Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Best Surprise Ever 5: Surprising Kingdom

This is Part Five in a seven-part series of family devotions leading up to Easter.  Here is Part OnePart TwoPart Three and Part Four if you need to catch up.  
Verse to Remember: May your kingdom come.  May what you want to happen be done on earth as it is done in heaven. – Matthew 6:10 (NIrV)
Big Idea:  Jesus is the King of Kings, and I can help bring his kingdom to earth.
Have you ever built a sand castle?  It’s a blast to sit on the beach and sculpt your own little kingdom, isn’t it?   You can shape the walls and towers and turrets any way you want. At the end of the day, though, what happens to your kingdom?
It all gets washed away.
Jesus knew that the same thing happens with all the kingdoms of earth.  Countries change names, and get taken over by other countries. Rulers come and go.  But there is one kingdom that never ends. God’s kingdom!
That’s what Jesus was talking about when he was taken to a man named Pontius Pilate.  Pilate was a ruler for the Roman government. After Jesus was arrested, his enemies took him to Pilate because they wanted Pilate to put him to death.  
Pilate asked Jesus is he was king of the Jewish people.  Jesus said he was, but his kingdom wasn’t a kingdom on earth.  It was better. It was a kingdom in heaven. Pilate didn’t understand what he was talking about.  He was too busy trying to keep his job and make all the people happy.
Eventually Pilate gave the people what they wanted.  He knew Jesus hadn’t done anything wrong, but he sentenced him to die on the cross anyway.  But here’s the amazing part. By dying on the cross, Jesus made it possible for us to be a part of his kingdom, a kingdom that never ends!
Pilate and his kingdom are gone now, washed away like a sandcastle on the beach, but 2,000 years later Jesus’ kingdom is still going strong.  Someday Jesus will bring his kingdom to earth and will make everything new.
In the meantime, we get to help people see what God’s kingdom is like when we treat them the way Jesus would.  Every time you love people, serve people and are generous to people, you are bringing heaven to earth a little bit every day.
God, thank you for inviting me to be a part of your kingdom.  Please help me to show people what your kingdom is like by the way I treat them.  Amen.
 Talk About It:
  1. What’s the difference between human kingdoms and God’s kingdom?
  2. What do you think it will be like when Jesus brings heaven to earth?
  3. How can you bring a little bit of heaven to earth for someone this week?

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