PART 14 – DEMONSTRATING THE KINGDOM EVERY DAY (12/3/20)
“Your Kingdom come…”
Yes, the Kingdom will only come fully in the future, when Jesus comes. However, the King and the Kingdom break in to our world every day.
As citizens of the heavenly Kingdom, we are God’s ambassadors, sent into the world (2 Corinthians 5:20) to help people to see and enter the Kingdom. It’s only as people enter the Kingdom by receiving the rule of the King that the Kingdom’s influence grows, and only then! Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert write,
‘The kingdom isn’t geographical. Rather, it is defined relationally and dynamically; it exists where knees and hearts bow to the King and submit to him. And therefore you cannot “expand the kingdom” by bringing peace and order and justice to a certain area of the world. Good deeds are good, but they don’t broaden the borders of the kingdom. The only way the kingdom of God—the redemptive rule of God—is extended is when he brings another sinner to renounce sin and self-righteousness and bow his knee to King Jesus.’ (What Is the Mission of the Church?)
The church is to show the life of the King and the Kingdom. We are a light to the world around us. We extend the influence of the Kingdom by showing or demonstrating the King and the Kingdom in a number of ways:
Our words demonstrate the Kingdom - they are are words of those of the citizens of heaven. Our words should show what the King is like as we speak of righteousness, truth and justice. Our most important words are those of Jesus,
“Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).
He sends you and I out to call others to receive a new King and new Kingdom,
‘Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:60)
Works of service demonstrate the Kingdom. Our servant-lifestyle shows what the King is like. We are to sacrificially serve and work for the good of others. Over all this, our personal integrity - holiness and love - demonstrate what the king and the kingdom is like. Paul writes,
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,” (Romans 14:17)
We offer to pray for people. We pray for situations. All miracles show what the future Kingdom will be like; all miracles and every act of God is a taste of that future coming Kingdom. Our prayers also show other our trust in the King.
We can play our part through these four factors that featured in the life of Jesus; these are demonstrations of the Kingdom, however, the kingdom is only advanced as people submit to the rule of Jesus! This is very important. Many people treat social action like it’s advancing the Kingdom in some way; it is only to the degree that people become Christians through such action! For you cannot have the Kingdom without the King!
Let's pray. "Our Father in heaven, your Kingdom come. I thank you for my glorious future and the hope of restoration. May you use your church in this nation, use my local church, use me, to show people what you are like and what that Kingdom will be like. Please empower me by your Spirit for this cause. 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).