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Some time ago, our daughter had just turned 15½ and received her learner’s permit. Once she did that, I actually handed her the keys to my car and let her in the driver’s seat. Suppose she had said something like, “Now that I have the keys, I’m going to drive the way I want to. First, I’m going to ignore that brake pedal, it just slows me down. As for red lights, sitting there with my motor running is a huge waste of time. And who says I need to stay on just one side of the road, I want it all!”

I’m glad to say that nothing like that happened! She’s a careful responsible driver now and will be getting her license later this month. But she got to be that way by recognizing there are rules and principles she must follow in order to drive well. In the same way, we must follow the precepts of the kingdom of heaven if we’re going to advance the kingdom on earth. It’s all too easy for a church to focus on itself and lose the larger kingdom perspective. That can lead to us being like selfish, irresponsible drivers who want to act as if they are the only ones on the road.

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