He called His twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
Jesus sent out the twelve disciples and gave them the authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. (Matthew 10:1) He told them to go to the Jews first, preaching that the kingdom of heaven is near. The evidence of the kingdom would be seen as the disciples proclaimed and demonstrated the kingdom. Before ascending into heaven, Jesus instructed the apostles about the kingdom and told them to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower them to carry out His work. (Acts 1) On the day of Pentecost, 120 believers were filled with the Holy Spirit. Today, God continues to fill and send out believers to demonstrate that indeed the kingdom of God is near.
(Matthew 4:17) The kingdom of God is the rule and reign of God on earth.
As the gospel is preached, the kingdom of God draws near. Jesus declared that the kingdom was near when He came to earth; He demonstrated the kingdom and He commissioned believers to advance His kingdom on earth:
From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing and forceful men lay hold of it. (Matthew 11:12) The kingdom was, the kingdom is, and the kingdom will be when Jesus Christ returns. As believers, we participate in the advancement of His kingdom as we spread the “good news” of Jesus Christ and demonstrate His goodness through prayer and faith.
Have you been simply waiting until Jesus returns for His kingdom to arrive? Perhaps you are content knowing you have received Jesus as your Lord and Savior but are unsure if you wish to participate in His activities on earth. The fullness of His Holy Spirit is here, guiding you and empowering you to actively participate with what He is doing as the world prepares for Him to return. Are you willing to pray for the sick or to reach out to the lost?
He has prepared you to step out in faith and advance His kingdom. He is still working on earth and the harvest is plentiful: Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore to send out workers into His harvest field.” (Matthew 9:35-38)
Forgive me for being complacent about the advancement of Your kingdom. I desire to be Your hands and feet on earth, preparing for Your return. Increase my faith to spread Your word, lay hands on the sick and believe that Your kingdom is not just for the future, but Your kingdom is here now.
In Jesus’ name, Amen