“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Jesus

So many of us in the world of the Christian faith get very energized by the promise of an end to all of the evil and the corruption of this world, and we look with a sense of great anticipation for the moment when this changed existence will become our own reality. This human and earthly transformation is an absolute promise that God has made, and I have total confidence and faith that He will fulfill it. Yet, Jesus said from the very beginning of His own time with us on earth that the time was now and that restoration was ours for the taking.

As I consider the glory, wonder, and majesty of Christ, and I pause to reflect on how far He traveled, what He gave up, and the degree to which He suffered for me, the only words that come to mind in response are, “Thank you.” That may be a fine starting point, but that is not what Christ actually wants from us. He wants us to accept the fact that He has already given us the opportunity to live in the presence of our Creator every moment of each day, that we are newly reformed into the God-image bearing people that we were designed to be, and that we are charged with the purpose of carrying the message of our hope that has been found in God’s grace to the unredeemed people of our own world.

Believing in the gospel means that we buy into the total truth that God has laid out before us, and that will require an openness to the fact that none of us are perfect; so, there will be crises and struggles of faith that will cause the journey to have its rough and challenging times. Still, the Lord promises that He has an answer for every one of these hard aspects of life, and He calls to each of us to keep our eyes focused outwardly and upward toward Him; then, we will see and understand His very real presence with us through it all. Jesus is asking us to gather around Him and to follow Him through every day of this life, for the promised kingdom of God is our home here and now.