Living as Kingdom People
“You are THE SALT of the earth...You are THE LIGHT of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and GLORIFY YOUR FATHER in heaven." (Matt. 5:13-16)
The kingdom of heaven speaks of the righteous reign of Christ over all things created beginning with those who believe in Him and have answered the call to follow in His way. It is the desire of our Lord to bring the authority, atmosphere, and attitude of heaven into this earth. This is what it means to be "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world". It means that the heavenly realities have found a way into this broken world.
We are Christ’s ambassadors on this earth when we are living as kingdom people. As Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:20, "Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God." The world needs to see a living representation of the living Christ and that is who God has called us to be.
When God enters a human being, He brings His Spirit into them and establishes His kingdom in their hearts and the identifying qualities that represent His kingdom. Thus…BEING born again of the Spirit and SEEING the kingdom are compatible realities! Those who know their IDENTITY in Christ will begin to have INFLUENCE in this world
So what kind of qualities represent the people of Christ's kingdom in this broken world?
The 8 Influential Identities of Kingdom People are (The Beatitudes): 1. The poor in spirit - those who know their need for Christ and His righteousness
2. The mourning/suffering - those who suffer and carry a burden for the lost and weary
3. The meek and gentle - those who are lowly in heart but are strong in conviction
4. The hungry and thirsty - those who greatly desire to know and follow hard after God
5. The merciful - those willing to extend God's compassionate heart to others in need
6. The pure in heart - those desiring to get rid of any evil mixture to hope in God alone
7. The peacemakers - those seeking to resolve conflict, division, tension to make peace
8. The unjustly persecuted - those willing to suffer for doing good no matter the cost These kingdom qualities are to be modeled by all those who accept the demands given by our Lord and who allow Him to live His life in and life through His people. It is only when Christ begins to reign in the hearts of His followers that the kingdom of heaven takes root and can then expand throughout the earth...leading up to His glorious coming when He will fully establish His righteous reign everywhere.
In conclusion, Jesus first births His kingdom in the invisible, hidden place of the heart and then allows it to grow in ways that reveal His kingdom and glory to this world. This is what it means to let your life so shine before men (Matt. 5:16)
- Take some time to pray over each one of these beatitudes and ask the Lord to work them into your life in more visible ways to this dark and broken world.