Blog In Audio:
I have been back in Washington for a week and I am enjoying my time home, though I am missing my kids and grandkids in California. We had a great Thanksgiving here with our daughter Joanna, her husband Patrick, and granddaughter Eleonore. It was also good to see our other two granddaughters this past week as well. Family is wonderful!
Today I want to remind us all that the kingdom of God is an internal kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit that affects the external kingdoms of men from the inside out. Each of us are responsible to embrace the life-giving presence and power of Holy Spirit in our hearts Who gives us a true righteousness, a right relationship with God and man from within. Holy Spirit within our hearts gives us true peace; a oneness with God’s presence whereby the fruit and power of the Holy Spirit becomes an observable evidence of our lives by others. Holy Spirit within our hearts gives us true joy; a testimony of a partnership with God in all things that causes the focus of our lives to be one that fulfills the purposes of God in all things. True joy is connected to purpose and it is only found in the manifest presence of God from within. This is the kingdom of God – righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Romans 14:16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.
Luke 17:20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
The external acts and works of our lives are not the kingdom of God, but they should take on the characteristics of the life of the kingdom of God. The actions and works of our lives are the testimony of our own kingdom and each of our kingdoms should be expressions of the kingdom of God. I believe this is what it means when God says that through Jesus the kingdoms of this world would become kingdoms of God’s Lord and Christ.
Revelation 11:15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”
We don’t put our hope in the natural kingdoms of this world. We put our hope in the kingdom of God. That is not just a hope to go to heaven when we die. It is a hope of heavenly things made known in the natural realities of our lives by the internal connection to God in our hearts. God’s grace is the ability to reign in life. When Jesus reigns in our hearts we can manifest as sons and daughters of God who have a heavenly testimony in all things. Our hope is in the supernatural kingdom of God’s grace working in our hearts, but we also believe that God’s grace empowers natural changes in our lives in supernatural ways. The internal kingdom of God must be sought, activated, facilitated, and released in and through all that we are and do. We cannot blame God for our failures, we can only seek God to transform us from within in a way that transforms our attitudes, actions, and outcomes of our lives. This is true for us individually, our marriages, our families, our livelihoods, and every expression of our lives. God’s grace is the power of God working in our lives to overcome all wickedness that seeks to suppress the truth of God in our expressions of life in this world. Without the working power of God’s grace we are vulnerable to wickedness and unrighteousness in the expressions of our lives.
Romans 5:2 …through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
In grace, there is tribulation or suffering. It is during that resistance that we cheerfully endure. During challenges, we cheerfully endure and our character changes. That change in us brings forth hope. Is that hope just for us, or is it for the world we live in? Paul rejoiced in his suffering for the sake of others. He filled up in his flesh what was lacking in the afflictions of Christ. We must embrace the internal kingdom of God in our hearts and find God’s grace to overcome for the sake of our world. Our kingdoms must become expressions of the internal kingdom of God at work in our hearts. This doesn’t just happen. It happens by the overcoming power of God’s grace working in and through us as we stand by faith in Christ.
Ted J. Hanson
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