The Fourth; Little Kingdoms and Big Kingdoms

Jul 02nd 2010

On July 4th, we celebrate the birth of a kingdom/nation. CentralPA4thFestFinale-070406 We don’t use the word Kingdom very much today, but in Jesus’ day they used it all the time. They understood what a Kingdom was all about. In a biblical sense, everyone has a kingdom. Your kingdom is whatever you control. John Ortberg calls it the “that little sphere in which what you say goes…it is the range of your effective will.” He gives some good little kingdom illustrations — for example in my case…

As a kid, many of our family vacations were trips from South Dakota to California to visit relatives. Sitting in a car with four siblings on a three day journey is all about protecting & expanding your kiddie-sized kingdom. You draw a line on the seat. “My kingdom starts here. Thou shalt not cross that line.” And of course they do. They always do, because your brother’s trying to expand his kingdom. And so you resort to the master of a larger Kingdom. “Daaaad — Kim touched me. She reached over the line and she touched me.” “It’s not my fault dad,” Kim responds, “He has too much space.”

And sooner or later Dad turns around…and what does he say? “You better stop fighting or I’m gonna come back there.” Why does he say that? Because he believes that the whole car is his kingdom.

And as a kid you’re thinking nah…he won’t do that. I’m safe in my little kingdom. And then he taps on the brakes…and starts pulling over to the side. And you know those kids are not praying…

“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in the back seat as it is in the front seat.”

So here’s the question — what are your little kingdoms? You might have more than one. Some people are bold and obvious¬†about kingdom-building; some people are sneaky and subtle about it. But we all have a little kingdom or two that we are trying to build. What are your little kingdoms?

What is your little k? What area, what circle do you try to control, or lead or organize, what passion in life do you have that if someone were to ask you to give it up, you might wrap your arms, clench your hands and hang on for all your might. Maybe your little k is your friends… you know your exact facebook count. Maybe it’s your grades, a job, a dream, retirement plans, your family. Maybe your little k is no bigger than just you. If you had to fill in the blank… what would you write? My little k’s are…

This Fourth of July, can I give you a reminder? If you are a Christian, your country, your political party, politics in general — all little k’s. Not Big Kingdom material.

Jesus was all about the Big K. In Matt 6:33 He’s making a distinction between Little k’s and the Big Kingdom, when he says, “But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” ¬† There is one and only one Big K — it’s the one we seek first.