A Long and Grace-filled Reign

Queen Elizabeth II is now celebrating 70 years as monarch of the United Kingdom. Her reign is by far the longest of any in British history.

“On her 21st birthday, she broadcast a speech from South Africa to the Commonwealth pledging her steadfast devotion: “There is a motto which has been borne by many of my ancestors, a noble motto – ‘I serve’,” she said. “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.”” (Vogue). Her life has proven to be long, and everyone agrees that her service has been noble. Her reign has been long and grace-filled.

And what about you? Is it too audacious to ask whether your life will involve some years of reign? Jesus says, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’” (Matthew 25:34). What is Jesus talking about? Each and every one of you who have been blessed by the Father will inherit a kingdom. This kingdom has been prepared for you. From the foundation of the world it has been prepared for you.

How could that be? Why should that be? The Heavenly Father has prepared a kingdom for you? The sure reason that can explain your possession of a kingship or queenship must be found in the desire of Jesus. He said in his last prayer before his crucifixion, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me” (John 17:24). Because Jesus desires us to be with him, we shall be with him.

How long shall this kingdom in which you share last? How long shall be your reign? Will you have a kingdom for as much as 70 years? Much more than 70 years. For 700 years. For 7,000 years. For unending years. This kingdom, a long and grace-filled reign, will be yours forever by the eternal purpose of God.

The special nature of this kingdom is seen in the following remarks of Jesus. He was hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, sick, and in prison (Matthew 25:35-40). As a manifestation of the transforming grace of this kingdom, you keep ministering in Christ's name to other people in need.

There is of course the frightful alternative. You may have seen Jesus as he is manifested in the least of his brothers, but did nothing. In that case, you will not participate in that eternal kingdom of blessedness. Instead, you will go away into eternal punishment (Matthew 25:45, 46).

But let us rejoice in the anticipation of participating in a kingdom that will endure forever. Obviously, it is a kingdom based altogether on the generous grace of our Heavenly Father. But let us in our turn manifest the same grace he has shown us at every opportunity we have to serve him. Let our life’s motto be a noble motto of royalty: ‘I serve’. Let us follow Jesus and his pattern of service when he said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).