Kingdom Possible

Posted: January 31, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

KingdomCome

“Your kingdom come, your will be done”… Something we talk about, and pray for often.  But what does that mean? What does it actually look like when God’s kingdom comes? And His will is done? Sometimes we think “well whatever Your will is, let it be done”.   And we pray as if we have no responsibility in the matter, like it is all up to God to establish His Kingdom and fulfill His will on the earth.

The reality is, that at an appointed time, heaven will come, and the Kingdom of God will be established on earth.  Every knee will bow and every creature will be subject to the authority of the Lord.  However God does not desire that we simply wait for His Kingdom to come,  but that we begin now to establish His Kingdom on the earth.

Jesus talked a lot about the kingdom.  When he first began His ministry, he would preach and tell people to repent because the “Kingdom” of Heaven was near, or among them. He told his disciples to preach the same thing and he even spoke in parables about the kingdom.  Then in Matthew 6:33 Jesus tells us to “Seek first the Kingdom of God”.  Jesus says that seeking the Kingdom should be our top priority, and Paul tells us in Colossians to keep seeking the things above, and to set our mind on heavenly things, however if we aren’t sure what that means or what it looks like, then how can we do so? And if we think that “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done” is up to God, then why the need to “Seek the Kingdom?”

The scriptures paint a clear picture concerning God’s Kingdom on earth, what it looks like and how to establish it.  In Matthew there are 4 instances where it says that Jesus preached or proclaimed the good news of the kingdom, and in all 4 of those instances you see that immediately following his proclamation someone or something would submit to His authority (Remember that)…  In Matt. 4:17-22 it was Peter and Andrew, in Matt. 4:23 and 9:35 it was sickness and disease, and in Matt. 10:7-8 He told His disciples to preach the good news of the Kingdom, heal the sick, raise the dead, and drive out demons. In Luke 9:11 it says that Jesus, “Began speaking to them about the kingdom of God and curing those who had need of healing.” It seems as though Jesus would tell them about the Kingdom, that it had come and was among them, then prove it to them by performing various kinds of miracles.

But let’s turn this theme of, Kingdom preaching coupled with submission, healing, and deliverance, up a notch. There are two other interesting scriptures that are similar to these, but much more clear in terms of defining “You Kingdom Come”.  Matt. 12:28,”But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” and Luke 10:9, “9Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.'” In both of these verses Jesus ties the coming of the Kingdom directly to physical healing and deliverance, saying that these very acts are manifestations of God’s Kingdom on earth.

Advertisements

Pages: 1 2

Isaiah 20:2-3 “The Lord told Isaiah, His servant, to walk around naked and barefoot…. So he did.  For three years”…. (Paraphrased)

The Lord used Isaiah and his scandalous actions as an illustration of what is going to happen to Egypt and Ethiopia.  Assyria will take them captive, the young and old alike, and they will be made to walk around naked and barefoot so as to bring shame to them.  This in turn caused the Philistines to be fearful because they were counting on Egypt and Ethiopia to protect them from Assyria.  Now they are scared the same will become of them…   But aside from all of that, Isaiah did what!?  That’s right, he walked around naked and barefoot for three years.  He was out of his mind, literally.  Just like Paul in 2 Corinthians when he said, “If we seem like were crazy, it’s to bring glory to God”.  As Christians, we should strive to be out of our minds; to do things others would never even consider doing, thinking and believing things that are completely contrary to our culture.  How do we do this?  We embrace the mind of Christ.  God says in Isaiah that his thoughts aren’t our thoughts, and His ways aren’t our ways.  Isaiah wrote that from experience.  I’m even convinced that He was remembering this same story while writing that scripture.  Paul also says in 1 Corinthians, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him…. But we have the mind of Christ.”  We have the mind of Christ! We simply have to obey the things he commands us to do.  Isaiah went as far as to shame himself for three years for glory of God.  What are you going to do today, that is foolish to man, but pleasing to God?

