The Focus Is the Kingdom

Steve Petroelje

READ : Mark 1:14-28

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” (v. 15)

Seek ye first the kingdom of God,

and his righteousness;

and all these things shall be added unto you,

Al-le-lu, A-le-lu-ia.

Perhaps you have sung those words at summer camp or in a time of worship. Both that song and the teaching of Jesus call us to focus on the kingdom.

In recent decades, much more focus has been placed on the church. We have lived through a church growth movement. Churches and church members are influenced by the measurements of success rewarded in our culture. “Successful” churches are often defined by the three “B’s”: swelling budgets, buildings, and number of bodies.

Jesus did not teach us to pray “Thy church come,” but “Thy kingdom come.” The focus must be the kingdom. The kingdom is much larger than the church. If we belong to the kingdom we ought to see signs of God’s growing rule in our lives. Our church’s fellowship should point to the reality of God’s reign, God’s peace. Don’t settle for worldly success or material comfort in your church. Instead, pray that God will use you to build his kingdom.

PRAYER

King of the kingdom, work in us so that we do not settle for nice churches but rather seek first the kingdom you have called us to inhabit. Amen.