A Kingdom People

“But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.” 1 Peter 2:9

Yesterday, we saw, once again, why our spiritual formation (the ongoing restoration of our hearts, increasingly marked by love) profoundly matters. Foundational to the redemptive mission and kingdom of God is our inner transformation into the people of God. This helps us understand the integration of the Great Commandment, to love God, of the Great Commission, to make disciples of Christ, and why it makes so much sense. They are inseparable. Author Rich Villodas explains, “Any talk of being engaged in the world must begin not with activity but with a life with God.” (The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values to Root us in the Way of Jesus, 171.) Without love deeply formed in our hearts, being “sent” merely pursues our own agenda.

God is making for himself a people…a people who embody love, justice, peace, and wisdom. Jesus said these things should characterize Kingdom people. Like Abraham, we will be the means through which God will bless and redeem the peoples of the world (Genesis 12). Missiologist Christopher Wright attests, “The whole Bible renders to us the story of God’s mission through God’s people in their engagement with God’s world for the sake of the whole or God’s creation.” (The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative, 51)

Similarly, Anthony B. Bradley wrote, “The whole redemptive story is a story of God using the holiness of his people to accomplish mysteriously his redemptive will for the world.” (The Kingdom of God is Ruled by the Author of Love,” https://www.crossway.org/articles/the-kingdom-of-god-is-ruled-by-the-author-of-love/)

In other words, God’s mission is not a cause or a program but a way of being in the world for the sake of the world. We are formed to be agents of renewal. Author David Fitch notes, “In short, our sent-ness into the world is an extension of God’s with-ness.” (Prodigal Christianity: 10 Signposts into the Missional Frontier)

Someone has said that it is not so much that God has a mission for His Church in the world, but the God has a Church for His mission in the World.

Why does all this matter?

We live in a rapidly evolving secular culture. We live and work with people who believe truth is autonomous (“you do you”); where any authority, (such as the Bible) outside of the self is rejected as irrational and oppressive; there is no grand narrative that explains everything, (so no belief in transcendence…there is nothing beyond; no creator or loving God); moral relativism (no right and wrong); and embraces religious pluralism (all religions are equally valid).

So, how do we respond? Living out of an overflow of the love that has shaped us is a great place to start. Be loving. Compassionate. Kind. Gracious. Listen. Curious. Embracing. Genuine. Invite them into your life: share a meal; be there through their hard times; walk with them through their struggles, there failures, and hurts. It’s slow, it’s messy…and it is the kingdom of God.

This is the gift we offer others…a presence shaped by God. God’s happenings in us, are for others, that we might incarnate the love of Christ; that our lives might offer a compelling and irresistible picture of Jesus and invite others to trust Jesus’ vision of life over that of the culture. May we become life-giving to others and offer them something real, meaningful, and sacred and invite them to “taste and see.”

The world needs a healthy, life-giving, and truly an embodiment of good news, because in the end, the message of Christ is most compelling when our lives reflect the reality of Christ.

So, let us keep saying yes to the life into which Christ keeps inviting us.

Reflection Questions:

How would you define the kingdom of God in your own words?

Who in your life could you embody love, compassion, kindness, or graciousness?

What would that look like today?

  1. Ah yes. This is the piece I was craving when I read yesterday’s. Very good. 


    div>Waking to Palm Sunday and excited to jo


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