The Kingdom of God Is At Hand

February 20, 2012

Today’s Reflection

IN JESUS’ FIRST SERMON in Mark 1:14-20 he says to the disciples, “I’ve got good news for you: the kingdom of God is at hand.” He seems to say most simply that God is accessible and available to everyone. We are able to live with God in God’s kingdom even now. Can you imagine what this good news meant for people in Jesus’ time? They repeatedly had been told that only certain people were acceptable to God. Now they were hearing that God was accepting ordinary men and women into the kingdom, no matter who they were or where they were from. This was the gospel that Jesus preached.

Unfortunately, some of us grew up hearing a different gospel. The gospel I first heard went something like this: “Come to Jesus, get your sins forgiven, and get ready to go to heaven.” Please don’t misunderstand me. Getting our sins forgiven so that we can go to heaven is essential. But this is not the whole gospel that Jesus preached.

- Trevor Hudson & Stephen D. Bryant

The Way of Transforming Discipleship Participant’s Book

From pages 32-33 of The Way of Transforming Discipleship Participant’s Book, A Companions in Christ resource, by Trevor Hudson and Stephen D. Bryant. Copyright © 2005 by Upper Room Books. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What does “the kingdom of God is at hand” mean to you? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture Reading

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark.
Genesis 9:8-10 NRSV

This Week: pray for those who are beginning a new spiritual discipline. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

For Your Spirit:

Join Upper Room author Derek Maul in our Lenten eRetreat, Reaching Toward Easter. Log in anytime anywhere to this online retreat and find video, audio, and online conversation to keep you focused on Jesus through Lent. Learn more.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember Martin Luther (February 16).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2012, a ministry of GBOD | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Will February 20, 2012 at 7:51 am

It means that I choose today; will I sacrifice my ego(wants, desires. etc) for love, joy peace or will I look out for number one and sacrifice others. Sacrifice self we are in the “kingdom of heaven”. Sacrifice others we are in hell of our own making.

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Gary February 20, 2012 at 8:45 am

I like this. Its simple. But it captures the essence of what is meant.

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Gary February 20, 2012 at 8:57 am

Almighty Lord God:
I lift up those who start a new spiritual discipline this week. Let their decision not just be because that’s what a person ought to do during a Lenten Season. Fill their souls with so much overflowing love in their new disciplines that they cannot shake free. For to adopt and continue in new spiritual disciplines draws us closer to You in ways we understand and can respond to You, O our Savior.
Hear this our prayer we humbly ask in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

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Randy Temple February 20, 2012 at 10:30 am

It is a glorious thing to be part of God’s Kingdom I am reminded of the scripture God in us the hope of glory. Being part of this great kingdom brings with it great responsibility. There was a monastery that flourished in the early 1600′s they beegan there day with this affirmation, Let us begin again today to be Christians.

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linda February 20, 2012 at 10:30 pm

“the kingdom of God is at hand” —- right here, right now

We must practice the two great commandments:
love God with all of our soul, heart, mind

love our neighbor as our selves

We are sadly lacking. It is good that God is merciful!

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