Guard the Gates

Thistlebend Quiet eMoment

by Laurie Aker

Focus Scripture: Luke 4:42-44 ESV

42 And when it was day,  
he departed and went into a desolate place.
And the people sought him and came to him,  
and would have kept him from leaving them,
43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news  
of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well;  
for I was sent for this purpose.” 
44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

Jesus came to preach the good news of the kingdom of God.

What is the Kingdom of God?

Here is a definition by Dr. Russell Moore:

“The kingdom of God, then,
is the good news that the right rule of God,
and the right rule of man–
a rule our ancestors Adam and Eve lost–
have come together in the right rule
of one right God-man: Jesus of Nazareth.
In his sin-resisting life, his wisdom-saturated teaching,
his demon-exorcising power,
his substitutionary, conquering death,
and his justifying, victorious resurrection, Christ is king.
That king, through his Spirit, invites all men to believe by faith
what they’ll someday see by sight–
what everyone will someday see by sight: Jesus is Lord.
Jesus forgives. Jesus is king.
And his reign will extend to the corner of every galaxy, forever.”

The kingdom of God is our hope in the future,
but it is also a very real part of our reality now.

Luke 17:20-21
Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come,  
he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs  
to be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’
for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”

The kingdom of God is spiritual.
It is the rule and reign of God.


We don’t want other things to rule our heart.

We want His kingdom to rule and reign within.
So, if we might use this metaphor, we must guard
the reign of this kingdom that lies within our heart.
We must put a moat around it
and set watchmen at every post day and night.
We must guard our thoughts, our attitudes, our beliefs
and ask, “What is entering into the gates of my heart?”

Think for a moment, “What do I spend my time thinking about?
What do I spend my energy on?
What are my goals and aspirations?
Do they align with God and His Word?”

Proverbs 4:23
 Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.

Ezekiel 14:3
Son of man these men have taken their idols into their hearts,  
and set the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces.
Should I indeed let myself be consulted by them?

I pray throughout the day that the Lord would reveal to me
if there is any thing in my heart
that would keep me from Him and His ways.
I ask Him if there is anything that would
set itself up against His kingdom,
if there is anything that has subtly crept in
disguising itself as a “friend” when it is really a foe.


Write out the following verse from Luke 4 and recite it 3 times.
Take it with you throughout the day.

42 And when it was day,  
he departed and went into a desolate place.


Lord God,
please give us grace to keep our eyes on you, our King,
and help us live according to your reign and no other.
May your name be honored, your kingdom come,
and your will be done.

In His hands for His glory,


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