If we truly follow Jesus, our one and only business is to advance the kingdom of God and everything else has to submit to that. The Holy Spirit makes us disciples of this kingdom whose ruler is King Jesus. This commissioning in Matthew 6 has been declared over our lives by Jesus. He delivers us from narrow-minded self-centeredness, selfish actions and petty thinking patterns. It’s no longer about me, myself and I: advancing the kingdom of self, my perspective and my career at the least effort, hopefully. It’s no longer about my works, my church, my calling or my ministry. »Seek first HIS kingdom« – that’s the will of God.
Always means alwaysJesus came into this world to do His Father’s will. »The One who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases Him.« (John 8:29) Always means always – any time! We would do well if we would place the utmost importance to seeking the will of God and responding accordingly; for there is an answer to any question we may have. The Book of all books says it like this: »This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.« (1 Tim. 2:3-4) What an awesome promise! … and God always honors his pledges.
The greatest miracle on planet earth happens when a person, by the grace of God, realizes that Jesus is the only way to the Father; and that this way starts at the cross of Calvary. Living and proclaiming this good news should be the driving force of every disciple. This creates a fervent love for our Redeemer who saved and delivered us. This drives us to literally love people out of darkness into the kingdom of God’s light. The kingdom of God has many faces. It is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, it is not about words but about power. And it definitely plays a vital role in turning us away from selfishness towards the declaration “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”! May it be displayed within me and through me.
A powerful inheritanceIn 2017 we are celebrating 500 years of Reformation by Dr. Martin Luther. He was willing to walk the path which he acknowledged to be God’s will for his life. He stepped into the gap willingly, made mistakes and allowed people to mock and persecute him. Through this, he initiated a revolution of our thinking patterns and opened the gates for new spiritual life to mature. Without him, we would not have the diversity in today’s church. His dedication however, brought forth something much deeper. It opened an opportunity for individuals to discover and acknowledge God’s kingdom and to do His will. The sovereignty of the ‘éminences grises’ together with their merciless preaching was over. The Gospel was available and accessible to people in the streets. They were able to read the word of God for themselves, to understand and to embrace it. The church was transformed back into being the body of Christ. The body that Jesus will take to heaven made up of lovers of God who are doing His will and proclaiming His kingdom; people of all nations, tongues and origins.
On Manila's garbage dumpsShortly before Christmas 2016, we were in Manila. Walter went with a team on an outreach to Smokey Mountain in Tondo – a huge garbage dump. He was privileged to preach the Gospel to those who live there and are suffering great need. Many got saved and were healed. One man specifically caught his eye and he sensed the unique urge of the Holy Spirit to personally speak and pray for him. Unfortunately, he lost track of this man. Back at the HELP base, he kept thinking of this man for days. A week later, he made the effort to travel back to Tondo through heavy traffic to seek this one man at the garbage dump. Finally, Walter found the man who was so deeply moved that Walter took so much effort to seek him out. Joyfully he gave his life to Jesus Christ. As they prayed together, heaven came down on this garbage dump and took hold of the life of this one man.
Seek first the kingdom of God! Regardless of something as momentous as the Reformation 500 years ago or this small but life-changing episode in Manila. This world is desperate for people who are consequently ‘seeking first’ and living up to the standard of God’s kingdom.
Walter & Irene Heidenreich