Skip to main content

In the World, but not of the World

John 18:36

My kingdom is not of this world.


The world we live in today is filled with kingdoms of various kinds. We see kingdoms of wealth, power, fame, and influence. We see individuals striving, toiling, and even fighting to establish their own kingdoms, their own spheres of dominance and control. Yet, Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, tells us that His kingdom is not of this world.


This world, as an enemy of God, promotes self-centeredness over selflessness, greed over generosity, hatred over love, and deceit over truth. It entices us with promises of pleasure, power, and prosperity, but these promises are hollow and fleeting. They lead us away from God and towards spiritual death.


The world tells us to seek our own happiness at any cost, to accumulate wealth and possessions, to assert our own will and disregard the needs of others. But the Word of God tells us to "seek first His kingdom and His righteousness" (Matthew 6:33), to "store up treasures in heaven" (Matthew 6:20), and to "do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves" (Philippians 2:3).


So, what does this mean for us as followers of Christ? How should this truth shape our lives and our interactions with the world around us? Let us delve into this.


Firstly, we must understand that the Kingdom of God is not a physical or geographical kingdom. It is not defined by borders or territories. It is a spiritual kingdom, a realm where God reigns supreme. It is a kingdom marked by righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). It is a kingdom that transcends the temporal and touches the eternal.


Secondly, the Kingdom of God is not built on the principles of this world. The world tells us to seek power, to dominate, to amass wealth, and to pursue our own interests. But the Kingdom of God operates on principles of love, humility, service, and sacrifice. It is a kingdom where the last shall be first and the first shall be last (Matthew 20:16).


As followers of Christ, we are called to live as citizens of this heavenly kingdom while we sojourn in this world. We are in the world but not of the world (John 17:16). We are called to be ambassadors of Christ, representing His kingdom in this world. As ambassadors, our lives should reflect the values and principles of the kingdom we represent. We should be vessels of His love, agents of His peace, and messengers of His grace.


In a world that is increasingly becoming self-centred and materialistic, let us be the ones who demonstrate the power of selfless love and sacrificial giving. Let us be the ones who choose to serve rather than be served. Let us be the ones who value people over possessions, relationships over riches, and character over comfort. The Apostle John warns us when he says, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them" (1 John 2:15).


Dear brothers and sisters, the kingdoms of this world are temporary and transient. They rise and fall. They come and go. But the Kingdom of God is eternal. It is the only kingdom that matters. It is the only kingdom that will stand the test of time.


So let us not be conformed to the patterns of this world, but let us be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). Let us set our hearts and minds on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2). Let us seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto us (Matthew 6:33).


May the Holy Spirit guide us and empower us as we strive to live as citizens of God's kingdom in this world. May we reflect the light of Christ in the darkness around us. And may our lives bring glory to our King and extend His kingdom in this world. May the Lord grant us the strength to resist the world, the wisdom to discern its deceptions, and the courage to stand firm in our faith.