Our February theme for the Today devotions, written by Dale Melenberg, is “Kingdom Living.”
What does the word “kingdom” mean to you? If you’re an historian, you may think of the rule of kings over their subjects, especially in ancient times. If you’re a biologist, on the other hand, you probably think of the animal, vegetable, or mineral classifications of natural objects.
The word “kingdom” is used many times in the New Testament gospels. Jesus often said, “The kingdom of heaven is like…” and then he went on to tell a parable describing what it was like. It’s like a man who sows seed, or a mustard seed, or a treasure hidden in a field. Those are just a few examples. But what does that mean? A definition I learned many years ago as a child was, “The kingdom of God is the rule of God in the hearts and lives of his subjects.” And it was often illustrated by means of a heart, with a throne pictured in the middle of the heart. It’s what the world looks like when people love God and neighbor as they were designed to do.
Dale Melenberg, our author for the month of February, takes these references of Jesus and adds his own explanation to Jesus’ descriptions. Using many passages especially from the book of Matthew, he helps us to understand what Jesus meant by the kingdom of God, as well as helping us to understand what that means in our lives today. He says that as he describes what God’s kingdom is, he will “aim for an answer that is not only biblical but also inspirational—to live out God’s good and perfect will here ‘on earth as it is in heaven.’”
Do we see Jesus’ kingdom here on earth today? What does it look like? How can we be a part of it? Let’s find out, as we explore the topic, “Kingdom Living.”
Dale Melenberg is a second career pastor serving a church in Alberta, Canada. Growing up in an immigrant community shaped Dale’s view of family, church and community in a profound way that continues to inform his life-view toward kingdom living with God, neighbors, and the creation.
As you read the Today devotionals this month, may you be refreshed, refocused, and renewed in God’s Word!