What is the kingdom of God? It’s the rule and reign of God, the authority of God, over His people. And as believers, it is our job to make the Kingdom visible and understood.
The Kingdom is the effect the gospel message has on our hearts and our actions. The gospel divides people into three groups: those who reject its message outright, those who are willing to take some of the forgiveness it offers but give nothing of themselves, and those who humble themselves completely in light of God’s grace and forgiveness to make Jesus the Lord of their life.
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells us he will separate the sheep from the goats – those whose hearts were truly aligned with the gospel from those who were not. The sheep will inherit the kingdom of God. The goats will be told to depart. It’s a hard truth.
The sheep are those who took action when Jesus said, feed the hungry. Feeding the hungry doesn’t cause you to be a sheep, to be a Christian. But the effect of being a Christian, being one whose heart is truly changed by the truth of the gospel, is that you want to feed the hungry.
When the gospel penetrates your heart, you’re going to love what God loves and hate what God hates. You’re going to feed the least of these, you’re going to clothe them. The effect of being a Christian is that when a brother or a sister has a need, it’s a Kingdom need, and those in the Kingdom rise up to meet it.
Jesus tells the sheep, “When you did it unto the least of these, you did it unto me.” But it didn’t occur to the people who they were ministering to – they didn’t acknowledge they were ministering to the least of these. They saw a need in the Kingdom and they met it. Because that’s what their hearts longed to do.
The goats simply didn’t answer the call to meet Kingdom needs. They didn’t recognize the least of these as worthy of their effort. As a result, they failed to minister to Jesus Himself.
Matthew 6:33 tells us we’re to do more than recognize the Kingdom – we’re called to seek it: But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. Jesus promises that when we seek His Kingdom first, then our needs will be met.
There are a lot of ways to seek His kingdom first – whether it’s working with the Men of Nehemiah, or meeting needs in the current immigration crisis, there’s no shortage of opportunities to seek the Kingdom, to meet the needs of the least of these.
Contact Missions to see how you can mitigate the suffering of the least of these among us and at our border. See how you can minister to the heart of God Himself.