I continue to be challenged by the concepts in Petersen's book, The Insider:
The Kingdom of God is here. God is at work all around us. God is inviting us to be used for His Kingdom constantly. The problem is that we FAILING TO SEE IT.
According to Jesus, the kingdom of God is within certain people. It is not in our structures, nor in our organizations, nor in our sweeping strategies for world evangelization that we will see the kingdom.
So why do have such difficulty seeing the kingdom? It’s because we are not used to looking in the simple, lowly places.
In our culture, an unheralded individual is about the last place we’d ever think of looking to find anything of importance. We live in a world where “good” is defined by size, where “big” is good, and bigger is better. We measure the success of anything, whether it’s a business or a church, by its volume, by the amount we amass of whatever it is we’re working at, whether it’s money or people. In our value system, we don’t begin to pay attention people until there are lost of them in one place together. We counte them to decide whether or not what is happening is important. We neglect to stop and look at the life next to us. So, we miss the kingdom—even though it’s right there in front of us!
In Jesus’ parable in Matthew 25, he makes it clear that the people who are tuned into the Kingdom are well aware of the needy people that surround them: the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, and the imprisoned. In our culture there are those going through divorces, being fired, losing loved ones, and facing difficult sicknesses.
People with needs surround us.
So how is the Kingdom demonstrated? By people who see the people around them with these needs. By people who show mercy, speak the truth, give grace, and serve people in their time of need.
The witness of a single life lived under Christ’s rule is powerful.
When an entire community of people demonstrate Christ’s rule and love, the message of the kingdom is amplified and the onlooking world takes notice.
By our standards, the ways of the kingdom seem so weak, so insignificant, so unworthy of the bother. The kingdom is in the small voice, in the unobtrusive act… We cannot market it, yet it advances forcibly.
At this point, one may wonder if this type of kingdom living can truly impact an entire world. Stay tuned for more chapters…