Archives For Kingdom Living

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When you become a believer you belong to a family. Just as sure as you were born into a family, you were born into another family the day you accepted Christ as Lord of your life.

You are in a relationship with Christ that is intimate and therefore, you have a relationship with His family, the church. You and I make up the body of Christ, which is the family of God.

You belong to a group that is changing the world through the power of His resurrection. You are vital to the body of Christ.  You can’t claim to be in the body but not part of the body.

I love what Rick Warren once said, “Whenever we become careless about fellowship, everything else begins to slide, too. Membership in the family of God is neither inconsequential nor something to be casually ignored. The church is God’s agenda for the world.”

How are you doing with your church attendance? Do you see it as a take it or leave it option? I challenge you today to reexamine your thoughts about church. I challenge you to allow your individualism thinking to melt away into the beauty of God’s fellowship of the saints.

Never forget that as a Christ follower you are called to be among His disciples and not separate from them. You can’t just have a bible close by and pray from time to time and call yourself complete. If you are living like that for Jesus, you are not complete without the church fellowship.

To reference Rick Warren again, “A church family moves you out of self-centered isolation. The local church is the classroom for learning how to get along in God’s family.”  You are loved and needed. God has a plan and an irreplaceable role for you in His church family, the body of Christ.

I once heard a person say, and I’ve repeated it from the pulpit before, “People don’t have a problem with Christ; they have a problem with the church.” I believe we can and should change that. You are part of that change when you faithfully attend church with your family each week.

Allow me one final thought from Pastor Warren who says, “Except for a few important instances referring to all believers throughout history, almost every time the word church is used in the Bible it refers to a local, visible congregation.”

How is your church attendance? Have you kicked your family to the curb?

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Matthew 16:24
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

From creation to new creation what will you contribute? I know that is a staggering question but it’s one you need to be thinking about often. We all leave a story behind after we draw our last breath. We leave behind not only a story that others will remember, but we leave behind a story that follows us into eternity.

When my time comes to step over into eternity, I want my children and their children to be able to pick up a breadcrumb trail that speaks of following Jesus. I’m sure they will discover my sinfulness. We are all sinners, but I’m hopeful and sure they will also see my surrender to the only one that can set it all right again. They will find I followed Jesus.

Everyday choices paint your part of the story between creation and new creation. What is your canvas looking like? Are you living up to the identity God has set for you?  Christ has caused you to be a new creation in Him. He has bought you with a price. He has set you apart for His glory and sprinkled you among the world to be salt and light.

Are you surrendered today to the pen of God who wants to write a story through your life? He wants your life to be an echo to the world of how to be set free, of how to truly live, of what He has prepared for those who follow Him. Are you allowing God to have all of you? As one writer has said about the story God is writing, “He is its beginning, end and center. It is the story of the mission of God, of this God and no other.”

Is your life inviting people to hear God, to see God, to want a relationship with the God you follow? If not, you can change all that in a moment. Surrender again to His Lordship. Let Him take over the story of your life again. You were meant to worship God alone with all of your life.

Christopher J. H. Wright once wrote, “What a travesty it is when humans, who themselves are the work of God’s hands and were made to rule the rest of the works of God’s hands, choose instead to worship the work of their own hands (Ps. 115:4).”

You are leaving a legacy! What is that legacy? It can be His story through you if you will simply follow Him fresh again.

 

 

 

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God is committed to transforming your life. He will complete the incomplete.

Your life in Christ is a series of miracles that direct you to completion in Christ at His second coming. God is committed to transforming your life day by day as you submit to the whispers of the Holy Spirit working in you and through you.

You are being set apart as a light of Christ, as a vessel of honor for Christ that the world might be drawn to the glory that belongs to God alone. You are being conformed into, “the image of His Son.” You are continually being transformed.

The world around you will always try and shape you into its image. You are called to resist the lure of the world by taking hold of the future God has for you. That future is to return you to being fully human again as He first created mankind.

In the Garden of Eden, He  pronounced good upon humanity and nature. Sin diminished both man and nature, but one day, at the Second Coming of Christ…creation and humanity- found in Him will be completed once again.

It has been said, “We can be certain of this completion for Jesus speaking of His disciples (which includes us) said, “for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.” John 17:19

My daughter is an remarkable artist. I love watching her draw, and I love when she completes her drawings. However, from time to time, she leaves a drawing incomplete. The details of beauty are there in the few lines and shadows she has started, but the work is not finished. I often wonder if she will ever finish them. Maybe she will…maybe she will not.

God will never leave a work incomplete that He has started. You are His masterpiece. He is working on you and will one day present you spotless before the Father.

F.B. Meyer once said, “as we go into God’s great workshop we find nothing that bears the mark of haste or insufficiency of power to finish, and we are sure that the work which His grace has begun, the arm of His strength will complete.

Stay committed to His working on you and I promise you will stand complete when eternity over takes us, and He says to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

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We are called to live heaven on earth. We are called to live the future virtues of the Kingdom of God on this earth. Col. 3:1 says, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” When you are seeking things that are above, don’t fail to live it below. Simply put, we are people of the future in Christ Jesus.

In Acts 1:9-11 Jesus is taken out of their sight. He is enthroned and is Lord of All. Then they are told to go to the upper room and wait for the promise of the Father. I love the picture of this whole passage. It is full of the echoes of the past. It is full of the echoes of God’s promises to His people. It echoes the Exodus.

Once Moses was at Mt. Sinai, he ascended; received the law, and then descended to bring it to the people of God. The message was clear-We’re God’s people, and this is how we should live. Moses went up, and Moses came down. In Acts, Jesus went up, and the Holy Spirit came down.

The message is still the same. Jesus is said to have received the Holy Spirit from the Father to pour out. Acts 2:33 reads, “Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.”

The promise of God in the O.T. was to one-day write the law upon the tables of the human heart. That happened on the day of Pentecost to the 120. The Holy Spirit came down and began character transformation on the group, in essence saying-this is how the people of God should live on earth. The future of the Kingdom was brought into the now.

The people of God were launched out into the sea of humanity, to live the charter of the Kingdom now. N.T. Wright says this, “God has started something off in you, in your hearts and minds and lives, and God is going to carry it on until he’s finished the job.”

Never forget, we are the called to be lights in this world. We are called to be salt in this world. Let’s not hide our lights and let’s not allow our salt to go to waste. You have God living on the inside of you today. Get out there and walk the Kingdom, and live the Kingdom.