#860. Sent to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom (21/7/23)
Updated: Jul 23
Welcome to this Come to Jesus Daily devotional. This week, we continue in our series, Luke - Exploring who Jesus is. This week, our devotionals are based on Luke 4:31-44. Today’s devotional is entitled, Sent to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom.
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’At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.’ (Luke 2:42-44)
Lesson: Like Jesus, let’s be faithful to our commission to share the message of the Kingdom - they must receive Jesus as their King so as to live in His Kingdom now and forever.
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There are many answers to, What is the church for? or, What are Christians for? We will tend to answer these questions based upon our gifts and passions: if we are passionate about teaching the Bible, prayer, worship, social action, evangelism, oversees mission… we are prone to judging a church or Christian around how they are performing in our area of passion. However, Jesus makes it clear that one of our primary purposes is summed up in His words: “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”
Knowing and sharing ‘the good news of the Kingdom of God’ is central to our purpose even if it not the only thing that we do (see yesterday’s devotion for the importance of private prayer for example).
What is the message of the Kingdom of God?
Put very simply, the message of the Kingdom is this, “Receive Jesus as your King and Saviour so as to enter the Kingdom of God.”
To add a little more detail, the message of the Kingdom of God is that people need to receive Jesus as their king so as to be justified and live in the Kingdom of God now and in its fullness when Jesus comes again.
Everyone is born in ‘the kingdom of darkness’ and are ruled over by Satan and face God’s judgement for their sin. Jesus came to open the way for everyone to escape darkness and enter into God’s Kingdom through His death for us.
This description, ‘The message of the Kingdom’ reminds us that in evangelism and sharing the gospel, we are inviting people not just to be forgiven and receive eternal life; we are inviting them to come under a new rule and live a new kind of life in God’s Kingdom. This is not salvation by our good works. This is salvation by faith in Jesus’ substitutionary death, however, this faith in Christ will not only show itself in faith in His death, it must also show itself in faith in His person and wisdom as we submit our lives to His rule.
Kevin DeYoung and Gregory D. Gilbert in their book, What Is the Mission of the Church? write:
‘So what is the mission of the church? We’ve kept you in suspense long enough. In short, we will argue that the mission of the church is summarised in the Great Commission passages—the climactic marching orders Jesus issues at the ends of the Gospels and at the beginning of Acts. We believe the church is sent into the world to witness to Jesus by proclaiming the gospel and making disciples of all nations. This is our task. This is our unique and central calling.’ (What Is the Mission of the Church? P. 26)
Like Jesus, let’s be faithful to our commission to share the message of the Kingdom - they must receive Jesus as their King so as to live in His Kingdom now and forever.
Are we praying about and making the most of every opportunity to share about the good news of the Kingdom? In words that people understand, do we share that Jesus is a good king who died for their sins and who needs to be received? Do we share that people need to enter the Kingdom of God so as to live full lives and escape judgment?
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week and how has this helped you / affected your life?
3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER
Please read Luke 4:31-44 (Pay particular attention to 4:43)
On Sunday we looked at Luke 4:31-44 and we made the point:
The good news of the Kingdom means that we can receive the King, enter and experience His Kingdom right now.
Firstly, we saw that to enter the Kingdom we need to receive Jesus as our King/Lord.
Secondly, we briefly looked at 6 ways that we experience the Kingdom now:
i. Experience the acceptance of citizenship.
ii. Experience God’s presence and empowering by the Spirit.
iii. Experience victory over the devil and demons.
iii. Experience the healing of the Kingdom
iv. Experience the holiness of the Kingdom
V. Experience the ways of the Kingdom as we are ‘salt and light’ in the places that God has put us.
We know that when Jesus comes again, we will experience these things - the Kingdom - in fullness but right now we are to experience them in measure.
Did God speak to you about anything specifically from the message on Sunday?
What aspect of the Kingdom would you like to see more of and why?
How can we experience more of the aspects of God’s Kingdom in our lives and church?
SIV - How would you put ‘the message of the Kingdom’ into words that your non-believing friends would understand?
SIV - Lets pray for one another that we would Serve, Invest and Invite more powerfully where God has put us.