Kingdom of Love

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30

When asked about kingdoms and powerful leaders—and about Jesus in particular—Napoleon is reported to have said, “Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself founded empires; but upon what? Force. Jesus founded his empire on Love; and at this hour millions would die for him.”

It’s incredible to think that the world’s most powerful kingdom is founded on love. Love is from God and it is his command to us. Jesus said it plainly in response to this question from one of the religious leaders of his day: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

Napoleon noted another distinguishing fact about Christ’s kingdom: it endures. The reign of Napoleon’s kingdom endured only while he was alive. The same is true of other earthly leaders. Gamaliel pointed this out in advising the Jewish leaders about their plan to punish Peter and John for proclaiming that Jesus was the Christ. “If their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” (Acts 6:38b-39). Earthly kingdoms fade away when their leaders die, but Jesus’ kingdom is eternal and was established by his death and resurrection.

The world’s most powerful and enduring kingdom is the kingdom of Christ, founded on love. To this, Napoleon is reported to have proclaimed that there is only one logical conclusion: “Jesus Christ is God.”

Having begun as a guest speaker in 2005, Dan was appointed Interim Pastor in 2008 and has been serving Maple Root Baptist ever since. As a small group leader and Chaplin for the Connecticut Tigers, Dan has a heart for the lost and the God that saves them.

Dan Kinnaman

Pastor, Maple Root Baptist Church