By Aaron Jeffers
Romans 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus died to see the reality of the kingdom come alive in us. Heavenly wisdom would tell us to get excited about making room for it to grow in our hearts and minds.
You’re probably asking, “What’s the Kingdom of God?”
Romans 14:17 says its righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. They’re all mine because of Christ in me, which is the great mystery in Colossians 1:27. If I’m not enjoying my kingdom rights and realities of righteousness, peace, and joy, it’s because I’m not seeing the King.
I think Jesus’s favorite sermon topic was the Kingdom of God. He preached that the kingdom is like a little-bitty mustard seed that grows as big as a tree, it’s the banquet of God, it’s an investment that’s worth giving your life for, but it’s free.
The Kingdom of God isn’t supposed to grow on you; it’s supposed to grow in you like leaven in dough. Sin also is pictured as leaven/yeast because a little spoils a whole batch as it grows. The grace of God is the leaven of the kingdom, which works the opposite way. This God-Grace Leaven put into the dough of our sin-stained and damaged lives makes us holy enough to be the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). The fruit of this righteous reality naturally releases joy and peace in our lives.
Jesus is the leaven of the kingdom of God, not our religious attempts at righteousness. The Pharisees couldn’t stand Jesus because he said that prostitutes were entering the Kingdom before them, and their religiosity was keeping them out. Jesus said (Mark 10:15 and Luke 18:17), “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
Aaron F. Jeffers, a freelance writer, pastor, chaplain, and speaker, currently works with hurting children in residential facilities. If you or your group or church would like to book Aaron for a conference or speaking engagement, contact him at www.freetoliveministries.org/.