Creating a Learning Network for Kingdom Builders!
When Johnny and I first committed to be Christ-followers, we only knew about church. Years later we became aware that Jesus presented this new thing, the Kingdom. It was new then and for many, it is new today. Like any great concept, the Kingdom is simple. It has to be so people everywhere can live it out.
Our good friend Vince Nance expresses this simplicity so well. He said that once when he was struggling to find what path to take, it suddenly became quite clear. If he set his sight on the light and went in that direction, a look behind would show he had chosen the right the path. To stay on the path, he’d only need to keep the light as the center of his focus. That is pretty simple.
Jesus is the way, the truth and the light. When we focus on where He leads, we live out the Kingdom.
Years ago, as a young manager, I was very green. Translation: I didn’t know what I was doing. I wasn’t mentored into the job. Johnny’s and my business, Kingdom.com, exploded in growth. Johnny was the entrepreneur, I was the manager. Early on I understood that anything I wanted to learn about business is written in a book, somewhere. Realizing this, I bought business books, hundreds of them.
As I avidly consumed these books, I came to experience of profound flash of insight. Every sound principle of business that I had read was reflected in scripture. I realized that business books I was learning from reflected the principles of the Kingdom, that is why they worked.Through trial and error, through insight or perhaps through learning from others, the authors of these books were making Kingdom principles visible. These are the principles that govern how business works. They are ultimately from God, just like gravity, just like the laws of matter. The principles of the Kingdom are written into the very fabric of reality.
Take life, add the Kingdom and you have an explosion of truth, peace, righteousness. (Isaiah 9)
For the first time, I deeply understood that our prayer, “Your Kingdom come” is linked it with “Your will be done” because the Kingdom changes everything.
Everywhere, people are in bondage. Bondage comes from failure in our efforts, be it business or marriage, raising a family or overseeing a ministry, failure in day to day challenges of live or failure grappling with extrodinary curve balls that come our way. Failure leads to bondage like having a company that is losing money, divorce, out-of-control kids, having a ministry that take enormous effort with little fruit. These things can leave us depressed, anxious, unhappy and unfulfilled. Jesus came to set us free from bondage in every sphere of life. We are set free by recognizing and applying the principles of the Kingdom. It is our calling to extend Kingdom principles and the freedom they bring to everyone.
The Kingdom is the love of God prevailing in politics, in business, in government, in media. It is all the impact of the laws of God… -Myles Munroe
Bringing freedom to those who are in bondage is a tangible outworking of loving our neighbor as ourselves. This is what the Good News of the Kingdom is God is all about .
God doesn’t just want to free us from the bondage we experiences; meeting the King is where we receive our final and full freedom. By advancing the principles of the Kingdom, the captives are set free and health is restored in the natural dimension of life and as people recognize the King, in the spiritual dimension of life as well.
I was a believer for six months when I encountered the book Haggai. Though I had read scripture and had seen how it applied to me, reading Haggai was different. God impressed upon me that each person was busy building their own house and few were focusing on building God’s house. That impression is an arrow of life that has stayed with me to this day.
Through Haggai, I understood that God had a purpose for me, to work to restore people to the proper place of building the House of God. At that time, I actually had no idea what this ‘looked like’. Decades later, I find myself doing what God spoke to my heart. I am exceedingly passionate about working to build the spiritual house that is not made with human hands.
“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”-Unknown
Jesus calls us to extend His Kingdom extended into every domain, into every arena of society, teaching people everywhere how to live our his principles and precepts. Doing tis is making disciplined followers of all nations, of all people groups.
Let’s be honest, we lose focus. How many of us would eat if our appetite didn’t remind us about food? How many of us would get up in the morning and do jobs we don’t particularly like, except the bills remind us that we need to work? We don’t want to wait until our teeth start to fall out to decide to brush them. We need to learn early what to do and keep our life in balance by doing the things that should be done.
Jesus wants us to quickly grasp and apply the Laws of the Kingdom: Love God and Love others as we love ourselves.3
Love is a law; it's powers the Kingdom explosion God intends to happen.
God is crazy about us.
-Francis Chan Author: Crazy Love
Love makes people do crazy things. When Johnny dated me, he drove two hours each weekend to see me and then drove two hours home on desolate roads. He always left too late and could barely stay awake. After we were married, I heard about some of those drives home. He’d drink a can of cola, the caffeine helped. Other times, he’d roll the window down and blow the freezing air on his face. In Pennsylvania, you know at times it was below freezing, maybe near or below zero! When that wasn’t enough, he’d pour the can of cola over his head with the window rolled down and the freezing air rushing in. That was crazy love. I love my husband! Crazy love was that Jesus left everything in heaven and came to earth for us.
When I was young I heard about the humiliation of Christ. I used to think that the humiliation was His death on the cross. That was part of His humiliation, but that wasn’t all. Can you imagine God coming as Jesus, wet diaper, having to learn to walk and talk. Imagine living in primitive circumstance with unlearned people. Imagine publicly declaring your love for others and publicly being rejected. We can barely fathom the depths of God’s love for us. It’s crazy. And, by keeping this love in front of us, we fall crazy in love with Him.
This love is the glue that holds everything together. Without it, we can have a lot of things: teachings, power, privilege, but they don’t mean much. In the Kingdom whatever is worthwhile comes out of love for God and, as an extension of that, our love for others. (ref Gal. 5:6)
But, love is like the tide. It never stays in one place. It’s coming in or moving out. Our love for God has to be a focus for us. We all find days and times and seasons in our lives where our love for God, once strong and vibrant, has moved out and away, like the tide. We find ourselves standing on lifeless sand. We need to run to the tide; run to God and focus on keeping Him as our first love.
Love relationships need care and feeding! This means time alone. It means focusing on the other. Johnny and I make time to nurture our relationship by spending quality time alone together. We protect our relationship from intrusions; intrusions can be a threat. Our love relationship with God requires this same type of care and feeding. This is what scripture means by telling us to avoid idols, avoid those things that can take God’s place in our hearts and lives. Loving Him means staying close and, in the absence of closeness working to regain it.
Staying madly in love takes work. Yes, even Johnny and I work to stay madly in love with each other. Sometimes, after a season of intense and unpleasant fellowship, which we have had many times, we need to work at being madly in love, again. And so it is with God; after times of stress and trials, we need to renew our relationship, feed it and nurture it. Our relationship with God is the wellspring of life!
When our hearts and our are lives are centered in God’s love; we can do anything!
We find that people are confused. They don’t understand the difference between the Kingdom, the church and the church service. It's a wonder we can get anything done!
Let’s make it clear.
Jesus is the King.
He came to set up his government. A place where a specific government is in place is called a ‘domain’. So, the Kingdom is the domain of the King, Jesus. When a domain includes people, we call those people ‘citizens’. We are the citizens of the Kingdom and the domain exists among us. Government means ‘rule of law’.
Bringing about Kingdom change is the ‘action part’. God established us as his body, the church, to bring about Kingdom change. We’re anxious to see His Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. His will being done on earth changes everything, every sphere of society. This book is about our part in seeing His will be done.
Imagine the glory God will get as the Kingdom comes and His will is done. Everywhere. Imagine it!