Turned the corner and headed down the homestretch of my reading plan this morning. Started in on the minor prophets and Revelation which, along with the rest of Job and the culmination of John’s gospel with the finished work and resurrection of Christ, marks 25 more sets of readings until “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen” (Rev. 22:21).
And, as is most often the case when I open my Bible to its last book, I experience a sense of walking onto holy ground as I read the opening verses of “the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants” (Rev. 1:1a). Given by the Father . . . to the Son . . . to show us, His servants. Oh, to have ears to hear and eyes to see this gift of the Father. For in reading it and hearing it there is a promised blessing (1:3). Not only, I think, because of what we can learn, but perhaps more because of the One we’re able to see.
And what’s struck me in particular this morning (I’m guessing because of some the extended conversations I’ve been involved in this week), are a couple of verses that speak of a king and a kingdom.
. . . from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father . . .
(Revelation 1:5-6a ESV)
I know Jesus is the King of kings and the Lord of lords (1Tim. 6:15), but I wonder how often I’m inclined to act as if I’m waiting for His return to see His rule. But I’m reminded that my Savior, God’s faithful witness, the evidential hope of resurrection, is — not will be — the ruler of kings on earth.
He reigns right now. Don’t quite understand some of His edicts. Think I might lobby for a little more control and calm and a little less chaos and collateral damage, but Jesus Christ is the ruler of kings on earth and that rule is currently operative and active. It was yesterday. It will be today. And, it will be tomorrow.
How I need to read that. How I need to hear that. How blessed is the one who knows that? Pretty blessed, I’m thinking.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.”
(Matthew 28:18 ESV)
What’s more, we are a kingdom. Those who have been loved with an everlasting, steadfast love. Those freed from the bondage of sin by His blood shed on the cross for our transgression. He has made us a kingdom.
Us. You and me. A kingdom.
Pause. Chew on it. Let it sink in.
Am I a child of the King? Absolutely, (thank you for the reminder Billy G.) But I’m also a subject of the King.
I’m to operate under laws and constitutions that transcend those of earth. Our beliefs and platforms dictated by things above, not things below. Our primary allegiance to a heavenly kingdom even as we seek to be faithful ambassadors within our earthly lands.
And in that ambassadorship I need to know afresh that, as a subject of the King, I am under His protection — a degree and depth of protection that no other king affords to His subjects. Grace-infused protection. All sufficient protection. Abundantly sourced, always available protection. The true foundation for freedom. The only hope for life and life to the full.
His is the King. We are a kingdom.
. . . to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
(Revelation 1:6b ESV)
And God’s people said? . . .
By His grace. For His glory.