Current culture seems to define itself by the “kingdom” to which we belong. We’re “right,” “left,” conservative, liberal, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, and more. We who call ourselves Christians get so caught up in our stands and opinions and loyalties that much rhetoric flies around about the stands a “real” Christ follower would make.
Perhaps we’d do well to drop our labels and our loyalties long enough to consider what Jesus said and how He was an “activist” in a world that was sharply divided about Jesus Himself and everything He represented. There was an arsenal of charges leveled against Him. Fake news was presented as fact. He was slandered, beaten, even brought to a biased trial on trumped-up charges. He was charismatic, His words had galvanized the crowds and stirred followers for three years. It surely must have been tempting to make a fiery speech and move the crowds one more time with a passionate call. He knew that He held the power of the armies of heaven in His hand. A word from Him, and the armies of heaven would overturn everyone who opposed Him. But, when He began His ministry, He came straight from the desert where He had done emotional battle with Satan, and proved to His enemy what He now stated to the man who thought he held Christ’s future in his hands. “My kingdom is not of this world.” He wasn’t living for wins and victories here.
John 18:36-37 records Pilate’s questioning of Jesus during the trial that would lead to His crucifixion. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
Did you get that? Jesus said, “This world is not my Kingdom. If it were, I would fight for it. I am not here to fight for my rights. I am here to point to the absolute truth that ALWAYS matters, and those who actually want the truth will listen.”
Those words speak to the heart of today’s issues. We who are Christ-followers too often lose it here. We have a tendency to fight for our opinions and the things of this world. We want our opinions to win. Our kingdoms DO become of this world, more than we admit or realize. The political climate has proven that too many of us are willing to lose our influence with others in order to make a point over a political opinion that cannot be proven right by the Word of God. Many Christians have given more money to support their candidates and issues than they have given to support the purposes of God. Where is our focus? Where is our kingdom?
Jesus said His purpose for being here was to testify to the truth – God’s truth that is everlasting, that does not shift with a candidate or culture. Jesus also said a servant is not greater than his master, and that a servant’s message is not greater than the message of his master (John 15:20, 13:16). We are to do what we see Him doing. That means my eyes and efforts are to be firmly focused on HIS Kingdom, and that testifying to the TRUTH, not my position, is my job. “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Remember, when we understand the difference between Owners and Stewards it makes life so much simpler. First and foremost, you don’t worry about things you don’t own. What you end up doing is feeling blessed and grateful for being able to use something that belongs to someone else that ends up benefitting you, but also, at the same time, you are free enough to share it with others. You realize that you are a steward of everything God has entrusted you with.
What is a steward? A good steward is someone who handles and manage somebody else’s stuff with the intent to please and meet the goals and accomplish the purposes of the owner, not the steward.
In other words, the good steward is someone who says, “Thank you for the stuff. How would you like for me to invest it?”
Your power is great, and your glory is seen everywhere in heaven and on earth. You are king of the entire world, and you rule with strength and power. You make people rich and powerful and famous. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 CEV