PART 12 – RECEIVE THE KING TO ENTER THE KINGDOM (10/3/20)
“Your Kingdom come…”
It’s important that we understand what the Kingdom is and how to enter it. It’s vital that we, ourselves have entered and that we are working and ready to help others to enter. The way of entry is simply put in Jesus first sermon,
“Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).
‘Repent’ means to change one’s mind and life. It means turning from a life centred on self, religion… you fill in the blank, to a life where Jesus is now your King (Lord is a term that normally used outside of the gospels.) Paul writes,
‘If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.’ (Romans 10:9)
Simply put, we become citizens of God’s Kingdom by receiving Jesus, the one who died for our sins, as Lord.
Transferred from the kingdom of darkness
Man, outside of Christ, is not in a neutral zone; they are ruled by Satan and demonic powers. We need to be transferred in to the Kingdom of God. This transfer is summarised by Paul,
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)
Satan is not willing to let us go. We could ask, why is it that we even have to pray, “Your kingdom come...”? Why doesn’t everyone worship God? Why is the world infested with unbelief, false belief, sin and suffering? The Bible gives us the answer - there is a false king and kingdom - Satan and demonic powers.
“In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)
“We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” (1 John 5:19)
It’s only through repentance and faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins that one enters the Kingdom of God.
It’s important that we understand this! If we want to see God’s Kingdom extended, we must pray first because it is a spiritual battle; secondly, we must share the gospel, whilst, of course, living lives of love that show the goodness and power of God,
‘So that that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive.’ (Titus 2:10)
“Father, I thank you for bringing me into your Kingdom. Thank you for opening my eyes to see and understand the cross by which I’ve been transferred. Please would you give me the privilege of helping others to enter into your Kingdom. Amen.”
During this series, let's aim to memorise and meditate on The Lord's Prayer.
TIPS ON MEMORISING SCRIPTURE
We will only do this, and persevere in doing this, if we believe that it's truly important to hide God's word in our heart. So get faith!
Don't disqualify yourself if it's hard - it is hard!
Write the text somewhere that's easy to find and use - a note on your phone, a post-it on the fridge...
Include the reference (book/chapter/verse) throughout the process
Read it slowly and carefully x 10 (Don't rush or dismiss this accurate repetition)
Recall it, without looking as much as possible x10
Do this a few times through the day - a habit is best formed by doing this at the same times, and places each day.
Revise regularly (and revise previously memorised verses)
Make it a habit to learn new verses - skill comes over time
USE IT! Actively use it to pray, worship, counsel, prophecy, and counter temptation and lies by quoting truth - it’s the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).
TIPS ON BIBLICAL MEDITATION - THE 'COME TO JESUS DAILY METHOD'.
Biblical meditation is to prayerfully read, repeatedly, a section of the bible and pray, worship and respond as God leads. Here are a few tips and questions, what I call the 'come to Jesus daily method', to help you when meditating:
PRAY - Ask for the Spirit to help you and to speak to you. Keep the goal in mind - having a relationship with God!
WRITING- Writing/journaling is often a great help as you answer the questions below. Remember, don't allow worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar, perfection... to stop you from writing - it's between you and God. In meditation, I encourage you to write in the first-person, speaking to God - "I see that you are...I sense you speaking to me about...I pray for...."
GOSPEL- What does God, through this text, say to you about salvation through Jesus?
UP- What does God, through this text, say you about Himself – His worth, character, attributes, will, promises…?
IN- What does God, through this text, say about you, His church and how we are to relate?
OUT- What does God, through this text, say about non-believers and our mission?
RESPONSE – Is there anything else that you want to pray, worship God about, do, ask forgiveness about, ask God to help you to change…?
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY – RECEIVE THE KING TO ENTER THE KINGDOM
What do you enjoy most about living in the United Kingdom and what one thing would you change?
Introduction - please read in your group
Today, and through our devotionals this week, we are thinking about The Kingdom of God. We live in a Kingdom under a monarch, and as Christians we have been transferred from the 'dominion of darkness' and into the Kingdom of God.
Jesus first sermon was, “Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). We can enter the Kingdom by turning to Jesus and receiving Him as Lord and Saviour.
The Kingdom of God is His authority to rule, and we enter the Kingdom by receiving Him as Lord.
1. The Kingdom is coming: The Bible teaches that the Kingdom has come, but will only be fully realised when Jesus comes again. This phrase 'Your Kingdom come' has a particular emphasis on looking forward and praying for the King to come.
How much do you think and pray about the coming Kingdom?
How does having that eternal vision change our lives?
2. The kingdom is here: The bible also teaches that the Kingdom has come right now; Jesus' kingship is affecting more and more people every day. We can play our part through these four factors that featured in the life of Jesus:
i) Praying (Extending the kingdom is principal a spiritual battle so prayer is vital)
ii) Words (Words of love, challenge and the gospel)
iii) Works (Loving service)
iv) Wonders (Praying for people and situations for God to heal, provide, break a habit...)
How does each aspect help people to receive Jesus and so enter the Kingdom?
Which aspect would you most like to improve and what do you plan to do about this?
Pray - In groups of 3-4
In groups of 3-4 (Try to get into the same groups each week if possible)
Is there anything that you want prayer for out of this week’s study?
Is there anything that you want prayer for more generally?
How connected to God do you feel at the moment and how could you go deeper this week? (let's follow up on this when we next meet together).