Open Blog – Reminding Each Other

The kingdom of God is like…

We know that Jesus used that phrase many times never giving the same answer twice. From this we can see that there is no single right answer, but rather that the description of the kingdom of God is multi-faceted.

There is value in sharing with one another our understanding of the kingdom of God. In fact, it is the nature of the gift of prophecy that we would declare the nature of the King, the nature of His kingdom, and who we are as the citizens and people of God within that kingdom.

The comments from the previous post brought up so many great ideas along these lines. Rather than just my single-faceted perspective, I would like to open up the comments for everyone to share their reflections about the kingdom.

Whether you feel that your ideas are simple or profound, I would love to read about your glimpse of the King and His kingdom.

The following questions are simply to trigger your imagination. Feel free to answer with whatever is in your heart.

Who is our king? What is He like? Who is He to you? How would you describe this King to others?

What does it mean to be a citizen of God’s kingdom? What kind of a kingdom is it? What are the values of this kingdom? How do those values define us?

How do we participate in life in the kingdom? What opens our awareness to the dimension of the kingdom? What is our role individually and corporately in the kingdom?

Go ahead and let loose with whatever ideas come to mind, knowing that as you share, you help us all in remembering and imagining the kingdom of God.

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18 thoughts on “Open Blog – Reminding Each Other

  1. One of the first things that comes to mind for me is the idea of “missio dei”. Michael Frost explains that this is more than just something that God does, but in fact is the very nature of who He is.

    He is the King who comes near, the King who comes alongside.
    The ruler who makes himself a Servant.
    The all-powerful God who makes himself vulnerable.
    The God who thunders from heaven, yet comes to our rescue.

  2. I agree that the Kingdom of God is very multi faceted.

    The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of the Kingdom of God however, is the passage from 1 Peter 2:11-12 (The Message paraphrase):

    Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.

    This passage reminds me that, because I’m a member of Christ’s Kingdom, this world that I live in is not my real home. Although I enjoy so much that He has blessed me with here; my real purposes are for His Kingdom instead of the things this world offers.

  3. This may not be exactly what you were looking for, but when you mentioned having glimpses of the kingdom, I immediately thought of this.

    When my first son was younger (3 or 4) he was very obsessed with saying Hi to everyone. When we would go to the out to the store he wanted to make sure he said hi to everyone and could get quite upset if someone didn’t say hi back.

    At the time it was very tough on me, but I also remember thinking that this was such a kingdom view. To see something in every person worth recognizing and worth saying hi to, no matter of their age, race, beauty or anything else.

    And as tough as it was on me to have a little boy obsessed with saying hi to everyone I used to pray to God to not let me train that out of him. To not let my actions and lack of kingdom vision to squelch that fire.

  4. I just read a piece by Michael Horton where he made the statement “The kingdom of God is never something that we bring into being, but something that we are receiving.”

    I really like the concept that the Kingdom is coming upon us–a reality that we find ourselves in when the Sovereign King calls us by name and makes us His own. Once we embrace this, our lives in this world will never be the same.

  5. I see the Kingdom as a reflection of the King…one aspect being that our King gives all of himself for the benefit of his subjects. The polar opposite of the kings of this world.

    Tom

  6. The Kingdom of God is bringing His rule to earth, changing the order of things. Being in intimate relationship.

    It is worship, His touch. It is healing the sick, feeding the poor, releasing the captives.

    It is not safe. The Kingdom should awaken us to the reality of Heaven on earth.

    It is caring for one another, comforting one another. It is the quiet.

    The Kingdom is tangible and dynamic, altering the course of history.

    Matt. 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.

  7. This can be a very large topic, but what typically pops to mind first when I think of the Kingdom of God is this:

    Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.” (Matthew 11:4-5)

  8. Perhaps to capture some of all of the ideas already expressed I would say the Kingdom of God is healing, in all its forms, of the rift caused in creation by sin. So, it represents first and primarily healing of relationship…between God and humans….between humans…..between humans and creation. It means life as God originally intended it…..whole, complete, full, peaceful, graceful, loving, hopeful…..

    It is my responsibility to show this Kingdom to the rest of the world by the way I live and to await its fulfillment when heaven and earth are joined again in the new heaven and new earth of Father’s re-creation.

  9. hey grace…
    i like to think of the kingdom of God as his way of creating a whole new society…a new way of life in this earth that we get to participate in and receive blessing from and through which we get to bless others. i think of the kingdom of God as his community, family, that we are all a part of and invite others to join. much different than the club mentality of some “organized” stuff!

  10. When I think of the kingdom of God, the first thing that comes to mind is little children. Maybe since Jesus said that the kingdom belonged to “such as these.” Simple, free, trusting, gracious, innocent.

  11. Awesome questions. I wrote a long response, then decided to just post your questions and my answers on my blog so as not to take up 37 vertical inches in your comments.

    —-

    On another note entirely, Grace, take a visit to my blog if you wouldn’t mind. Although I have avoided memes for a long time, I did tag you with one today. But from my perspective, it relates to this line of questioning.

