“Fear not little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom of heaven” (Luke 12:32). Are these just comforting words that forecast future promises, or can we really expect Jesus Christ’s words to resonate in practical ways, right now, in today’s world? Can we trust his promise that God’s kingdom is present, active, and relevant?
Studying the ministry of Jesus Christ has been a standard for explaining to me who God is, what our relationship is to Him, and how this understanding benefits our lives and the lives of our neighbors. Jesus taught the importance of loving God, ourselves, and our neighbors, and he proved the authenticity of his words by healing sickness, destroying sin, and raising the dead.
A lawyer once questioned Jesus about eternal life. Jesus told him to follow the law, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” Jesus said, “Do this, and thou shalt live.” The lawyer asked, “Who is my neighbour?” Jesus answered with a parable about a man who had enough compassion to help someone who was robbed, humiliated, beaten, and left for dead after others looked at him and passed him by. This man took time to bind his wounds, carried him to an inn, and paid the innkeeper for his stay (see Luke 10:25-37).
How is it possible to help our neighbor when the demands of life seem so time-consuming and costly? How can love be the answer?
The scriptures describe God as love itself and indicates how each of us are an integral part of His love. The writer of I John tells us, “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (I John 4:16).
Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, writes in her primary work, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” that “Christian scientific practice begins with Christ’s keynote of harmony, ‘Be not afraid!’” She describes God as, “universal, eternal, divine Love, which changeth not and causeth no evil, disease, nor death.” She also writes, “God is what the Scriptures declare Him to be, – Life, Truth, Love.”
Trusting God’s all-encompassing love has taught me not to be afraid. This infinite, all-powerful love has met my needs in the most wonderful ways, elevated thought above the fear of terrorism, natural disasters, sickness, and an overwhelming sense of lack.
For me, living in God’s kingdom of love unfolds the right thing to do, at the right time, for the right purpose, without fear of limitation or harm. God’s love eliminates fear and reveals the unlimited ability for each of us to love God, ourselves, and everyone.