Every month our board of elders meets to discuss the state of our church and make various leadership decisions. We begin these meetings in the only way leadership meetings ought to begin: with prayer. During the prayer time at the beginning of our last meeting, one of my brothers in the group said something that took me aback. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard someone pray this sentence before...
In the midst of a sweet prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord, he said, “And dear Lord, I thank You for the kingdom of God.”
Have you ever heard someone pray that? I don’t think I have. Man, I liked it though. Since that Tuesday night, I have been mindful not only of that prayer but about how thankful I actually am for the Kingdom of God. When you step back for a second and think about it, it’s an amazing and beautiful thing God is doing and has done... The Father of life and love has not only made a way for rebellious villains to be forgiven, but when we come to Him in faith, he brings us into a fellowship of ex-rebels turned children of God! The Apostle John said it better: “To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.”
This is fantastic and amazing news! As soon as I trusted in Christ I gained brothers and sisters and fellow soldiers and subjects of God! My all-time favorite heroes are my real-life big brothers! One day I’ll really meet folks like C.S. Lewis, Casper Ten Boom, John Newton and Isaac Watts! When I go to heaven, I am going to get to spend time with people I didn’t get to know for long enough here on earth! My Dad’s precious parents are there, along with my dear Aunt Jean. Pastor Stuckey is there, (the man who kissed me the very first and only time I got to meet him) and because of the Kingdom of God, that precious saint is my brother! We are the kin of folks like Paul, Daniel and Job! We are related to thousands upon thousands of brothers and sisters who have lived and suffered and died and served Christ in total anonymity to the wonder of the angelic armies of God!
But it gets even better! You see, since God has made us His kids through the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus, we are surrounded by family right here and now! We get to be the body of Christ actually at work in the world; healing the hurting, loving the broken and reaching the lost! We are connected to Christians in other churches, other towns, other countries and other continents all over this world! Whenever we meet to pray and praise our Lord, we join that praise to the worship of millions of His beloved children all over the place! And not only that, but we are connected to saints right here in our little church... men and women of God gifted by Him for service and empowered by the Holy Spirit Himself! We have friends who love Jesus... friends who love us... friends who are fighting alongside us and are there for us! We have people. They’ll pray if we need it and help when we need it. We have people who need us and they are our kindred, bound to us by the precious blood of Jesus. We are not alone in this world, but are living stones being built up into something sweet, strong, beautiful, eternal and filled with the love of the Father of life! In the words of my brother, “Dear Lord, I thank you for the Kingdom of God!”