Temporal or Eternal?

April 28, 2021

For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17 NLT

Our focus determines the experiences we have in life. Jesus talked to His followers about the Kingdom of God being our focus. We must turn our focus and attention to the Kingdom He came to establish. That was a hard thing for them when He initially talked about it. They thought the same way we all do until we understand the way of Jesus. They believed that the Kingdom He was here to establish was an earthly one. That’s why they fought over who got to sit next to Him in the court of the Kingdom, the reason Peter tried to defend Jesus with a sword, why they wanted to call down fire from heaven, and more. They were concerned about temporary things, and Jesus was focused on the eternal.

This simple sentence from Paul is packed with truth. We aren’t made a part of the Kingdom by what we do or don’t do (our performance ratings). It’s not about the things we avoid. It’s Who we embrace. It’s about the life we live empowered by the Holy Spirit.

When we live in the Spirit, when we are residents and participants in the Kingdom of God, our focus is not on power, performance, prestige, possessions, or any temporary thing. Our focus is on who we are because of Who Jesus is. He kept His promise to send the Holy Spirit in His place when He left, and He said it would be better for us. It is better because we all are empowered to live in the invisible but totally real and completely eternal Kingdom of God. We enter the Kingdom of God through trusting Christ and receiving His gift of life and freedom. We discover, as Lauren Daigle sings in her song, Hold on to Me, that “no one else loves me better.”

Then we find that as we live there, the power of the Holy Spirit teaches us everything we need to know, and we begin to live lives of goodness, peace, and joy. We have tremendous fulfillment in the here and now. We are assets to the people around us in the present because we are residents of the Kingdom of God. This residency and the goodness, peace, and joy continues throughout this life and prepares us for forever.

The Kingdom of God is eternal. The things that give its citizens the most joy are also eternal. Nothing is wasted effort because everything done for and in the Kingdom lasts forever. Joy, now and later.

  • What temporary things most readily take your focus off the Kingdom of God and cause you to lose your joy?