“Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ” (Philippians 1:27, NLT).
My paternal grandfather was born in England and migrated to the United States with his family as a baby. Later in life he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.
I have a copy of his citizenship papers. His certificate of naturalization says that he intends to reside permanently in the United States and is entitled to be admitted to citizenship.
“Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise— making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is” (Ephesians 5:15-17, HCSB).
One of the recurring themes in my book, The Kingdom Order: Living for the Future in the Present, is that we should live our life in the present as though it is preparation for eternity. We must allow our hope for an eternal future to impact the way we live in our present reality.
“So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:16-17, ESV).
According to the Apostle Paul living in God’s Kingdom is not about doing good. It’s not about formulating a set of rules and regulations for good behavior. It’s not about finding happiness or success.