Creating a Learning Network for Kingdom Builders!
Jesus died for our salvation. He saves us from the Kingdom of darkness and transfers us to the kingdom of light. Jesus is the King. His domain that he transfers us into is the Kingdom. We carry the Kingdom within us – where ever there are Christ followers, there the Kingdom is.
The characteristic of a good kingdom is this - the will if the king is carried out by the subjects of the kingdom. We can readily access how well we- collectively as servants of the King - are carrying out his will. He hasn't hidden his will. To simplify things he encapsulates our responsibilities into two greats... the Great Commandment: Love God with our heart, soul and body and love our neighbor as ourselves. And, he Great Commandment - Go make skilled, determined and faithful followers of Christ, teaching them to observe all He has commanded.
These two "Greats" encompass what we need to do as our service to the King. As we do them we reveal, declare and extend the Kingdom.
This Great Commandment and Great Commission were given a long time ago. By now we should be master builders of the Kingdom. Yet... we are not being effective.
Is this because we are disobedient children? Perhaps! Scripture says to examine ourselves and correct what needs to be corrected. Scripture says that if we judge ourselves we will not be judged.
We need to judge BOTH ourselves and our works. If we look, we will see that there are problems in our foundations.
The foundations are weak and broken down. We try to build upon a foundation with has weak and missing foundation stones. We will not see success until the foundation is set right. We have to work on the foundations.
This we are committed to do. We do not desire to see simply a new 'wind of doctrine’ blow across the land. We have seen so many teachings that come and go. Nothing is seen to change.
This is what we desire: Satisfaction is to see a standard go forward that gets deep enough to
set right misplaced and missing foundation stones. If change is too narrowly implemented, we will see a network or worse a denomination or other type of fracture in the body of Christ. This age has seen enough of 'I am of Paul', 'I am of Appolos'! If the change is broad and shallow, -large numbers of people could accept a belief or philosophy - yet the foundation stones would not be reset... nothing will change.
These changes cannot be made without a joining and strengthing of the body of Christ. This is a call to examine our lives. How often do you spend time with other believers? How deep and connected are the relationships? Between yourselves do you practice one another's?
Exhort one another…
Instruct one another…
Encourage one another…
Love one another…
Serve one another….
There are 39 one another commandments. How many do I do? Do you do?
Are you - practicing the two 'Greats' not just on Sunday morning but on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday?
As my friend, Pastor Francisco said, “Methods never build a church. People moving under the power of the Holy Spirit build the church.”
This is a call to examine our foundations. And, correct them!
It is a call to examine our lives. Are we proclaiming and living the gospel of the KINGDOM? Are we carrying out the two ‘Greats’? If not, learn how!
It is a call to examine our connections to the other members of the body of Christ. Are we connected in a way that together we can live the Kingdom among us and carry out the two ‘Greats’ every day of the week? If not, what are you going to do about it?
This is how the Kingdom applies to you and to me.
I think -this is my opinion- why so many people feel like they are spinning their wheels is because we tend not to be connected deeply and personally to each other and real, hands on/interactive service. This is 'common unity' / community. I went to church for years and never really experienced it - only shadows. It wasn't until I was part of an extended Christian household that I tasted what it was like to serve Christ together. Sigh>>> It should not have taken so long!
I believe that there is coming a revival that will, for many people, be a renewal of relationship with God, and also -with one another. Imagine a group of people who care about your welfare as much as their own. And then, extending that love to new believers and hurting people.
Suzanne Winter-Austin said:
Like shards of broken glass, each believer sees The KINGDOM only partially. Only when Christ returns, can we see wholly for ourselves, just WHAT Christ truly died for. Of course, we MUST follow the Great Commandment AND the Great Commission - but for many of us, it's not PERSONAL enough, and we end up spinning our wheels in useless "activity".
dora collier said:
The Kingom of God is within us and among us- Lu 17:20 1 Cor 4:20.
Yes... I think so, too.
The fruit of the Spirit reveals or is evidence of the kingdom of God within us as believers.
