This year, that word is compassion. He showed me that next year there will be an even greater need for compassion and mercy. It will be an opportunity for Kingdom citizens to shine His light that is in us by the Holy Spirit into a very dark world. We have always had that assignment and opportunity, but there will be a far greater need for it in the coming year. So many are lost, hurting, depressed, angry and most of all, deceived. “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:14-16
For the past several years, many Christians have been fighting and arguing with the world and their anti-Christ beliefs. But that behavior is not a good representation of God’s Kingdom. It represents our carnal, emotional nature. While I understand their motives, and have had some of the same feelings, it is not what we are called to do as Kingdom citizens.
First, we are not God’s “army”. He created angels as His heavenly army. “Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. Those who use the sword will die by the sword. Don’t you realize that I could ask My Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and He would send them instantly?” Matthew 26:52-53 Peter meant well, fighting to defend Jesus when Judas led the soldiers to Him, but that wasn’t his assignment. King Jesus won the “battle” over Satan. He finished it and went back to our Father. We are to occupy--or do business for the Kingdom--until He returns. So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’ Luke 19:13 NKJV
Kingdom citizens are to represent our King. We are representatives and ambassadors. We are joint heirs with King Jesus, we are His children. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do; for if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, “Abba,Father.” For His Spirit (the Holy Spirit) joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering. Romans 8:12-17
How we respond to the world matters because those who do not know Him need to see His character through those who represent Him! Through His citizens, the world should see what life in God’s Kingdom looks like! When the world looks at us, they should not see a reflection of the character of the world! That makes us useless for the Kingdom. “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” Matthew 5:13
I know that saying “Show compassion. Show mercy.” won’t make it happen. Take some time this month to focus on your attitudes and feelings. Don’t react. Pause, breathe and listen to the Holy Spirit. He is our Governor, so allow Him to govern your mind, will and emotions. Only then, respond. It is the fruit of the Spirit—self control—that will allow you to respond with mercy and compassion.
Remember that mercy is NOT getting “what they have coming to them”. It is not the weak person who is merciful and compassionate but the strong person. Because it takes great self control! Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:12-13
There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when He judges you. James 2:13
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. Proverbs 15:1
Get ready! We say “What would Jesus do?” yet often don’t DO what He would do. In every situation that comes up, there is an answer in the life of Jesus. Read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. His life is how we represent Him to the world. That is what ambassadors of God’s Kingdom do. Jesus not only taught about the Kingdom, He was a living, breathing example of life in His Kingdom.
I have one more word of encouragement for 2024 to share with you: The world is telling us that there is a financial crash coming. They talk about how bad it is going to be, filling people with fear. But remember the truth in Matthew 6. Remember that we are citizens of God’s Kingdom. His economy is our economy. His economy is not controlled by the god of this world. We are here to represent Him and His Kingdom.
If we will seek His Kingdom and His righteousness FIRST in our lives, He promises us: “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”
God cannot lie. If He said it, it is truth! God is not a man, so He does not lie. He is not human, so He does not change His mind. Has He ever spoken and failed to act? Has He ever promised and not carried it through? Numbers 23:19
I can testify to that! The Father has always supplied our needs. Looking back on those times, I couldn’t even tell you how He did it. But all our needs were met—bills paid, groceries in the cupboards and a home to live in. Praise the Lord, His Word is truth! I will not doubt and can truly say: I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread. Psalm 37:25 NKJV
- Seeking His Kingdom
- Seeking to live by His righteousness
- Being led by the Holy Spirit
- Always remember you are a Kingdom Ambassador in every situation
- Represent His Kingdom with compassion and mercy
- Never misrepresent God’s Kingdom by acting like the world's culture
- He will meet all your needs!
Be a Kingdom light shining in the darkness,
All scriptures are NLT unless otherwise noted.
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