by Henry T. Blackaby Return to Articles

Every January the president delivers his “State of the Union” address to the nation. He seeks to state his heart to the people. He reviews the past achievements as he sees them and projects his agenda and hopes for the year ahead and beyond.

Of course, not everyone sees things as he sees them. But he is the president, and he will be moving the country on to his agenda for the national and international directions he senses to be best. He does all of this in spite of his vocal detractors, especially those who themselves would like to be president.

Jesus often made what I call “state of the Kingdom of God” addresses to His disciples and any crowd that may have gathered. We see this in Matthew 5-7 (what we call the Sermon on the Mount) and Matthew 10. Really, He consistently spoke of “the Kingdom of God (heaven)” throughout His entire ministry. This was the Father’s agenda for His rule in our world. Jesus always spoke with confidence and invited people to participate in it with Him.

When Jesus laid out the Father’s agenda, not everyone agreed with Him either. Like the president, He had His critics and detractors but moved forward confidently. Ultimately, each disciple had to decide how to respond to Jesus as his leader. The future of their lives rested upon themselves. Jesus certainly knew what God wanted to do, but the disciples would participate only in accordance to their belief in Him and their obedience to Him.

This is still true for us today with our Lord as well as our president. All of the “visioning” of a president waits on the people’s response over time. The possibilities are there, but the will of the people will determine through their participation the ultimate reality of it. Likewise, Jesus knows the Father but also knows that our experience of the Father, and all the Father has in mind, will depend on whether we believe Him, obey Him and participate with Him in the Father’s agenda. It will not occur without hard work on our part, but if we commit ourselves, God Himself will assure it.

All of this is a CHOICE. A life choice! We will either participate in the rule of God as His Kingdom comes on earth and His will is done, or we will miss out on this incredible and certain experience with Him. It remains a choice of the heart and life.

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