Happy New Year! Yep, I know we’re at the end of the first month of 2021 already, but I hope you have experienced the blessings of God in countless ways. This new year has brought much change, hasn’t it? As Americans we have a new president, a new administration, and he is quickly placing his thumb print on many new (perhaps old, too) initiatives.
The early events of this new year remind me of when Jesus began His ministry. In Mark’s gospel, we read the first words that came out of His mouth. As He came upon the scene, anyone who expected the end of evil and the beginning of utopia would have gotten excited at first and then grown disappointed in the coming years – especially when evil seemed to win decisively on the cross in Jerusalem. Clearly the coming of the Kingdom of God wasn’t a sudden shift in the ways of the world or an overhaul of government structures. Here’s what Jesus said that confused many:
“The time has come,” He said, “The Kingdom of God has come near.” (Mark 1:15)
What exactly did Jesus mean when He spoke those words? In what ways had the Kingdom of God come near? Theologians are still trying to unpack that statement, but one thing is clear – The Kingdom is near because The King came near. People got healed. Evil was cast out of hearts. Dead people got up and walked around again. The Truth astounded seekers and aggravated the keepers of the status quo. Those were some of the signs that The Kingdom had come, they were evidence that it had indeed begun to flourish. It wasn’t a theory, or an executive order, or some unattainable ideal. It was a dramatic intervention on a fallen planet. It was the beginning of a radical restoration. And still very much is.
Yes, God’s Kingdom is still growing, and miracles are still happening. That’s because The King is still among us. He didn’t come for a while and then leave – what would be the point in that? Jesus didn’t just give us a taste we would never be able to experience again. He came to stay. So if the time had come over 2,000 years ago, and Jesus remains with us as He promised He would, then the time is still here and His Kingdom is still near, right? Those who have bowed to The King have already entered The Kingdom – they can see it, smell it, taste it – no matter our modern day circumstances.
Yes, this is what it means that The King is here, and His Kingdom has come near in the reality of daily life. It means that we can still experience the miraculous, still see hearts fundamentally changed, still overcome evil, and still receive wisdom and revelation from the heart of God through His Word. It means we need to look at the world not as others do but as citizens of another realm. And it means we need to act as though that time, His Time, has come. Things Are Changing! Everything is becoming new, every day. Can you see it? Do you smell it? Can you taste it? Then I say, let’s live it and enjoy the journey with The King! Agree?!
Have an eye-opening experience this weekend. Make it better by worshipping The LORD with those who love how He has changed their lives and can’t wait to see what He’s going to do next.
All For Jesus – Nothing More, Nothing Less, Nothing Else.
“He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, The King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see, to Him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.” (1 Timothy 6:15b-16)