ODJ: the best will come

December 30, 2014 

READ: Psalm 24:1-10 

Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter (v.7).

This week I bought a lot of toilet paper in order to qualify for a partial refund. The refund form told me to address my envelope to “Road to Glory”. Really? I hadn’t slain a dragon or won a championship. I had merely purchased TP. So I laughed at the ridiculous title as I wrote it on the envelope.

The world often exaggerates its achievements, and so do we. We use social media to post about our “amazing” weekend with our “awesome” kids, when all we did was pack a lunch and go to the beach. If we use our biggest superlatives on picnics, we’ll have nothing left to describe what’s truly spectacular.

It’s also important to remember our temptation towards inflation when speaking of the kingdom of God. Jesus said His kingdom is both already here—for “the Kingdom of God has arrived among you” (Matthew 12:28)—and also not yet. For He taught us to pray, “Father . . . may your Kingdom come soon” (Luke 11:2). We should celebrate the kingdom now, but not in a way that detracts from what’s yet to come.

It’s good for churches to plant community gardens, fight injustice and help those in need, but we shouldn’t leave the impression that these efforts are the consummation of the kingdom. If we oversell what we’ve done, we’ll leave people feeling depressed. Is this all the kingdom amounts to? Is this as good as it gets?

Psalm 24 expresses our tension. Enjoy life now, as much as you can, for “the earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him” (v.1). But never stop longing for the return of the King. Our world will be infinitely better when He returns, so “open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter” (v.9). —Mike Wittmer

365-day plan› Revelation 21:1-27

Read Isaiah 60 to learn what life will be like when Jesus returns. 
Where do you experience the kingdom of God today? How does this make you even more excited to anticipate the return of Jesus?