Juanita, you have hit the proverbial "nail on the head." These things that you bring up are absolutely true, and things that I've tried to express to my own congregation. One of the biggest areas where this is happening is in the realm of unforgiveness. Paul speaks about the "devil's schemes" in 2 Corinthians chapter 2. The scheme that he refered to is an unforgiveness toward another who had responded to the chastising discipline of the body. Now, however, he remained outside the fellowship and was at risk of being overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Because of the devil's scheme of unforgiveness, people have found the church to be a dangerous place to confess sin. Yet, the Scripture says that we should "confess our sins one to another that we might find healing." The Great Commandment must be fulfilled "Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself." If that command is carried out, then the Great Commission will take place to, "go and make disciples of all nations." What most people want to do is love on their own terms and not on God's terms.
I've challenged my church to view love from a Biblical perspective. I've asked them to examine their love based on 1 Corinthians 13. Is your love "patient?" Is it "kind?" Does it "keep no record of wrongs?" Etc. When God commands us to love it must be love on His terms.
I've also challenged my church to view evangelism from a Biblical perspective. The idea is not to make converts to our ideals but to make disciples who will obey the commands of Christ. We (yes, even us pastors) seem more inclined to want people to follow us - thus begins the great "church wars" that take place. I've fallen into that trap on occasion, losing my perspective of the kingdom of Christ. But a biblical perspective is to bring people to follow the Savior - the Master Shepherd.
Thank you for being faithful to write about this. I love your reminder of the "one anothers." I'm actually going to be preaching on this in the near future. :) God bless.
Yours in Christ,
Thank you for so clearly touching the very heart of what should be our focus and what is our purpose for being called into this world. We have lost our way, but He has instructed and left record many times over in His Word, that if we will repent of our casual relationship with Him, on again/off again, that He will hear our cry and answer.
We have become so entrenched in our traditions, and so comfortable with our ways, that we are deaf and numb to His voice and to His presence. Love God, love on another, make disciples. It is simple. He did not make this complicated. The way may get hard, there may be suffering and pain, but our instructions are simple and clear: "They that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord. He is their help and their shield." (Psalm 115:11)
He told us the way to determine if we are in the way: "If you love Me, keep My commantments." (John 14:15) And again, "If you keep My commandments you shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love." (John 15:10)
We must, as you have said, examine ourselves, lest we find that we have walked the broad way with many others and find He never knew us.
Thank you, for staying true to your calling, even in the midst of great challenges. This will be worth it all some day!
I think two of the greatest things Kingdom foundation and anchor have done for me is perspective and desire.
I use to love to watch scary movies and Dirty Harry type movies. Now not only do I know better than to plant those seeds inside of me, but I have lost the desire to watch them.
UD brought in a motivator that was supposed to bring us closer together as a team. Under his guidance, the workshop turned into a negative feeding frenzy on what Management should or should not be doing. I ask the motivator where was the "It starts with me" message? It does no good to go to a class and learn what "they" should be doing.
For me, that's what your message brings out; how I can be salt and light. How I can seek the Lord to help me make changes within that will shine without. My eternity is secure, but I so want to bear fruit.
Highlighting the two greatest commandments the way you did, helps us to remember that there are different members in the body. I think of myself as maybe the shinbone and if I'm not careful, I will try to make everyone I meet a shinbone. But the elbow has no desire to be a shinbone.
So instead of looking at each other, we can join hands and both look at Christ. Encourage each other through Christ. Then when the world looks at the shinbone and elbow holding hands and singing praises to the Author of our joy, they might say, "How can I get what you have?"
Thanks Juanita for that great Kingdom message,
When I was speaking of UD, I need to highlight it has an awesome Management team and it is one of the greatest working environments on the planet. We have so little to complain about and everything to be grateful for.
The natural man views life as a list of perceived grievances and the Kingdom Person views life through a lens of gratitude understanding we are blessed to be a blessing. Our worse days are better than some peoples' best days.
I just wanted to clear up that UD is a great place to work. I am trying to learn that if I say something behind one's back, if they heard it, it would make them smile.
Have a great day!