Heaven on Earth

The One Year Heaven on Earth Devotional

What was the major theme of the teaching of Jesus? That question is likely to prompt a variety of answers, most of them centering around what we commonly know as the salvation message. Yet words about salvation occur relatively rarely in the gospels compared to another term: "the Kingdom." If we had to pick one dominant message of Jesus' words and actions, this would be it.

The One Year Heaven on Earth Devotional explores the theme of God's kingdom throughout scripture—when it comes, how it comes, and, most importantly, what part we play in it. The Kingdom of God is already here among us, and it's coming in greater power. You can be a part of bringing it to life in your family, your community, and your world.

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Tyndale 2015, paperback
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"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God has come near." (Mark 1:15)

In Word

In Mark's gospel, these are the first words out of the mouth of Jesus. Anyone who expected the end of evil and the beginning of utopia would have gotten excited at first and then grown disappointed in the coming years—especially when evil seemed to win decisively on a cross in Jerusalem. Clearly the coming of the Kingdom of God wasn't a sudden shift in the ways of the world or an overhaul of government structures. So what exactly did Jesus mean when He said the time had come? In what ways had the Kingdom of God come near?

Theologians are still trying to unpack that statement, but one thing is clear. The Kingdom was near because the King was near. People were healed. Evil was cast out of hearts. Dead people got up and walked around again. And truth astounded seekers and aggravated the keepers of the status quo. These are signs of the Kingdom and evidence that it has indeed begun to flourish. It is not a theory or an unattainable ideal. It is a dramatic intervention on a fallen planet. It is the beginning of a radical restoration.

The Kingdom is still growing and miracles still happen. That's because the King is still among us. He didn't come for a while and then leave—what would be the point of that?—or give us a taste we would never be able to experience again. He came to stay. So if the time had come and the Kingdom came near two thousand years ago, and Jesus remained with us as He promised, then the time has still come and the Kingdom is still near. Those who bow to the King have already entered the Kingdom.

In Deed

What does that mean in the reality of daily life? It means we can still experience the miraculous, still see hearts fundamentally changed, still overcome evil, and still receive wisdom and revelation from the King's mouth. It means we need to look at the world not as others do but as citizens of another realm. And it means we need to act as though the time has come. Things are changing. Everything is becoming new.

© 2015 by Walk Thru the Bible

©2013-present by chris tiegreen