Many people approach their relationship with God with these questions:
"What do I want God to do for me? What can he do in my life? What purpose does he serve?"
These are great questions.
But have you ever asked the questions in reverse?
"God, what can I do for you? What do you want me to do in other's lives? How can I serve your purposes with my life?"
When people begin to ask these questions together, they're on their way to grasping some things about the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God isn't a place. Rather it is the reign and rule of God coming to expression as people submit to him through Jesus, and live under the authority of Jesus.
When Jesus came to bring salvation into the world through his death and resurrection, he announced it in terms of the kingdom of God.
As Jesus begins his ministry, he announces that the kingdom of God has come near.
"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” -Mark 1:14-15
When he announces Good News, he says it is "the good news of the kingdom".
"Now Jesus began to go all over Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people." -Matthew 4:23
When Jesus talks to Nicodemus about spiritual rebirth, he frames it as "entering the kingdom of God".
"...unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." - John 3:5
The kingdom of God is "the government of heaven" breaking into this broken world. It is God's ways coming to expression in the midst of sinful humanity.
Jesus frames his ministry by announcing the presence of the kingdom, because He is the King, but then demonstrates the kingdom (see Matthew 4:23 - more later this week). Or, as we said in elementary school, Jesus did show and tell.
Back to our original questions.
"God, what can I do for you? What do you want me to do in other's lives? How can we serve your purposes with our lives?"
There's not a secret answer to these questions. The answer is to "show and tell" the King and the Kingdom.
Tomorrow, more on show and tell.