John the Baptist said, “Repent. The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Prepare the way of the Lord. Make His paths straight.” What do you think he meant by that? What really is the kingdom of heaven? What do we need to do to prepare for it? How close (at hand) is it really?
A kingdom assumes a king who rules over people in his kingdom. So, we understand that John was preparing the way for Jesus as King/Lord and for His kingdom. He was telling the people to prepare by repenting. They were supposed to turn from their sin in the world and change to be in Creator Father’s kingdom and under His governance. John also warned that if a person did not voluntarily repent, then the day was coming when the King would use his winnowing fan to separate those in His kingdom and those in the kingdom of His enemy. (Matthew 3: 1-12.) People eagerly came to John to be baptized (dunked in water) in order to be cleansed from unrighteousness and to enter into the kingdom of God’s governance.
Are we so eager today? Have we switched kingdoms? Are we continually inviting Jesus to be King/Lord of our life as well as Savior? How are we preparing for the coming King Yeshua/Jesus and His kingdom on earth? What happens if we do not prepare? What happens if we do not repent and change towards righteousness? His kingdom is holy, righteous, and good. Isn’t that where we all want to live? Don’t we dream of heaven on earth? So, are we pursuing Him, His kingdom, and His righteousness in our heart and in our real life?
We have learned that it is essential to establish our foundation on Jesus, the Rock, who restores our relationship with the Heavenly Father and gives us the Holy Spirit to lead us. That is critical! We cannot progress until that Rock foundation is laid. We have learned that we need to have an attitude of honor and respect towards our Heavenly Authority….and we are to humble our self. But, now that our firm foundation is established, we need to keep building, keep growing in the right way (righteousness).
Our King and His kingdom are right at hand. This means it is available and within reach now and always! He is right here, every day, every minute to reign in our heart as Savior and Lord King. He desires to rule in our hearts, not by the letter of the law. He is concerned about our relationship, our character, and growing to be like Him in righteousness. This is an exciting journey and filled with abundant opportunities! It is challenging, but so rewarding! We are preparing ourselves for eternity in His kingdom!
His actual physical reign on earth is coming…..maybe sooner than we think. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to learn to live by His moral laws and conform our “self” to His spiritual laws before He comes and puts them in force? Wouldn’t that be wisdom?
He is giving people time to prepare now. Could that be why is He waiting so long to come again and establish His kingdom on earth? He loves and is full of mercy and grace. His desire is that all be saved from bondage to satan, sin, and death. He is waiting for more to come into His kingdom. He is waiting for people to be prepared in righteousness. He is waiting for a Bride who is ready and prepared.
Prepare the way of the Lord. Take down all the mountains and curving wayward roads. Make His way straight and give Him direct access to your heart and life. Hunger and thirst for Him and His righteousness. We honor the King of Kings and Lord of Lords when we love Him, desire to please Him and be like Him, and give our best attention and efforts to grow and prepare ourselves in righteousness!