Exodus 4-6, Matthew 1:18-25, Psalm 90:7-17
Before the colonialists imposed national boundaries on Southeast Asia, the kings of Laos and Vietnam had already reached an agreement about who was Laotian and who was Vietnamese. Those who ate short-grain rice, built their houses on stilts, and decorated their homes with Indian-style serpents were considered Laotians. Those who ate long-grain rice, built their houses on the ground, and decorated their homes with Chinese-style dragons were Vietnamese. The kings taxed the people accordingly hence they had no need for boundaries. It was simple; each person belonged to the kingdom whose values they shared and whose king they honoured!
Understand this: you can only live by the principles, practices and power of one of two kingdoms: the kingdom of darkness or the Kingdom of light. Which have you chosen? Each time the will of God is done in your life the Kingdom of God is demonstrated through you. When you adopt His values, live by His standards and obey His commandments, Christ’s prayer is answered, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done in earth… as it is in Heaven.” You ask, “But how do citizens of His Kingdom act?” In the Beatitudes (which are what our attitudes should be) Jesus says
(1) they are humble;
(2) they are submitted to God’s will;
(3) they hunger and thirst for more of God;
(4) they show mercy to others;
(5) they have a pure heart;
(6) they are peacemakers;
(7) they rejoice, even in hard times;
(8) they know their reward is waiting for them (Matthew 5:3-12).
What the world knows about the Kingdom of God – is what it sees displayed in our lives! And that’s a big responsibility!