”For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing God and approved by men”
Walter Knight said, “Joy is the flag flown high from the castle of the heart, announcing that the king is in residence here.” We are royal subjects of the King! His ambassadors!
Jesus Christ came to give us Himself—not only to give us the kingdom, but to give us our King, not only to give us salvation but to be our Savior. We need to examine our hearts to see if we have submitted to His reign in our lives.
His Kingdom is the Kingdom of joy! What if we sought His kingdom and His righteousness first (Matthew 6:33), would not there be changes in our priorities? “Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:28).
“Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (Psalm 32:11). According to Jesus, our greatest reason for rejoicing is because our names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20). Eternal life is not the future life; it is NOW, and life eternally with God.
The greatest blessedness is to know God in the clear light of eternal life—seeing Him truly, experiencing Him tenderly, possessing Him completely in the fullness of joy.
. . . I hope that by His Grace He will continue to draw our outward appearance more and more into conformity with our inward gladness, making us all one with Him and with each other in the true and eternal joy which is Jesus. –Julian of Norwich.
His “kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and [His] dominion endures throughout all generations” (Psalm 145:13). J. B. Phillips has written, “This short, earthly life, important and significant though it may be in its setting, is no more than a prelude to a share in the timeless Life of God.”
While we pray “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10), it’s not so much a longing to be lifted up into heaven, as it is a desire that heaven may be brought to us. It is a plea for the subjugation of earth’s kingdoms—the extension of God’s power over this world.
Joy to the world! The Lord is come; Let earth receive her King;
Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing.
Joy to the earth! The Savior reigns; Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy.
He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love.—Isaac Watts