In our self-absorbed culture, we need to see the grandeur of God’s kingdom. We cannot shrink it to the size of our needs and desires. It takes us far beyond our personal situations and relationships. The King came not to make our agenda possible, but to draw us into something more amazing, glorious, and wonderful than we could ever imagine. Perhaps the best way to understand these grand purposes is to eavesdrop on eternity. In Revelation 19:6-8, the great multitude of the redeemed stands before the throne and, like the roar of rapids, exclaims:
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.”
Think about what they are singing. It is not, “I got that job! My marriage was fantastic! I was surrounded by great friends and my kids turned out well.” It is not, “I defeated depression and mastered my fears.” Two things capture the hearts of the assembled throng. The first is that Christ has won the final victory. His will has been done, his plan accomplished, and he reigns without challenge forever. God has gathered a people who have a passion for his glory and find ultimate comfort in his rule. They are people who followed by faith and obeyed at great cost, who sacrificed and suffered, but with no hint of regret. They have found lasting satisfaction in the person and rule of the Redeemer.
The second glorious thing is that the ultimate celebration has finally come, the wedding of the Lamb. A thunderous shout goes out as the multitude realizes that they haven’t just been invited to the wedding – they are the bride! They stand clothed in the finest of linen. All the scars and blemishes of sin are gone. All the rags of iniquity have disappeared. They are finally and forever clean. They stand before the Groom, pure and holy.
As we listen to eternity, we realise that the kingdom is about God radically changing people, but not in the self-absorbed sense our culture assumes. Christ came to break our allegiance to such an atrophied agenda and call us to the one goal worth living for. His kingdom is about the display of his glory and people who are hole. This is the change he came, lived, died, and rose to produce. This is the life and work he offers us in exchange for the temporary glories we would otherwise pursue. This kingdom agenda is intended to control our hearts and transform our lives.
Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands – People in need of change helping people in need of change by Paul David Tripp.
I have so been enjoying this book and am learning so much about relationships within the body of Christ.
P.S. Paul David Tripp is the brother of Tedd Tripp, author of the well known child training book “Shepherding a Child’s Heart.”
I didn’t know about Paul David Tripp’s book’s and we were introduced to them by the pastor of our new church. (Yay! we finally have a church we can call home after 2 years of church floating and churchlessness!!) Paul Tripp’s books and seminars look very good – his marriage series “What did you expect?” and parenting series “Getting to the heart of parenting” have reviews on his website.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2 v 15