Luke 17:21. In the NIV version, the verse reads : “Once having been asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied,’ The kingdom of God does not come from your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is’ or ‘There it is’ because the Kingdom of God is within you.”
I was drawn to this passage because I think it holds a great deal of power for anyone who holds doubt about their worthiness. Anyone who wonders if there is a place in God’s plan or them, they can be assured that according to Jesus, it is within each and every one of us to inherit the Kingdom of God. We hold within us what God has gifted us– the capacity to show kindness, patience, love, compassion, empathy, generosity, and all the fruits of the Holy Spirit. God gave us the means to follow Christ and live Christ-like lives.
Yet Jesus is not asking us to compromise our sense of selves. Jesus is not asking us to fundamentally change who we are as sincere, honest, people. Jesus asks us to be more loving and be more kind and to be more aware of God’s gifts. Jesus asks us to love God and our neighbors with all our hearts and minds and souls. If anything, Jesus wants us to be more open to God and more sincere and honest with ourselves. He wants us to have a better understanding of God and His Kingdom. Why else would he tell us that the Kingdom of God is within or among us?
If we love sincerely and honestly, we will find the Kingdom of God within us.
God’s promise to us is sincere and honest. He expects us to be equally sincere and honest.
The truth is, God knows our hearts and our souls. Let’s not betray them by ever feeling ashamed or scared or frightened to be LGBT.