17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
John 10:10 (NKJV) I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
God promises us life..... He is not just speaking of life on earth but He is also referring to eternal life. Jesus came specifically to bring salvation to the world and with it the abundant life He promises to give us. The problem is that some people think this means financial abundance. God can and does bless us with financial provision; some more than others, but He also warns us not to make money a god. Many take comfort in money and rely on it to meet not only their needs but their wants.
The abundant life is the Kingdom of God. God desires to give us the kind of life He created us to have not what we settle for. This verse is about the true abundant life and it isn't about eating and drinking.
Food has become a god in this society. Some people use eating and drinking as a way of filling the empty places in their heart caused by life's hurts. Even Christians get together around food and drinks.
Notice how we usually meet at restaurants or Starbucks or even at a home where the hostess makes all kinds of goodies for our meeting? I often wonder why we need such entertainment instead of getting together with the sole purpose of sharing things our Lord is doing. Why do we need our bellies filled? Somehow this breaks the awkwardness of intimacy.
There is nothing wrong with eating and drinking or sharing a meal, but there is something wrong with making food the main part of our fellowship. This is how the world socializes or fellowships. We cannot have the joy and peace that is unique to believers who are baptized in the Holy Spirit, if we won't let go of the world's ways.
What could be more filling to our souls than what God offers? In Him we are given the keys to everlasting life. We are hidden in Christ and called righteous before God. In this gift of righteousness we are found without guilt and measured by a new standard. This standard is Jesus and exceeds the righteousness of any modern day Pharisee. Through Him we are born again into the Spirit of God and are given the right to have joy and peace. This is not found in the world. We need the fulfilling joy and peace only experienced in the Holy Spirit. He carries us in His bosom and we are embraced with who He is; He is joy and peace and righteousness. As we embrace all that God is handing us for free, we dwell in the abundant life we so desire.
Challenge: In your prayer time ask the Lord to help you embrace this abundant life He so graciously gives to us and when He reveals it to you embrace it with all your heart.
The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.