“You have heard that it was said ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.’” Matthew [5:43]-44
I’ve heard it said that the Kingdom of God is upside down. When reading the Bible, especially the teachings of Jesus, it often seems like much of what we understand about how the world works is backwards. God’s Word tells us things like:
» The last shall be first…
» Die to yourself to truly live…
» Turn the other cheek…
Why is Kingdom living so different than what we are used to experiencing each day? From birth, we are born into sin. As a part of that sin, we are tied to selfishness. We can try to fight it, but ultimately, we want what we want.
I see it this displayed in my children. They fight over one figurine, when they have dozens. Sadly, I see this desire for more displayed in my own life and in the lives of other adults, too. We always want more than what we have—more money, more respect, more vacation time, etc. Why is this? Because God designed us for an infinite world, yet we live in a finite world. We have to be taught God’s ways because they are so different from what we experience. God’s Word helps us learn to fight against our selfish nature.
Kingdom living is selfless sacrifice—and it’s hard. Thankfully, we have the Spirit to help us grow in love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness and self-control.
Father, help me believe in the ways of your Kingdom. Produce in me the fruit of your Spirit. Empower me to faithfully follow the ways of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
For Further Reading