Hello all! I am so excited to write this blog.  Why? Because I desire to add value to you. To give you something of worth, that you can give to others.  I believe that the information I am about to discuss has the power to transform your heart and mind, giving you a new perspective (part 1) as well as the resources you need to discover these same truths (part 2) on your own.  Ready for this two-part blog? Then join me and let’s discuss why “Believing Doesn’t Make You a Believer”…

You know, I can already imagine what thoughts went through some of your heads when you read the title to this blog.  Thoughts like: “But If you believe in your heart…then you will be saved’ and what about Mark 16:16? and John 3:16? and all of the other scriptures that talk about believing and salvation and being a believer?”…Just to name a few.

Yes, I’ve read those scriptures, and all of those are truth, however, do we really know what we are reading? Or better yet, do we know what the authors of those scriptures were actually saying, or what those simple words actually mean? I don’t believe we do. I believe we have settled with our English Translations, thinking they are entirely accurate in their word usage and meaning.  But the truth is, in many cases, they’re not.  Not entirely.  Let’s look…

The Greek word that is translated believe in our English translation actually means: to entrust.  These words have different meanings in English. Believe means: to accept something as true; feel sure of or to hold something as an opinion; think or suppose.  Entrust however, means: to assign the responsibility for doing something to someone (Ex. You are responsible with this, to do this, for this). The truth is, you can accept something as true, without entrusting your life to it.  Big difference. Let’s look at one more word, this one might shock you, it did me.

Believer.  This word is used in English translations of the bible many times.  In some translations when it says believer, the greek means brother.  However that only occurs occasionally.  The greek word most used when our English translations say believer, actually means: Faithful, Reliable…Wow!  As a matter of fact, when you read the word faithful in the English translation, 9 times out of 10, it is this same greek word used for believer.  Let me make this simple, when the English translation uses the word believer, the more accurate translation would be: faithful or faithful one.  This is huge!  Now let’s compare a few scriptures…

1 Corinthians 4:2 “Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful.”

2 Thessalonians 3:3 “But the Lord is faithful

Matthew 25:21 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”

Now look at a few that use the same Greek word but are translated as believer…

Acts 10:45 “All the circumcised believers (faithful ones) who came with Peter were amazed.”

Acts 16:1 “Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. And a disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer (faithful one).”

2 Corinthians 6:15 “Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer (faithful one) in common with an unbeliever (unfaithful one).” (By the way, this word unbeliever does mean unfaithful or untrustworthy in the Greek)

Pages: 1 2

Don’t Give God a Chance

Posted: May 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Don’t give God a chance.  As a matter of fact i will go so far as to say that God doesn’t even want you to give Him a chance.  I mean lets just be real for a second.  We’re talking about GOD.  The one who created everything that was, is, and will be by simply using His words. Do we really believe that this God would want to have just a moment of your time? I don’t believe so…

Driving down the road just a few days ago, I was listening to a local christian radio station when a lady came on the air giving a testimony about why she loved this particular station.  Then she said something that struck a nerve with me: “When I’m in the car, listening to the radio, it is my chance to reflect on God.” Reflect on God? Her chance? listening to the radio? While I do not believe there is anything wrong with reflecting on God while listening to the radio, I do have some concern about the word ‘chance’ being used in this sentence.  As if to say the only chance she has to spend alone with Jesus is when she is in the car, or that all of the other priorities that she has are far more important to her than spending time with Jesus.  However, I do not want to single her out, because I’m sure there are times, or are times right now when we do the same thing. When we “fit” God into our schedule.  Let’s just take a moment and find out.  When you are preparing the mental list of your schedule for the day, what does it include? Mabye school, grocery shopping, paying bills, outdoor activities, mowing the grass, or maybe even church…But what about spending time, alone, in prayer, in the word, meditating, reflecting, and listening? Is this something you plan, or make room for? Is it something you think about, or something your reminded of when listening to a christian song?

