TRUE RICHES OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Luke 16:11 – Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
The true riches of the Kingdom of God are not material, physical or carnal; and as such they are eternal. We must recognize that those things which are material, physical or carnal shall not endure but will pass away. God wants us to acquire true riches which are eternal.
Luke 12:15 – And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
So what are the true and eternal riches of God’s Kingdom?
Romans 14:17 – for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Here we see that the Kingdom of God is not based on material and physical things; nor does it consist of rituals that we observe. We are told that the Kingdom of God is RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE AND JOY, and these are by the Spirit of God that fills and surrounds us. So let’s take a closer look at just what these things are.
RIGHTEOUSNESS – acting and being in a just and upright manner; virtuous, moral, proper and justifiable; having no fault, guile or corruption.
PEACE – a state of calm and rest; without fear, worry, anxiety or threat; serenity.
JOY – delight; excelling in happiness and pleasure.
We are told in scripture that Jesus is became our righteousness to those who believe on him and live and walk in harmony with him. What is most interesting is to discover what is the basis or foundation of RIGHTEOUSNESS. The answer is simple and repeated over and over again in the New Testament – LOVE. Yes, love, the God kind of love, produces righteousness.
Scripture tells us that God is love:
1 John 4:8 – He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Love is who and what He is; Love is His nature. Therefore it is easy to recognize that, since love is His nature, all that is in His domain or kingdom being under His influence will also be the epitome and fulfillment of God’s love.
However, our understanding of love is totally inadequate and even inaccurate. The God kind of love is from the New Testament Greek work agapao and is translated most accurately as “charity”. From this we understand that God’s love is caring, compassionate and giving. This love does not involve any form of intimate carnal relationship.
Jesus defined His love as “giving” for the benefit of others, even at your own expense.
John 15:13 - Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
From scripture we can see what the God kind of love does and does not do.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 – Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
For simplicity, here is a comparative listing:
WHAT LOVE DOES WHAT LOVE DOES NOT DO
Suffers long Envies not
Is kind Vaunteth not itself
Rejoices in truth Not puffed up
Bears all things Not behave unseemly
Believes all things Not selfish (seeking its own)
Hopes in all things Not easily provoked
Endures all things Thinks no evil
Never fails Does not rejoice in sin
Covers all sin
Casts out all fear
1 Peter 4:8 – and above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
1 John 4:18 – here is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
Love is not an option, it is a command!
John 15:12 – This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Love fulfills the work of the Law and of the Prophets!
Romans 13:8-10 – Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Love is a true identifier of God’s children!
1 John 4:7-17 – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
So we can see from scripture that LOVE is the basic foundation of the Kingdom of God. Jesus commanded us to begin walking and living in it NOW! Love is fulfilling righteousness and true holiness. Love is true wealth and riches, and this is the wealth that you can take with you when you pass from this life.
Matthew 6:19-21 – Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.