Monday, April 22, 2013



Even though we have wonderful beaches and terrific weather throughout the year in California, many of us get away from it all by going to one of the Hawaiian Islands. I'll never forget our first trip there. We were greeted at the airport with an immediate tropical breeze, our hosts placed a flowered lei around each of our necks, and all the way to the hotel we were told that Hawaii is the most beautiful place on earth-a place to become "unbuttoned" and hang loose. The entire experience was an Aloha state of mind!

My son-in-law and colleague, Jason, shared with me this week that this is precisely how we are to view the Kingdom. Instead of an Aloha state of mind, seeking the Kingdom can be the Kingdom state of mind. I love it!

What does it mean to have a Kingdom state of mind-to live the Kingdom lifestyle right here, right now? I can think of 5 descriptors. FIRST-In the Kingdom state of mind, you are not in control; Jesus is. When you enter the Kingdom of God, you sign over your personal kingdom to Jesus. You look to Jesus first for direction-for orders and opportunities. He's in charge and you are not!

SECOND-In the Kingdom state of mind, you are aware that Jesus (your new King) is actively at work all around you. He is not only working in and through you, Jesus is working with every person all around you. You see, Jesus is more concerned about you and the people around you than you are.

THIRD-In the Kingdom state of mind, you know Jesus wants you to re-present him to whomever you meet and wherever you go. This, in itself, is a revolutionary thought. This is why Jesus says to his early disciples: "You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world." In the Kingdom state of mind, your very presence in a room is the presence of Jesus in that same room. People will sense it. Your touch will be the touch of Jesus. In the Kingdom state of mind, your light will shine as Jesus and people will be attracted to you. Your light counteracts the darkness in people's hearts and minds. People will be able to see Jesus in you!

FOUR-In the Kingdom state of mind, you don't have to go find people to help. People in need will either be sent to you or people will be brought up in your mind. All day long Jesus is setting up "divine appointments" for you. He is setting them up and is awaiting for you to show up.

FIVE-In the Kingdom state of mind, you know the world around you is watching, waiting, and worn-out. There is a watching world. They are keen to observe your lifestyle-your relationships, values and decisions. They are keen to watch how you love others or if you do. They are also watching what you do, when you are cursed by others. Will you come back with a curse or will you give a blessing instead? In the Kingdom state of mind, you look for opportunities to be a blessing-to do good for another, to affirm others, and to speak well of others-wherever you go. In the Kingdom state of mind, you are to be bent on being a good-finder-an agent of Good News-a personal agent of Jesus!

There is a waiting world all around you-waiting for their prayers to be answered-waiting for someone to care enough to come alongside to help them or comfort them or love them. In the Kingdom state of mind, you are the possible answer to their prayers.

There is also a worn-out world. These are the disenfranchised-the marginalized. They have given up on their dreams. These are the hopeless and maybe even homeless of our world. In the Kingdom state of mind, these are the very special people who are on the heart of Jesus.

I could go on and on describing the Kingdom state of mind. And, so can you! Do you see how the presence of the Kingdom right here right now is not only good news; it's the best news anyone can experience or spread. This is why Jesus' first words were announcing the presence of the Kingdom. This is why most of what Jesus taught was about the Kingdom. His teachings weren't about a list of do's and don'ts or a performance system, whereby you can accumulate points to impress God. Jesus taught that anyone can live in the Kingdom state of mind.

This is why Jesus says the Father has chosen to gladly give you, a Jesus follower, the Kingdom (Luke 12). This is why when Jesus began speaking in parables in Matthew 13, he said that "the knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdom is given to those" who have ears to hear and eyes to see.

I don't know what you're thinking, but I really want to be in the Kingdom state of mind every day possible. I love the Aloha state of mind, for sure, but I'm sticking with the Kingdom. I know this. If I seek first his Kingdom, I can experience Jesus, in the Kingdom state of mind.