Thursday, September 26, 2013

Different Kinds of Kingdoms

I think there is a difference between 'the kingdom of God' and 'the kingdom of heaven'. Obviously, the kingdom of heaven is in heaven.

I have found two ideas about the 'kingdom of God'. One, the kingdom of God are those of us who are on earth who are God's elect and chosen. We are ambassadors who share the Word and represent God.

 Also, the kingdom of God is Jesus. Mark 1:14 says the kingdom of God has come near. Luke 9:27 says I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.

2 Kings 19:15 Hezekiah prayed and said "Lord,... you are the God over all the kingdoms of the earth." We have to be careful that we do not reject the notion that the kingdom of God is on earth fighting for souls, because the kingdom does not look like what we think it should. Isn't that why the Sadducees rejected Jesus because he was not physically sitting on a throne like they thought he should be doing. They could not fathom any other king unless he was on a throne ruling on earth. The kingdom is kind of invisible in the sense that we could walk right by someone in the kingdom and not even know it. That is one of our biggest get all the saints together in our town, in our church, in our community, on our street, in our homes to battle Satan.

Story in 2 Chronicles 13:1
Abijah, the king of Judah was preparing for battle with Jeroboam. Abijah had four hundred thousand (400,000) fighting men. Jeroboam had eight hundred thousand (800,000) able troops. Abijah went to Jeroboam and said, "Don't you know the Lord has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever.... You plan to resist the kingdom of David's descendants."

It is not a good idea to resist the kingdom of God. Jesus will come whether or not some believe it or not. Jesus will come get the people in his kingdom and take them to their inherited kingdom of heaven even if some don't believe it.

Blessings for now!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Kingdom of Heaven is Like Little Children

Matthew 19:13-14

Matthew talks about what happened when people brought little children to Jesus. I guess the disciples thought there were more important issues and rebuked them. Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

So, if the 'kingdom belongs to such as these,' (children) let's explore the character of children that we (adults) should posses.

*Complete dependence- children are dependent for every need in every way and in every area of life: food, clothes, shelter and safety.
*Trusting- I see this during separation at preschool. There is anxiety about being separated from a parent. As the year goes on, they are attached to a teacher and trust that teacher.
*Separation anxiety- There are huge tears and huge feelings of fear when kids are separated from their parents as children.
* Easily led- I sing a marching song and my 7 little two-year old children follow like ducklings.
*Innocent- Life/World has not placed its influence on their life yet.
*Lost without guidance.
*Very persuasive- Ever had a child beg constantly until you gave in? (I'm not the only one right?)

Now, let's look at our character based on these characteristics of children and we should be like children remember. The kingdom belongs to people who have the characteristics like children.

We should be completely dependent on God for our every need in every way in every area of life. We should be trusting and know that God never lies. We should never blame God, but turn to him always knowing he has our best in mind. We should have separation anxiety when the cares of the world take our time away from Him. We should protect that time with God no matter what! We should be easily led by God and not strong-arm Him when we don't think we can accomplish what He has put before us. We should be innocent and try our best to not allow the influence of this world twist our reality. We should always filter our situations through the Word, not through our experiences and our twisted reality. Let's face it, we are all twisted in some way. We are totally lost without God! We need to accept his guidance.

We also need to be very persuasive in two ways. I'm not advocating begging God for anything, but it does say to continually pray. We need to have that never ending conversation with Him. We also need to be persuasive with the poor and the lost and with our neighbors. I want people to say, "She never gave up on so-n-so even when they abused her kindness and turned away and stabbed her in the back." Incidentally, Jesus never gave up on people either. Until the very end people can have a change of heart just like the man on the cross who turned to Jesus during his last breaths on earth. He was just as saved as a man who had followed Jesus for years.

Jesus has the never give up on anyone characteristic and I want that too!

Let's practice that kingdom living here on earth and add to our character the character of the little kids.


Friday, September 13, 2013

#3 Journey throgh my Kingdom Study

Read Luke 22:27-

Jesus was talking to his disciples and said, "But I am among you as one who serves. You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer ON you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table IN my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

To be a disciple, we have to follow Jesus and his teachings and obey what he has commanded (Matthew 28:19-20.

To confer means to bestow or give.

This passage made me think of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament and before Pentecost when the HS was given, the Spirit was always ON someone. After Pentecost, the Spirit was IN someone. Both ways, the Spirit was a guide and counselor.

The kingdom seems to be similar in a lot of passages I have read in the fact that the kingdom is ON us because we are a chosen people, we are following Jesus. When Jesus comes and we go to heaven we will be IN the kingdom.

I believe the kingdom is conferred ON those who believe so we can experience a little heaven on earth. When Jesus comes, we can take our inheritance, the kingdom prepared for us and live IN it with Jesus.

I guess you can reject the kingdom given to you just like you can reject the Holy Spirit's guidance in your life. Let's take hold of the wonderful gifts that Jesus holds out to us: faith, salvation, inheritance, Holy Spirit, hope, freedom from guilt and condemnation.

Blessings to all!
(Hey, IF I held out 10 bucks, would you make a comment? Hahahaha!)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

# 2 The Kingdom of Heaven is Like a Mustard Seed & Yeast

One of my favorite kingdom verses is Matthew 11:12 Jesus said, "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it."

I really like what the preacher said Wednesday about all these 'kingdom' parables. He said that they explain what life in the kingdom of heaven was really supposed to be like. Jesus wanted us to visualize it and live it. I've also heard someone ask, "How can you bring a little bit of heaven to earth?" If we apply these kingdom parables to our lives, it is like living with a little heaven here on earth.

Matthew 13:31 The Mustard Seed
*a man took a mustard seed and planted it in his field
*a man took his small amount of faith and began tending it with knowledge

*Even though it is very small, when it grows, it can become the largest of garden plants
*Even though it is small, when it is added to with knowledge and belief, it grows very large

*It becomes a tree
*It becomes something others can see with roots that needs water, sun, weeding and pruning

*birds of the air come and perch in its branches
*other people can benefit from seeing your faith and grow because of you

The parable about the yeast is similar: The kingdom of heaven is like yeast mixed into a large amount of flour.

*yeast is mixed into a large amount of four
*faith is seen by many people

*it worked all through out the dough
*the faith spread to all the people the woman came in contact with

If you take a serious look at how you display your faith to others, what will you find? Will others see your positive attitude? Will others say, "She never says a bad thing about anyone...ever"? Can others say you are gentle, kind, studious? On the flip side: do people see your negative attitude? Do they hear your gripes and complaints all the time? Do they know you are harsh with others, and rash in your decisions?

Apply the Word to your life so a little bit of heaven can be experienced on earth. It will also grow the kingdom on earth for heaven.