Romans 6:12–23 (ESV)
“Let not sin therefore reign in our mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness but present yourselves to God as those who have been bought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”
Jesus was a master at responding to questions and challenges with non-answers, diversions, riddles. When the Pharisees asked him when the kingdom of God would come, (Luke 17:20), he proceeded to explain what it was, rather than when it would come. What they failed to comprehend was that because of His presence before them, the “kingdom” was already a reality. References to the Kingdom of God appear scores of times in both the Old and New Testament from Isaiah to the Beatitudes to Revelations, so it must be pretty important. In many ways, Jesus’ entire ministry was showing us the light within the kingdom.
About 8 years ago my wife, Joyce, and I became active in the work of Jill’s House (www.jillshouse.org), a local respite facility – and the only one of its kind in the U.S. – for children with intellectual disabilities. Humility met us face to face. God opened our eyes to the reality of severe special needs care, the loneliness, trauma, frustration, separation as well as the humiliation and fears that are ready and present dangers for these kids and their parents.
We are called to fight and work for justice for the oppressed and those in need. We are called to love mercy and extend it to others as Christ has given it to us. We are called to walk in humility. No matter what the Lord has us do, He gets the glory. Perhaps humility is the simple recognition that our God is far bigger and better than anything we might want to do on our own.
Maybe that’s a good start to experiencing what living in the kingdom feels like.
Lord God of mercy and love, give me, I pray, just a small measure of each, sufficient that I may fulfill your calling in my life. My life is fleeting but it is meant to be lived for Jesus, the one in whom we have full hope.