It really is a funny concept to think that our lives and the things we do are worth sending an invitation to God, inviting Him to be apart of it all A.K.A “Giving Him a chance”.  But the truth is, God wants nothing to do with your life and the things you do.  Instead, He wants to invite you, into His life and to the things that He is doing.  Think about it.  Why would a poor man with nothing invite a rich man with everything over to his home to eat? He wouldn’t. And if He did, the rich man would say, “Your crazy! You come to my home and we will eat here, like sons and daughters of the King.” God wants us to drop everything we are doing that isn’t getting us closer to Him and come after Him.  He calls us to leave it all behind.

As a matter of fact, that is His invitation for salvation. It is also something He commands us to do daily. He even goes so far as to say that if we don’t…We can’t follow Him. When we do, when we finally give up our time, our resources, maybe our jobs, our money, and anything else, just so that we can spend time with HIm, and work along side of Him, then He can give us His life, the only true life, the abundant life.  Don’t give God a chance, but instead let Him give you a chance to come into His kingdom, His power, and His presence. Daily.

Stop Trying to End Abortion

Posted: April 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

Pro life? Pro choice? To be honest it doesn’t matter much to me whether you are either of the two.  No it is not because I am pacifist, it isn’t because of inexperience, and it is certainly not because I simply want to start a controversy.  However I would like to challenge your way of thinking and your perspective on critical issues.  I will do this by taking the word of God and using it as a filter through which we look at this issue and maybe even some others like it.

Let me start with sin.  The bible does not speak directly to the act of abortion.  However taking life is murder.  So if abortion is taking a life, than it is murder (I say if because I am not arguing for either side).  That abortion is sin, is the average Christian’s belief.  Fine, than lets continue with that idea, that abortion is sin.  So because believers feel that abortion is sin, and because they want to preserve life, they believe it is best to do this by means of voting, anti-abortion rallies, Facebook ads that would make Hitler cry, and t-shirts that speak against the act of abortion.  To me that is very interesting.  I can’t help but wonder, if God himself were trying to rescue a group of people from their sin, If He wanted them to stop sinning, to stop destroying themselves and each other, if he wanted to preserve life, or lets say give life, what would He do? That’s simple, He gave them Jesus.  He didn’t tell us to stop sinning because He knew how bad it was for us.  He didn’t take a vote, or post a status, or rant about how we were so horrible and that we should not do what we were doing.  No, instead He allowed His Son to be killed. He allowed His Son’s life to be taken from Him, most brutally.  All so that we would be free from the desires of our sinful nature.  So that we could have true life, so that death would not reign over us.

So why do we not follow the example God gave us?  Because we are full of empty religion.    We show people their sin and tell them they should not do that.  We remind them of how awful we think they are because they are even thinking about having an abortion, or mabye because they’re homosexual… (Yes I would apply this to that topic as well)  We give people a list of rules and tell them to follow them, knowing good and well from the example of the old testament that this is impossible apart from the transforming power of Christ.

The truth is, whatever you focus on, will get bigger.  That is why the more the Israelites were told not to sin, the more they did.  That is why the law was not sufficient for salvation. The law simply showed them their sin, without providing a means to stop.  When we have anti-abortion rallies, post statuses about how wrong abortion is, blast the people who are pro-choice, all we are doing is serving them a good helping of guilt, sin, and hatred.  We are shouting, STOP ABORTION! STOP ABORTION! The more we shout ABORTION, the more they are killing the very lives we are trying to protect.  We are simply showing them their sin.  The bible actually tells us how to stop sinning.  It says to “Strip off the sin that so easily trips us up….We do this by KEEPING OUR EYES ON JESUS”.  Not SIN. JESUS.  When your eyes are on sin, all you can see is sin.  There is not one human who can continue to look at sin without giving in to the temptation.  However when you turn and look at Jesus, your eyes are no longer on the sin.  The sin will not grow, but the love you have for Jesus will, and there will be no room for sin.

