Day #49: Daily Bible Reading Plan - February 15th
Scripture Reading: Matthew 17 - 19 ...
Jesus talked about it, pointed people to it and opened the door to access into it: the kingdom of heaven. Of all the people who have ever lived on the earth, only Jesus could speak with authority about God's rule in heaven because He came from there! Jesus left His glory in heaven to come to earth, take upon Himself a human nature and go to the cross ... it is still unfathomable.
It must have been an incredibly amazing sight for Peter, James and John as they stood beside Jesus on the mountaintop and saw a portion of His glory revealed. They could not have survived the fullness of His glory in their human state. When the voice of God spoke they dropped to the ground, terrified. John would write later, in I John 1:1-3, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched - this we proclaim concerning the Word of life ..."
Jesus appeared in the flesh, but He is so much more! That's why it is tragic to listen to people who present Jesus only as our model, our example to follow. He IS that, but He is so much more! Some see Him as a good man, even as a prophet. But He is so much more! Others see Jesus as a great Teacher, but He is so much more! Jesus came to earth from HEAVEN! So when He talks about the kingdom of heaven, He knows what He is talking about!!
There is no sin or disease in heaven. You don't have to pay taxes in heaven, because it's all God's! You don't get to be great in the kingdom of heaven by making yourself look good or having power over others. In the kingdom of heaven a child is as important as a king .. even moreso. Jesus came to seek the lost, even if it is only one. In the kingdom of heaven there is forgiveness - incredible, unlimited, gracious forgiveness for those who confess their sin and come to God through faith in Jesus.
And the wonderful thing is, even though you are living on the earth, you can be a citizen of the kingdom today. You can't buy your way into the kingdom of heaven; you can't earn your way into the kingdom of heaven ... only Jesus opens the door into the kingdom of heaven. Life in this world is only a blink, only a glimpse, only a small beginning, and unless you listen to Jesus, as God said we must do, you will miss the reality of eternal life.
"This is My Son, whom I love, with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him" (17:5). Jesus knew He was on earth temporarily, and He wanted you and me to know that WE are on earth temporarily. There is more to come. But there are TWO possible destinations. The kingdom of heaven is the dwelling place of God and only those who know Jesus as Savior and Lord will enter God's kingdom. Eventually, His kingdom will come to earth. Jesus will reign for 1,000 years on this earth, and then God will remove the present heaven and earth and create a new heaven and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17; II Peter 3:13; Revelation 20:11, 21:1).
Jesus talked about it, pointed to it and by His death on the cross opened the door to access into it. As Jesus called the little children to come to Him, so He calls you and me today to come to Him for forgiveness and life! Believe in Him today and know that you are a citizen of God's eternal kingdom!
"Dear Father in heaven, I thank You for sending Your Son from heaven to seek and to save ME! Help us to look forward with joy and anticipation to all You have promised to those who believe and give us grace to live as citizens of Your kingdom even as we live in this world. Give us wisdom to know that all of this is temporary, but life in Your kingdom is forever! To YOU be all the honor, praise, wisdom, glory and power, forever and ever! In Jesus' name, Amen"