The Suffering Messiah - A Kingdom of the Heart - Monday, April 10th

The Suffering Messiah - A Kingdom of the Heart - Monday, April 10th

For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. Romans 14:17-18

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

We will be celebrating communion this week as a church body. The inaugural communion took place in an upper room many, many years ago as Jesus gave His disciples the bread and the cup as a Divine object lesson of the sacrifice He was about to make. Christ’s sacrifice for our sins and subsequent resurrection formulate the culminating point of the difference Jesus came to make. Jesus prefaced His giving the cup to His disciples with these words: “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. But I say to you I will not drink of this fruit on the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” I want to combine covenant and kingdom in this passage with kingdom and the Holy Spirit mentioned in our opening passage. It is the new covenant (Jeremiah 31, Ezekiel 37, Hebrews 8) that is being referred to here and this covenant focuses on the role of the Holy Spirit. Through the forgiveness of our sins God comes to dwell in us by the Holy Spirit and works to produce the righteous life in us that was not possible through the old covenant.

All those who enter into this Divine enterprise are members of God’s kingdom. Kingdom in our opening passage is referring to the features of God’s kingdom that are of a spiritual, inward, and personal nature – that is, the heart. This is the kingdom in view from His first coming until His second coming. The use of kingdom by Jesus in the upper room speaks of a future kingdom that will include added features that are of an earthly, outward, and universal nature. As we move through this week’s Devotionals we will see Christ’s triumphant entrance into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) both as a peak at the future when He will rule and reign on earth as King and as a hint of the more immediate rule over the hearts of willing people that will become available through the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, I am a willing person who has experienced the forgiveness of sins. You live in my heart through the Holy Spirit and I am learning to let you rule over my heart. Thank you for coming and being our Suffering Messiah. Thank you for sacrificing yourself on the cross and rising from the dead to become our living Savior and Lord. May your people everywhere let you rule fully over their hearts and lives. Amen!

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