When Paul was writing to Philemon, he opened his letter to him with a very interesting message. He said, “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ” (Philemon 1:6).
I believe God wants us to have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. What do we already have in Christ? What is ours today? I think too many believers simply pray a prayer of salvation in order to get to heaven, but then stop there. What else is there? How is God involved in my life here on earth?
I’ve been learning these past few months that there is so much more available to us today here on earth, not just in heaven. We have so much available to us right now, but we don’t know about it. We don’t realize that we have access to these incredible Kingdom resources that can help us in every area of our life.
Let me start with this. “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” When you read this, what do you think it means? Most churches today teach that we need to repent of our sins, for God is going to arrive and punish sinners. So, watch out! Judgement is coming.
This is not what John the Baptist and Jesus meant when they said, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand” (Matthew 3:2, 4:17).
First, repentance is changing the way you think, not feeling bad for your mistakes. I covered this in more detail in a blog entitled “Real Repentance“, so I don’t want to spend too much time on this. But know this–repentance is changing your perspective, changing your worldly view into God’s heavenly view. Jesus and John were instructing us to stop looking at life with our physical eyes, and open up our spiritual eyes. Jesus often said, “He who has eyes, let them see” (Matthew 11:15). We need to see spiritually.
Secondly, we are to repent for “the Kingdom of God is at hand”. What is this “Kingdom of God”? In God’s Kingdom, what would you expect life to be like? Peace, joy, love? Yes, and much more. Think about the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” In God’s Kingdom, there is all these attributes available to us. Do you long for peace? Joy? Self-control? It’s available in God’s Kingdom.
Finally, when can get the Kingdom of God? Jesus said the Kingdom of God is “at hand”. That phrase “at hand” does not mean far off or in the future. It means here and now. “At hand” is a phrase to indicate that it’s right here, within distance of my hand. As I’m holding something in my hand, that’s how close it is.
So, when Jesus said, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand”, he was telling us to change the way you think about life, because love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control are available to us right now. You have immediate access to these Godly resources. The Kingdom of God is here with us today. Every believer has immediate access to the Kingdom of God right now.
Take a few moments to read the following promises that are available to you:
I am accepted…
- I am God’s child. (John 1:12)
- As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ. (John 15:15)
- I have been justified. (Romans 5:1)
- I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:17)
- I have been bought with a price and I belong to God. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
- I am a member of Christ’s body. (1 Corinthians 12:27)
- I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child. (Ephesians 1:3-8)
- I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)
- I am complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:9-10)
- I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
- I am free from condemnation. (Romans 8:1-2)
- I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances. (Romans 8:28)
- I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God. (Romans 8:31-39)
- I have been established, anointed and sealed by God. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
- I am hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-4)
- I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me. (Philippians 1:6)
- I am a citizen of heaven. (Philippians 3:20)
- I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
- I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me. (1 John 5:18)
I am significant…
- I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life. (John 15:5)
- I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit. (John 15:16)
- I am God’s temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16)
- I am a minister of reconciliation for God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)
- I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm. (Ephesians 2:6)
- I am God’s workmanship. (Ephesians 2:10)
- I may approach God with freedom and confidence. (Ephesians 3:12)
- I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
I would encourage you to print out these promises. Meditate on them. Let God speak to you and show you who you are in Christ. And, if necessary, repent. Change the way you think.
Prayer: Father, give me a new perspective on who I am in Christ.