  12. Grace,

    I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving! I love the discussion you have started. It has been something my husband and I have been wrestling with for 6 or more years now. It has been especially important to us to be able to communicate this to our children now.

    I am just a simple homeschooling mom who spends most days, stacking blocks, sweeping floors and reading tales of mystery and intrigue with our kids. I used to dream of how I would explain these mysteries to our kids before our children where even born.

    If you are trying to involve kids in this discussion, I have found a wonderful allegorical children’s book that gives such rich language to this whole idea. I would recommend it for adults to even read or families to read it out loud together. The Tales of the Kingdom Trilogy by David and Karen Mains. I think you can Google it on amazon to find it.

    Maybe if we enter into the discussion like little children the Holy Spirit with show us deep mysteries we have never known? Anyway, just wanted to share something that has been meaningful to me on my journey. I know you love to read so I thought these may be a fun, inspiring, space for you to fall into:-)
    Peace to you!

  13. I saw this in a Gabe Lyons article, its a qoute originally from Chuck Colsen and Nancey Pearcy. I don’t agree with it totally but I like some parts of it quite alot.

    “God cares not only about redeeming souls but also about restoring his creation. He calls us to be agents not only of his saving grace but also of his common grace. Our job is not only to build up the church but also to build a society to the glory of God. As agents of God’s common grace, we are called to help sustain and renew his creation, to uphold the created institutions of family and society, to pursue science and scholarship, to create works of art and beauty, and to heal and help those suffering from the results of the Fall.”

    I think this sums up nicely what it means to be working toward establishing the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. It would be interesting to discuss the qoute further. As I said, I don’t agree with it totally.

  14. How about this one I’m playing around with.

    The Kingdom of God is the Holy Spirit.

    It’s an interesting task to replace all the mentions of the Kingdom in the Gospels with the words Holy Spirit. Most have a very curious insight.

    It’s also interesting to see how the Kingdom is already among us. How Jesus said the Kingdom was coming soon… and then after Pentecost the message started changing. The epistles don’t talk too much about the Kingdom, but they say a lot about the Holy Spirit, who as the presence of God is the presence and location and breadth and depth of God’s immediate rule.

  15. First let me say how much I enjoyed reading all of your reflections about the kingdom. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Tracy,
    Maintaining our perspective of the reality of the kingdom as our true home can be a challenge while surrounded by the pervasive demands of this world.

    Chad,
    Great example since understanding the kingdom comes so naturally to children.

    Bob,
    That reminds me of Rick McKinley’s description of the kingdom as another dimension, already fully in existence, but our receiving of the kingdom is dependent upon our awareness of that dimension.

    Tom,
    There is so much wrapped up in your statement about the nature of the King and thus the nature of His kingdom.

    Great thoughts Paul, the kingdom is both a spiritual and practical reality.

    Ron,
    I love the thoughts that you shared, particularly this statement, “We need to embody the redemptive imagination of the Kingdom.” I join you in praying that we would remember and live the imagination of Jesus.

    Amen Robby! Let it be so.

    traveller,
    I agree with what you said about the kingdom being about healing. My understanding is that the fulfillment of the kingdom will be the restoration of all things to the wholeness that God intended.

    john,
    A kingdom perspective will change our view of the role and purpose of the organized things we are involved in, which as you said, gives us a wider view of all that God is doing and our opportunity to participate with him.

    sarah,
    I agree, and I don’t think we have really grasped the degree to which children truly understand the kingdom.

    inheritor,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really liked this statement, “When I give, serve, speak the truth in Christ, and do it unselfishly, the Kingdom expands and my relationship with the King is strengthened.” As we do those things, the kingdom not only becomes more evident to those around us, but as you said we are also strengthend in our relationship with the king and our awareness of the kingdom.

    Gary,
    Great thoughts! Answering most of those questions is a big assignment. In answer to how we participate in life in the kingdom, you said, “We participate by responding to the guidance we get from the Holy Spirit. We trust and risk.” Thanks for pointing this out. Inheritor said something very similar in his post. I believe that the Holy Spirit is a vital part of our life in the kingdom.

    amber,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the book recommendation. I’ll be sure to look it up. I have alluded to it several times already, but one of the things that Rick McKinley points out in his book, This Beautiful Mess, is that we submit ourselves to learning from our children about the kingdom rather than presuming to teach them. Interesting perspective, huh?

    Nathanael,
    That is an interesting quote, and like you, I agree with parts of it, especially the idea of restoration extending beyond individual salvation.

    I have seen kingdom language used in regard to societies and institutions in ways that are actually imperialistic rather than reflecting the subversive nature of power in the kingdom of God.

    I’m not saying that is what they intend with this quote, but that would be my concern in seeking further clarity about what is being said.

    Patrick,
    Hmmm. I don’t think I would go as far as to say that the kingdom is the Holy Spirit, but I would certainly stress the importance of His role in our life and participation in the kingdom. He is our inheritance, our downpayment of all that is yet to come, yet I feel that the kingdom is more expansive than our relationship with the Holy Spirit. It is interesting to think about and discuss.

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