9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
1 Peter 2:9-10 New International Version
The church is connected to the kingdom of God, but for many believers, the relationship appears to be so elusive that they have somehow concluded both are pursuing opposite directions. This explains why churches can be so consumed with their own activities at the cost of kingdom priority and purpose. Too often they are trying to build the church for the Lord, and not heed the call to seek His kingdom first and not rest on the promise that He will build His church.
If the church is not on the same page as to what the gospel of the kingdom is all about, we will use our traditions and theological perspectives to supplant the kingdom agenda with our own. We can be busy and do stuff—but they are of no consequence to God’s Kingdom. Take for instance the situation in Acts 15 when some Jewish believers were trying to make circumcision a salvation issue for the Gentiles.
A church with kingdom focus has a clear sense of bringing Kingdom reality into every sphere of influence in our city. It is willing to push boundaries and take risks to challenge the status quo with the truth of the gospel. To put it bluntly, such a church is not interested to be relevant with prevailing culture—but seeking for its reformation and transformation with kingdom presence and power. That is why everywhere the apostles went, we see the amazing authentication of the gospel by signs, wonders and miracles of various sorts.
If God can accomplish His purposes through them, He can do the same through you. We have no less anointing than those faithful men and women who have gone before us. Perhaps the missing ingredient is passion. That is, passion for the lost and passion for the kingdom.
Let us echo the Apostle Paul’s words: It would be agony to me if I did not constantly preach the gospel! (1 Corinthians 9:16 Passion Translation) Remember, when Paul said those words, he was not put under pressure to preach the gospel. Rather, he knew he was called and commissioned by Christ Himself. Likewise, we too are called and chosen to live boldly as witnesses for the gospel.
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
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