Something my pastor said yesterday has stuck with me. She said something along the lines of: The Kingdom of God is on the inside of us [with the indwelling of Holy Spirit], while the Kingdom of Heaven is what we create around us. It’s our atmosphere.
So what is your atmosphere like?
Do you create a sense of heaven on earth, or do people feel more like they’re in hell when you’re in the room?
But think about it.
Do you bring a sweet Spirit of peace when you walk into a room? Or do you bring strife and discord?
Forgive me, but I feel like I’m getting ready to teach my children an important topic. It may come across as simple, but it’s not easy.
I’ve been writing about 1 Cor. 13 over at InspyRomance.com for the last several months. Let me remind you…
Verses 4-7(ESV) — Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Gal. 5:14 says, For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Who is our neighbor? Let’s look to the parable of the Good Samaritan…
Luke 10:29-37 — But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
So a neighbor can be anyone. And everyone.
If we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, and everyone has the potential to be our neighbor, then it stands to reason that we are to love everyone.
And yet, if we bring strife and discord to those around us, we are not being loving. If we seek our own way, we are not walking in love. If we ignore those in need around us, we are we are not showing love.
God loves us and expects us to show that love to others. He does not call us to something He has not equipped us to do.
I challenge you to bring the Kingdom of Heaven into your surroundings today. Make your atmosphere one of peace and calm in as much as you have control over it.