The Bible verse mum alluded to was from Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
but righteousness, and peace, and joy
in the Holy Spirit.
Now we can get all hung up on trying to work out what the Kingdom of God is. Many theologians better trained than me have discussed this for years. But my simple mind says – the kingdom of God is the place where God rules, where he is king.
When I was about 10 I made a decision that I wanted Jesus Lord of my life. This has been tested many times over the years – but it is still my heart’s desire – that God rules in my life, that He is king.
The same goes for my home. Peter’s and my home is a place where we want God’s rule (not his rules – but his Rule, where he is the boss) . Joshua (OT Joshua) said – as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua wanted his house (his family) to be a place of the kingdom of God.
Anyways… back to that scripture in Romans – it is saying that God’s rule doesn’t happen by meat and drink. Thats the rules of the old covenant – they were allowed to do this and not allowed to do that – all the rules they had to follow. But the new covenant, the kingdom of God, is in our hearts and it plays out in our choices.
When we get to the end of a day we tend to look at our to-do list, or if we are a homeschooler we may look at our lesson plans to see how much was ticked off, and how much we achieved – in order to see if we had a good day or not. We may not even have the energy to look at a list – we are simply exhuasted and assume that we had a wreck of a day. And maybe did. But maybe we are looking at the wrong measuring stick.
If our goal is to have our life, and our family life, reflect God being king – then his standard is what we should be measuring our day by.
He says – the kingdom of God is by righteousness, peace and joy.
On that first day when mum just made a passing reference – I’m not even sure she was serious – to this Bible verse I had to admit, there had been no joy in being with my children that day.
When I asked myself – why was that – I had to say it was a hectic day where nothing went according to plan, where the noise level was intense, where there was constant tension between everyone – this sounds like no peace.
And if I keep this scripture in mind, the next question I would have to ask myself is – was there righteousness in my choices today?
And that is the crunch of it!
We complain about our bad days – but do we even aim for righteousness to be in our life? That is to be the measuring stick – did I respond with righteousness – did I respond to all that happened with the love, mercy and grace that God has given me.
When we have righteousness in our life – peace will be its fruit.
When we have peace in our heart, joy will be its fruit.
It might be good to give a quick review here of what these words mean
Righteousness – isn’t a holier than thou attitude – it’s right standing with God. It is being made right with God, and walking with Him, in ways that honours Him.
Joy – it isn’t happiness because all is good in my world, Joy isn’t because of our circumstances – it is because Jesus is with me in those circumstances, and regardless of the circumstances.
Peace – Is that sense of contentment, completeness, wholeness, well-being and harmony that settles into the depths of my heart because I know God is.