Thy Kingdom Come
As we begin this new year, I will be focusing my blog posts on a sermon series I created entitled Kingdom Matters. Over the next few months, we will walk through what it looks like to live a Kingdom life in the here and now.
To start us off, we need to ask the question, what is the Kingdom? The Kingdom has been God’s plan and purpose for all eternity and He speaks of it throughout Scripture. Sometimes He speaks of the Kingdom as a present-tense experience, telling us that we can know that the Kingdom of God is at hand because of what He has done. Other times, Jesus speaks of the Kingdom as a future-tense experience. Indeed, we know that at His second coming His Kingdom will be established in a way which is far more profound than we can experience even in our wonderful relationship with Him now. Simply put, the Kingdom of God is God’s rule in our hearts, our families, and our churches. It is a central focus of Scripture and it should be a central focus of who we are.
There is a Kingdom Appeal. Jesus declared His Kingdom message most clearly in The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7). He told the multitudes gathered around Him that a new kingdom was at work in the world, and that those who would hear and respond to Him and His word would become immediate citizens by repenting of their sins and following Him (Matthew 3:2). Although entrance into this Kingdom was as simple as turning away from sin and turning toward Him, Jesus wanted to make sure they understood that life in His Kingdom would not be easy. I challenge you to understand that the easy believism that is often taught from many pulpits is not the Christianity that Jesus envisioned. God’s appeal to you today is that you deal honestly with your relationship with Him.
There is a New Definition of Blessing. We have often thought of “blessing” in terms of material things, physical healing, or a parking place near the door! All of these things may be fine, but they live under the umbrella of the only blessing that we need—a relationship with the King. Everything else is nice, but nonessential. We must see our ultimate blessing in terms of our being allowed to be children of the King.
We see God’s Desire for the Nations. Matthew 5:13—16 is often called the salt and light declaration. Throughout history and even now, we see that God is still seeking people, families, churches, and denominations who will be both salt (embodying His name) and light (embracing His mission) in the world. God’s Kingdom purpose has not changed. Is your church a Kingdom church? Are you truly salt and light in this world?
We see the Reason for Righteousness. Jesus used the term “righteousness” five times in The Sermon on the Mount, teaching us that the main passion and priority of Kingdom people is to showcase God’s righteousness, revealing the change His Holy Spirit can make in a person’s life. Jesus taught a righteousness that would begin in our hearts and flow out through our character. He makes this plain in Matthew 6:33 where He says, But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. The passionate pursuit of righteousness, the act of submitting ourselves to God so that His Holiness shines through us, is job number one for the believer. Everything else falls into line after that.
What do we seek first when we are looking for direction and guidance for life? Kingdom people, Kingdom families, and Kingdom churches seek God’s Kingdom and His righteousness.
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