A Nation waits with baited breath, as the bands play, the army presents arms, the media cameras roll, all the VIP’s and celebrities dressed in their very best stand to attention as the President takes his position to present his ‘State of the Nation’ address, which high-lights the past, addresses the issues of the present and offers hope for the future. The budget speech and policy decisions that will follow in due course will all reflect elements of the ‘State of the Nation’ address. The President’s speech forms the principal political framework for the year ahead.
The world waits, not in Parliament or a Palace, not dressed in their best, but sitting on the grass on a hillside, VIPs and celebrities conspicuous by their absence, the armies invisible and silent as the King finds a suitable rock to sit on and prepares to deliver His ‘State of the Kingdom’ address.
“Who is this King of Glory?” someone once asked…. (Psalm 24:10)
He is the express image and brightness of God’s glory, supreme over all creation for by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. He holds the whole of Creation together and He is the Head of God’s people known as the church, having been the first to rise from the dead making Him preeminent in all things. It gives the Father great pleasure that all of God’s fullness dwells in Him. He is the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords and of His Throne and Dominion, there will be no end. [Colossians 1:15-19]
God had spoken many times in the past from Heaven, but was now about to speak on earth in human form, as He delivers His ‘State of the Kingdom’ address. [Hebrews 1:1-2]
The family of man had been on the go for about four thousand years at the time of this address and the human race had produced its fair share of rich, successful and famous but at the cost of its relationship with their God. Man’s history was covered in blood and had left in its wake the poor in spirit, the mourners, the meek, the merciful, the hungry for righteousness, the peacemakers, pure in heart, the persecuted and the insulted. It was to these that the King turned His attention in His opening remarks.
The State of the Kingdom Address – in a nutshell
(A full transcript of the King’s address is available from Matthew 5:1 to 7:28)
Compensation offered to the poor, the persecuted, the sorrowful and the needy comprised the following:
- They will own the everlasting Kingdom, with no sickness pain or death.
- They will be comforted
- The earth will be given to them
- They will have their fill of justice and righteousness
- Mercy would be shown to them
- They will look upon God in all His glory and see Him.
- They will be given the most illustrious title in the Universe, they will be called the sons of God
- The persecuted in particular will be given a great reward.
The Purpose behind the difficulties
The King reaffirmed the purpose for the suffering and deprivation experienced by these humble servants; it is to be the salt of the earth and to let our lights shine in a dark world under all circumstances, so that others would see our good character and recognize God the Father in us.
No Change to the Established Truth
The King then turned His attention to the judiciary system that God had established through Moses and confirmed that there would be no change to the high moral standard of the Kingdom. In fact He went as far as to say that keeping the code of ethics superficially, fell far short of the required standard. The Decalogue deals not only with outward actions but also the intentions and attitude of the heart. He then astounded His audience by underscoring God’s commitment to these rules, saying that Heaven and earth would pass away, but this moral code would not change.
The King then addressed one of the primary motivators of sinful human behaviour – PRIDE! He sighted numerous examples of behaviour, which under normal circumstances would be considered good, but having exposed the human heart hungry for recognition to feed its insatiable pride, these good works and the do-gooders themselves are disqualified. Those who seek these things will be rewarded temporally by men’s recognition, but suffer the loss of Heavenly recognition and eternal rewards.
Getting Personal with the Father
Having spoken on a variety of issues in general, the King then focused on a unique privilege that the Father is prepared to grant each individual; a personal and private interview behind closed doors.
Fasting, prayers and the act of giving are private and confidential arrangements between an individual and the Father Himself. The King indicated that the Father would respond to these private consultations by rewarding this devotion publically. (Impure motives in this area having been dealt with above).
A Sample Prayer
To facilitate these intimate moments with the Father, the King provided a prayer template, not to be repeated parrot fashion, but to be studied carefully and internalized, as a protocol when addressing our Heavenly Father.
Fiscal Policy and Crime
Turning to the economy of the earth and the chase for wealth, the King warned of the short-sightedness of accumulating material wealth, which is exposed to erosion and a target of crime. He re-focused our attention to the reward of building a bank balance in Heaven, where security is assured and our motivation and focus will be purified from greed and selfish ambition.
The King acknowledged the need for social security and welfare. He undertook to provide every individual, who seeks God’s Kingdom and God’s righteousness as a lifelong priority, with all their basic requirements to live. He removed all stress from these issues with His personal assurance and two simple examples to clarify His Father’s position:
- “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.”
- “See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
The King then emphasized His assurance of God’s provision with this rhetorical question: “Are you not much more valuable than they?”
Criteria for Judgment
The King, who is Himself the Supreme Judge of all men, warned of the hypocrisy of fault finding amongst our peers, observing that not one of us is faultless and stressing the need for personal analysis before offering admonition or advice to others. He further warned that admonition and advice to the unreceptive is like giving what is holy to dogs, or casting pearls before swine.
The King gave assurances that perseverance with prayerful requests for assistance are acknowledged and will be processed ( in terms of all the previously stated criteria). He offered the very insightful analogy of an earthly father responding to his son’s requests as an example of the parameters of the Father’s willingness to respond to our appeals.
Stringent Entrance Standards
The King acknowledged that the entrance to the Kingdom and the path of progress are stringent, not always obvious and will require constant tenacity in discerning God’s direction from the far easier and more popular route to destruction.
The King then gave a very stern warning that we should be ever on the look out for Con-men who appear to be His servants, but are “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” These pretenders should not be assessed by what they say, but by what they are and what they do. Their track record will expose them when their lives do not measure up to the foregoing criteria.
Finally addressing all wannabe loyal subjects, He said that there would be a large number who called Him Lord and will lay claim to a successful career in service of the Kingdom who will be disqualified on the grounds that they had not done His Father’s will. He then drew His Royal ‘State of the Kingdom’ address to a close by articulating unambiguously how we will stand the test of time and qualify as an esteemed subject of His Eternal Kingdom.
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
Those who were privileged to attend the live presentation by the King of kings, Jesus the anointed Son of God, unanimously agreed that He had spoken with unprecedented authority.
It must be noted that those who respond to the call of the Gospel and wish to be included in the Eternal Kingdom of Jesus Christ, need to acknowledge their sinful state before God, repent of their sin and accept the death of Jesus as their only means of forgiveness, believe that He rose from the dead and that He is indeed God. [Romans 10:8-10]
Jesus explained this in these famous words: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. (John 3:16)
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. (Ephesians 1:18-23)
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17)