A Tale of Two Kingdoms

Thursday, February 3, 2011

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

There are two kingdoms that are vying for your heart in a relentless pursuit of you. In this life we have a choice: we can either pursue Worldly Riches or we can pursue Kingdom Riches. Worldly Riches are temporal things like money and possessions that don't last and can be taken from us. Kingdom Riches are eternal things that only God can provide and can never be taken away. They last forever. You can't pursue both because, as Matthew goes on to tell us, you will hate the one and love the other. Both kingdoms are opposed to each other and have different agendas. The Worldly Kingdom and its riches are only concerned with the here and now. The Heavenly Kingdom and its riches are concerned with your eternity and more importantly, your soul. Each of these kingdoms has a tremendous impact on 5 aspects of our daily lives.

#1 - They determine your IDENTITY. Worldly Riches define you by what you can or can't do, or what you have or don't have. Kingdom Riches define you simply by who you are in Christ. In God's kingdom your identity is not tied to what you do. Have you ever noticed in the bible that David is called "a man after God's own heart?" He is not identified as the one who killed Goliath, or the one who wrote the Psalms, or even one of the greatest kings of Israel. Nope. His identity is based on his relationship with the Father. In heaven there will be no titles in front of our names.

#2 - They determine OWNERSHIP. Not what you own, but who owns you. The pursuit of Worldly Riches leads to enslavement because possessions have a way of controlling us. The more you get, the more you have to work to keep them. The pursuit of Kingdom Riches leads to freedom because God is the one who not only owns us, but owns everything we have. In fact, we wouldn't have those things if it weren't for Him in the first place. The Worldly Kingdom seeks to own you to make you dependent upon it. On the other hand, the Heavenly Kingdom seeks to own you to bring you freedom from dependency upon things that don't last.

#3 - They determine our VALUE. Worldly Riches actually devalue us because they place value on what we have. In that kingdom life is limited to 2+2=4. Kingdom Riches increase our value because, once again, our value has nothing to do with what we can or can't do, but on our relationship with Christ. Whether I have a million dollars or am homeless, my value doesn't change. In this kingdom life is unlimited because God is not limited by human math or our economy. In his Kingdom 2+2 might equal a million.

#4 - They determine our TRUST. Worldly Riches lead to worry because there is no real guarantee. We are left to rely on the economy, other people and ourselves. Those will disappoint us. Kingdom Riches lead to peace because God is our source of provision. We can trust Him because He never leaves us or forsakes us and He is the same yesterday, today and forever. You can't say that about anything else.

#5 - They determine our REWARD. Worldly Riches lead to hopelessness because there is no guarantee for the future. Banks fail and markets crash. When they do, they take our stuff with it. Kingdom Riches lead to hope because our future is secure. In God's kingdom his word is backed up by a 100% guarantee and his record through the ages proves it. Any reward we receive from the Earthly Kingdom is short lived. But our reward from the Heavenly Kingdom is eternal and nothing can take that away, ever.

The pursuit of Kingdom Riches requires letting go. We have to let go of Worldly Riches. I can't grab on to what God has in His hands until I first let go of what I have in my hands. He has so much for you but you will never acquire it as long as your hands are full of Kingdom Riches. Once we let go, He will fill our hands with Kingdom Riches that will last forever.

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