Humanity is looking for “peace on earth”, but we when we look around us, we find a world full of turmoil and strife. Everyone desires peace but many don’t know how to find it. There is a famine of peace in the land! The good news is that the Kingdom of God offers a solution for this lasting peace.
A New Citizenship – A Kingdom of Peace & Reconciliation
For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, Ephesians 2:14-19
When the Bible was being written the Jews and Gentiles were in enmity, but in truth there has always been enmity between people because of religion, ethnicity, race, gender, economics, power, nationality, jealousy, competition, etc. Those are all carnal reasons that the enemy uses to divide people. I just saw a Facebook post by a Christian admitting his hatred of people! That is so sad and scary. The world has no hope if God’s children walk in division, strife, and hatred.
The reality of our new identity in Christ should change our passions and bring healing to our wounded hearts. We are no longer strangers or foreigners in this big wide world. Regardless of our background or upbringing, God comes to adopt us into His kingdom and accepts us as His much-loved child. Our new identity in Christ is meant to supersede all other identities that we have had in the past. As a matter of fact, true transformation only begins when our identity in Christ becomes more important than all the other identities that we have been defined with in the past. Being a son/daughter of the king should make all the difference in how we relate to God and how we see ourselves and the world around us.
Jesus came to breakdown hostility among people by bringing them to Himself. The scripture tells us that he abolished enmity in His body! When something is abolished, it means that it is against the law to practice it. It is against the law of God for us to be divided and have strife among us. Furthermore, now God wants us as His representatives to become part of the solution in this dark and divided world rather than being part of the problem.
Those who belong to the Kingdom of God are called to rise above carnal issues because they belong to a greater kingdom that no man or government can touch or take away from them. It is our highest privilege to belong to God and be part of His kingdom. That should change our mindsets and our heart conditions.
When I first arrived to the US decades ago, I found a country that was opposite of everything that I grew up with. This “kingdom” had democracy, rule of law, respect for women, freedom for Christian faith, well-known universities, and diverse opportunities for people. I could see why so many people were willing to leave everything behind and start a new life in the US. The US citizenship was a dream come true for many people living abroad.
In a far greater measure, the kingdom of God is astonishing, marvelous, and full of hope. God’s kingdom is far better and more powerful than any earthly kingdom, and those of us who are blessed to be born again believers, have the greatest privilege as the children of God. The citizenship of the Kingdom of God is not something to take for granted.
How does your identity as a child of God change your perspective about yourself and others? Is being a citizen of the kingdom of God your highest honor and your greatest privilege? Or does something else give you greater honor and value? Are you able to rise above all the cultural and political noise and be confident and secure as a much-loved child? Are you able to be a voice of divine reconciliation in a divisive world or have you joined in the division? Are you fighting with people or do you try to be a voice of reason in an unreasonable atmosphere? Is there enmity in your heart towards someone or some people group? Are you in need of reconciliation with God or with people?
We are called to be ministers of reconciliation in a world full of strife and division. Our calling is to break down the barriers of enmity among people by helping them look to Christ. We would not be successful in this great mission if we get polluted by carnality or attempt to solve spiritual problems with carnal solutions. We can also lose our effectiveness if we are too busy defending ourselves or seeking to prove our position. The Lord is impartial in dealing with people, and He does not take sides as we wish him to do so. He has no prejudice along race, ethnicity, nationality, economics, or political party lines. The Lord only sees people through the eyes of Jesus, and He receives those who accept the gift of salvation offered by His son.