During the forty days after [Jesus] suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.
Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, "Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, "Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?"
— Acts 1:3-6 NLT
In Jesus' earthly ministry, he spoke about two aspects of the "Kingdom of God" (or "Kingdom of Heaven" in Matthew). The first one is that the Kingdom exists now among the people who live for God's will, his reign, to be seen in our world. They display his character and compassion in their actions and relationships. By doing so, they provide the world a glimpse of the second aspect: the end of time when God rules absolutely and restores all things to his will, completely and gloriously. While the apostles didn't understand both aspects initially, their lives furnish us with an example of how to bring the Kingdom of God to life in our world.
Lord Jesus, forgive us for not displaying your life, your values, and your purpose to our world. We want our fellowships, our churches, to be outposts of your Kingdom so that the world may see how to live and honor God. Empower us, Holy Spirit, to give our lives to the will of God as we seek to provide the world a glimpse of what the Kingdom of God will be when it dawns in all of its fullness. I ask these blessings for the sake of the Good News and for the health of your church, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Luke 4:43, 8:1, 10, 9:1-2, 10:9
- Colossians 1:13-14, 3:1-4
Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Thursday, January 6, 2022
About This Devotional
Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.
Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.