Already, Not Yet: Growing the Kingdom of God

Michigan Camp Meeting is here once again. And for the I-don’t-remember-how-many-th-time I had the privilege of participating the Sabbath School panel in the main auditorium. 

Being a part of the panel is always a tremendous blessing, and this year was no exception. We studied ideas coming out of this week’s quarterly lesson on the book of Luke’s examination of the kingdom of God. 

Three things stuck out to me most:

  1. Already, Not Yet. The kingdom of God is something that we can experience–that we must experience–right now. It’s principle based, and by accepting Jesus into our life, we begin our growth (more on that in #2) in the kingdom. But it’s also not yet, because the physical kingdom is still to (soon) come. Interesting tensions develop as we learn to balance the already and not yet by measuring service and watchfulness. 
  2. The Kingdom of God Grows. Like, always. It doesn’t stop growing as long as we are connected to the Source. That’s why plants are what Jesus uses so often to illustrate His kingdom. It’s the out working of grace in our lives. 
  3. Tests for Growth. Sometimes we aren’t growing–but we don’t realize it. How can we figure it out? There are some tests we see in Jesus’ ministry, which help us to see if we are in harmony with the kingdom: how we interact with children (Luke 18:15-17), how we deal with the material (Luke 12:29-34), and whether we would turn back (Luke 9:59-62). 

Sabbath School continues to be a highlight of the Sabbath experience each week. I’m looking forward to seeing what we learn preparing for and participating in the panel next week. 

2 Comments

  1. I love this summary! I’ve always meant to study the kingdom of God a bit more—the “tests for growth” is really interesting. 🙂

  2. Thanks Michel! I think the kingdom of God is one of those things that always starts off as “what in the world is He talking about?” But this week’s lesson did a good job of synthesizing it–I really do think the Already, Not Yet paradigm is key. And as for the tests, that was one of those little jewels that popped out of a spirit filled conversation.

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