I believe if we put as much effort into telling woman about the life changing power of Jesus as we do trying to make abortion illegal, than we might actually start making progress.  The church has for years, tried to make abortion illegal, and the results speak for themselves. Abortion is on the rise. But if we would just give them hope for tomorrow through Jesus, no matter their circumstance, they would not want to have an abortion.  If we could get their eyes off of abortion and on to Jesus, then we have followed the example God Himself.  You cannot expect a sinful world to follow your rules just because you say they are best.  Instead we must show them why they are best.  We must show them the life that only Jesus can offer.  We must stop trying to end abortion, and start trying to win souls.

Faithfulness

Posted: April 21, 2012 in Faithfulness

“But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction.  We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.” Hebrews 10:39

Who are the faithful ones?  If you are a believer, you are.  However remaining faithful is something I’ve found to be difficult to do in times of trial, temptation, persecution, or hardship.  Some would say this scripture is simply referring to those who remain faithful in the sense that they do not deny God as their master and continue to believe that He is who He claims to be.  I do not believe this is the case.  Remaining faithful is a decision we make  many times throughout our day, rather than once in a life-time.  In verse 35 and 36 the writer tells us to not “throw away this confident trust in Lord…Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will.”  God’s will is something we live out daily, it is not a destination, but a life lived to glorify Him and expand His kingdom.  Any decision made apart from will of God is an unfaithful decision.

Our faithfulness to God is directly associated with our faith in Him.  The fact is that if being faithful was something we could do without hesitation than faith would be irrelevant.  It is only in times of fear, trial, temptation and hardship that our faith in God and our faithfulness to God can be proved genuine.  It is in these moments, circumstances, and situations that we are given a choice.  We can either stand on the truth of God’s word and believe that He will be faithful or we can turn from God and choose to believe in our own ability to resolve the situation at hand.  So how can we practically grow in our faithfulness toward God? I believe the first step is recognizing that God is faithful toward us.

God and His goodness should not be taken lightly, it is something that we should always have at the forefront of our thoughts.  David said that, “Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness”.  This is true in that we can all attest to the goodness of God.  Even in the midst of hardship or trial, we can look back at the countless times in our life when God has been faithful in His goodness toward us, because He is a faithful God.  He will never leave us, He will not forsake us, He alone establishes our feet and guards us from the evil one, He is our helper, our strength, and our refuge…Right?  These are all truths from God’s word, ones that we love to quote, and love to tell others.  So why do we at times hesitate when it comes to things like, giving a little bit more of our time, money, or possessions up for the kingdom of God? Or why do we neglect the hurting who need the love and power of Christ to transform their lives?  Is it because we fear the unknown? Is it because we doubt the activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives? Again, He will never leave us, He will not forsake us, He alone establishes our feet and guards us from the evil one, He is our helper, our strength, and our refuge…

As i stated earlier, our faithfulness to God is directly associated with our faith in Him.  It is unfortunate, but because we are so carnal, we often forget how God has demonstrated His goodness and His faithfulness to us, time and time again.  That is why He has given us His word.  Man should not live by bread alone, but by the word of God.  Man should not live by what He sees, but by faith. (paraphrased)  These two scriptures paint a perfect picture of what it means to live by faith. We do not live according that which is proven, but according to that which has the ability to prove itself.  We as Christians are not those who should be making decisions based purely on what we can touch, taste, see, or prove.  But instead we have to make our decisions and choose our behaviors based on what the Word of God tells us.  More often than not, the Bible teaches us to behave and make decisions that are completely contrary to our culture and our logic.  And this is where faith comes in.  Are we going to remain faithful to God and give that large sum of money, believing and having faith that God’s Word is true and He will be your provider?  Are we going to remain faithful to God and quit our job in order to serve Him where He has called us to, having faith that His Word is true?  Are we going to remain faithful and devote every morning to spending time with Him, believing that He will meet you there and teach you how to live?  After all,

“we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction.  We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.” Hebrews 10:39