To what degree are we committed to the Kingdom of God? For many the answer resonates quickly. Commitment is readily affirmed. But I’m talking specifically about what is revealed in our actions. Do our actions demonstrate a commitment to the Kingdom? Or, do they demonstrate something wholly different than perhaps we even feel within?
Christianity is, by design, relational. Our relationship with God. Our relationship with others. With His church. With the world. As in any relationship, what is within must be expressed in order for it to be truly valid. Too often in many personal relationships the goodness that is within is scarcely expressed. At least it isn’t conveyed well enough. What I mean is this… sometimes a husband and father may in his heart love his family. He truly believes he loves them. And in his heart of hearts, he does. But somehow that love stays inside. He may within himself feel that he loves his family. And the family may witness glimpses of that love. But primarily what they experience is a dad who is tired all the time, complains a lot, never seems satisfied, and for the most part wants little to do with the interworking of the home and gives a sense that he just wants to be left alone.
The same can be said of faith. The evidence of our commitment to the Kingdom is revealed not by what is within, but rather by what is expressed through intentional action in our lives.
In Galatians 5:22 the Apostle Paul writes, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
Paul says to us, “This is what it looks like when the Spirit of God resides within you. Love is revealed. Joy is made evident. Peace sooths from within. Patience is a constant. Kindness is our natural response. Goodness is pursued. Faithfulness is what we are about. Gentleness is the norm. Self-control is a given.” And if we think things through, as God orchestrates the design of Scripture, it is the Spirit Himself, guiding Paul’s pen, saying to us, “This is what it looks like when I live within you.”
Second Century Apologist, Irenaeus, writes: “The glory of God is man fully alive.” I cannot help but think our being “fully alive” is conditioned by our relationship with God through Christ, an acute awareness of God, and by our commitment to the Kingdom.
Glory to God!