It never ceases to amaze me, how I can read a passage of Scripture for years and years, and then it dawns on me…“Wow, I missed that connection entirely!”
I think we as a church have done this with respect to the story of Nicodemus in John 3. “What’s this story about?” we ask and the answer is obvious: being born again, of course. But if you take a fresh look, it isn’t.
The passage is about being able to see the kingdom and enter the kingdom, and yes, being born again is vital to our ability to experience this other realm. I remember when Nan and I were first born again and filled with the Spirit, we kept saying to one another with absolute wonder, “It’s like coming into a world within a world.”
What is this kingdom world? It’s the realm in which the Spirit of God actively rules and ministers all that Jesus purchased for us. John explained it by comparing the Spirit of God to the wind because we can’t see the wind… but we know of its reality and power. It’s the world of the Holy Spirit!
No wonder Jesus was baptized or anointed by the Spirit before He brought the kingdom realm into contact with people.
Matthew introduces us to Jesus’ message with these words, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” In other words, it’s here in your midst (4:17). And in 4:23 he says, “Jesus was going throughout all Galilee… proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom.”
Today we just use the word “gospel,” but it really is the good news about God’s kingdom. It is another world! It’s the spiritual realm in which we experience God’s love, know His presence, hear our Savior’s voice, and become aware of what He is doing.
Jesus taught His disciples that seeking to live in His kingdom was to be their number one priority (Mt.6:33). The good news of the Gospel is His kingdom world being the first priority in our day-to-day lives! Can you feel the difference?
...pay attention to the kingdom realm with a deep knowing that His world is here in our midst and available for each of us to access... Click To Tweet
Wrapping up this insight, I want to invite all of you to keep your eyes on the real “prize.” As you go about your days, pay attention to the kingdom realm with a deep knowing that His world is here in our midst and available for each of us to access and live in.
Here are a few questions to journal with this week:
1. How do I identify with Nicodemus’ difficulty in perceiving the kingdom realm?
2. Where are kingdom realities showing up in my current experience?
3. Where do I need God to show up most right now—and what am I hearing from the Spirit on this?
Have some thoughts to share from these questions? Post it in the comments below.