Here are some of my highlights from A Quest for More: Living for Something Bigger than You, by Paul David Tripp...
The fundamental core of sin is selfishness. It is a solitary universe turned in on itself. Sin really is the ultimate shrink wrap. It shrinks the size of your care and concern to the contours of your life.
The kingdom that is to capture and motivate us was meant to be no smaller than the size of his grandeur. I was never meant to shrink the size of my life to a size smaller than the contours of his glory. I was never created to establish my own kingdom, but to give myself in wholehearted, sacrificial devotion to his.
The size of my living was meant to be connected to the depth of his greatness. The fathomless greatness of God is the more that I was designed to live for.
We were not designed to settle for personal survival, temporal happiness, or individual success. We were created to find our meaning, identity, and purpose in the existence, character, and plan of God.
We begin to get excited because we see how grace has connected our story to his sweeping story.
This huge and wonderful place, where we were meant to live and find our identity and purpose, is the kingdom of God.
Sin shrinks each of us to a mini-king, ruling our mini-kingdoms of one. It reduces the human community to a society of kings colliding with each other’s solitary kingdoms.
The kingdom of self tends to be a “this is what I deserve,” “this is my position,” “this is what belongs to me,” and “this is how you should treat me” kingdom.
Sin holds the physical glories of the here-and-now world in front of you and tells you that they are the only glories worth living for. Sin shrinks your zeal and narrows your vision. Sin makes it hard to see beyond the borders of your own life. Grace enables you to tear down fences of self-focus, self-defensiveness, and self-protection so you can reach out to God and others. In so doing you will not only experience true glory, but you will recapture your true humanity.
The bottom line: big kingdom living means living with Christ at the center of everything I think, desire, say, and do.
Yes, sin really does cause all of us to shrink the size of our lives to the size of our lives.
The fundamental difference between the two kingdoms can be seen in who resides in the center.