By: Staci Stallings
Per Dennis’s last post…
I completely understand. If you’ve noticed, I kind of took an unscheduled, unannounced vacation these last couple of weeks as well. It wasn’t that I didn’t have something to write. I had lots. But time kept getting away from me.
Maybe the reason was so I could recharge and take over for awhile while Dennis takes a well-deserved break.
You may not believe this, but this writing thing is rough. Sometimes you don’t know what to write about. Sometimes you do, but you just don’t have the time. I’m not whining, complaining, or wimping out. Just saying, it always sounds easier than it sometimes gets to be.
So. You’re stuck with me for awhile. Sorry. 🙂 Just kidding. We’re going to have some fun. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays while Dennis is recharging, I’m going to share some things with you that I’ve already written but are just sitting on my computer because I don’t know how or where to put them out. The first thing is a short “Bible Study” book. I really wanted to do a whole series of these, but I don’t know where or how to put them out. So, I guess for now, they are yours to enjoy… (Please let me know what you think so I know if it’s worth pursuing publishing them. Thanks!)
From “Theirs is the Kingdom, Chapter 1”
The Kingdom of God
While there many aspects of being a Christian, to find a starting place with God, the logical place to start is where God starts. In the Commandments, God speaks of many things: our relationships with others and our relationship with possessions, but those are not where He starts. No, God starts with our relationship with Him (“I am the Lord your God, you shall have no false gods before me”) and for good reason.
It is in our relationship with God that we establish either a firm foundation or a foundation built on shifting sand that will ultimately dump us into a sea of confusion and darkness. If we get this one area right, everything else comes into a sense of right. If we get this one area wrong, nothing else that is right will ever feel quite right, and we may not even know why.
Many well-meaning Christians think they understand this principle. They do things “for” God, thinking they are putting Him “first.” They work very hard to serve God on their own strength and by their own effort. They join committees and choirs. They volunteer and work, work, work for God. Many times these are the people who would do the most for God if they understood this principle. However, very often, what happens to these well-meaning people is that they fall into the trap of doing everything on their own strength, with their own knowledge, in their own perspective with their own time.
When their efforts appear to produce no fruit or fruit of an inferior quality, they become angry and resentful of God. “God, I’m doing all of this for You, why can’t You just let things work out once in awhile?” They ask God to bless what they are doing and don’t understand when it doesn’t turn out to be a smashing success.
For some, their answer to inferior fruit is to work harder. For others, the answer is to give up.
For God, the answer is neither.
God’s greatest desire is for each one of us to find His Kingdom—the Kingdom of God. But this is not a place we can earn. It is not a place we can work our way into. It is not a place of someday or when x happens. It is truly, when we understand it correctly, a place of here and now, and understanding why and how that is makes all the difference.
The Kingdom of God is a gift, from a loving Father to a child. That child can be you if you choose to accept what your Father wants to give you—or you can keep trying to do it on your own. It is literally a choice only you can make.
Coming on Tuesday… What does “the Kingdom of God” really mean?