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Kingdom, Part 1 - Daily Steps

Posted by Kim Stiver on

Welcome to Daily Steps
A weekly devotional message with daily scripture readings, prayer prompts, and action steps to help you spend time with Jesus and strengthen your relationship with Him.

Romans 10:14-15 "But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, 'How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!'" (NLT)

Beautiful Feet Bringing Good News

Of all the parts of the body, feet are often the most ignored and sometimes the most joked about. Comments about a beautiful face or sparkling eyes? Both very common sentiments. Admiration for someone's attractive arms or elegant hands? Also not unheard of. But beautiful feet? Not so much... especially in Biblical times. Back then, the shoe industry was pretty basic. People were lucky to have rudimentary sandals made with untreated animal skin or a wooden sole with some straps made of grass, rags, rope, or whatever could be found. While there wasn't much protection from the elements, of even greater concern were all the hazards and inconvenience associated with walking anywhere, such as dust, mud, rocks, garbage, sewage, and animal waste.  To put it mildly, back in those days, feet were regarded as one of the most unclean, unmentionable, and undesirable parts of the body.

Against this backdrop, imagine this paraphrased scene from John 13 and the incredulous reactions from the upper crust of society who were sitting in the room watching Jesus get down on His knees, which would've been a taboo act all by itself. "So He got up from the meal and took off his outer robe, and took a towel and wrapped it around His waist. Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ dirty feet and dry them with His towel. After washing their feet, He put his robe on and returned to His place at the table. 'Do you understand what I just did?' Jesus said. 'So if I’m your teacher and lord and have just washed your dirty feet, then you should follow the example that I’ve set for you and wash one another’s dirty feet.'" (selected verses from The Passion Translation)

As impossible as it seems for a King to kneel down and do what only the lowliest of servants was expected to do, Jesus made it a reality so that we would have a vision of what His Kingdom is all about. Jesus gave up His glory to bring His Kingdom into our dusty, dirty, and bewildered lives, and now tells us to go invite anyone and everyone to join us. When we carry this Good News, we help others visualize the reality of His Kingdom, bringing beauty to even the ugliest places, the most bitter hearts, and the coldest of souls. Now imagine what happens when we don't go... when we don't deliver the invitation... when we stay home and revel in the Kingdom's blessings all by ourselves. That's what Romans 10:14-15 is begging us to grasp. "But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, 'How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!'" (NLT)

Just as He did with every act, every miracle, and every teaching throughout His ministry, Jesus is trying to get His followers to understand the essence of the Gospel — the Good News that His coming would make possible on earth. The Kingdom of Jesus is not about glory, power, governments, wealth, control, or dominance, or anything else we commonly associate with the word. Most importantly, it is not a kingdom of self. Not self-betterment, self-righteousness, or self-preservation. Rather, it is a Kingdom of otherworldly love-driven entirely by a distinct sense of others. It is this supernatural, unfathomable love that went to the cross to die for others and now lives inside of us and calls to us lay down our lives for others. It is indeed Good News... the best news... that transforms even the most unattractive and mundane into beautiful, life-altering acts of love.

Daily Bible Readings

This week, as you go through the daily readings below, ask God how He wants you to share the Good News of His Kingdom with others. Sometimes He asks us to share it with words, but more often, it is proclaimed the best in our acts of love and service toward others. As you contemplate these passages, make time to pray before and after you read them. In each reading, ask God to show you what the verses mean specifically to you and then write down anything the Holy Spirit whispers to your heart. God’s Word is alive, so even if you’re familiar with these Scriptures, approach them with an expectant heart and an open mind.

Monday - Read Mark 1:14-15. Stepping into the Kingdom of Jesus begins with repentance and belief. Think back on your first encounter with God and how your life now differs because of Jesus. Praise Him for the ways you've experienced His Kingdom here on earth and shared it with others. Reflect on any areas that He may be asking you to renew repentance and belief in your heart. 

Tuesday - Read the full story of Jesus washing the disciples' feet in John 13:1-17. Spend some time picturing yourself in the room with Him. Would you have been one of the wealthy or religious onlookers? Or would you have been like Peter asking Jesus to stop what He was doing? Now imagine yourself washing the feet of someone you struggle with, someone who has a lifestyle you disagree with, a person you are jealous of, or someone who most people would reject or ignore. As you ponder the feelings that emerge, ask Jesus to beautifully transform your resistance to loving and humbly serving those whom you consider unlovable. 

Wednesday - Read Isaiah 52:7 and Romans 10:14-15. Sometimes we are reluctant to share the Good News in our words or actions because we are afraid of rejection... or how we might look... or that we will screw it up or not say it right. But Scripture clearly dismisses those concerns with an amazing promise that whatever we do out of love for Jesus and others will be transformed. Spend time laying down your concerns, weaknesses, and inadequacies at the feet of Jesus. 

Thursday - Read 1 Chronicles 29:11-13. We can't be effective as God's Kingdom instruments here on earth unless we give our hearts, minds, souls to the true King of our souls. When our allegiance wavers and we allow other kings to sit on the thrones of our lives, then we may find ourselves doing what appears to be God's work without God being in it. Spend time meditating on this verse, asking the Holy Spirit to sift through your priorities, allegiances, and agendas. 

Friday - Read Luke 11:34-36. Sometimes we confuse doing good works, promoting social justice, and even sharing our faith as a means of creating light in a dark and often cruel world. We can mistakenly accumulate accolades for creating light, lulling ourselves into thinking we are becoming more like Jesus. Re-read verse 35 and ask the Holy Spirit to help you be a vessel for the true light of the world without getting caught up in any false lights, personal gain, or performance from your own strength.

TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP
Grow closer to God each day and explore what it means to be a part of bringing the Kingdom of Heaven down to earth.

Want to Go Even Further? 
If you are not already using our weekly study guide with your community group or family members, you're missing out on thought-provoking questions for discussion or individual study. 

KINGDOM PART 1 STUDY GUIDE

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