Thoughts on a Kingdom

“My Kingdom is not of this world”

“My kingdom is from another place”  John 18:36

“…not of this world…” in this day when more and more we are recognising  our responsibility of stewardship and transformation to our environment, our world;  when we are realising that our destiny does not wind up in an escape from this fallen world but in transforming this creation to Gods’ ultimate intention, that Christ will fill all in all.    There is a tension to hold to in “…not of this world…”  meaning we do not belong to this world,  the Kingdom of God finds its source – origin – its genesis – nature – authority – life – laws  and resources all find their root or origin outside of this cosmos.      As a matter of fact I tend to see that the Kingdom of God is the Christ and that God is the Kingdom.    The origin may not be in this cosmos but it is God breaking into our world.

The Kingdom of God cannot be understood by seeking parallels of kingdoms in this world, it is not worth examining kingdoms of old or even kingdoms that  still exist, as they are totally incompatible.    For this thought lies behind the theological mystery spoken to Nicodemus “…you must be born again…” this experience, encounter is not for salvation but  “…you must be born again to see the Kingdom of God”

Your responses to life’s situations, your behaviour and actions are the result of your theology not of your intellect or emotions.   The way you think and feel are shaped by your deepest convictions from your spirit – God.    At least this is how it should be, today I must admit I see many that are challenged to conduct themselves this way, they struggle to remain true to their convictions, to the established foundation of their lives.   Life can become so fickle and changeable as the commercial emotional living on the surface of life prevents convictional living.    Decisions are then made for the benefit of the immediate, self-gratifying rather than what belongs to people’s advance and betterment which is about maturing.  We have come to a world that react rather than living out convictions from the foundation of life actually from the Christ, who is our foundation.

This is why “if any is in Christ…new creation” the spiritual house, mankind is governed by the Spirit, as the agent of the Godhead, as God working with in us to bring us into the life way of the Kingdom of God.    This is the law written on our hearts by which we will reign in life.

To believe this is to live this – which is why the reality of many people’s claim to being born again is questionable.    If this cosmos rules in our life then it is questionable, if the other place Kingdom has been either seen or entered, it will alter our way of life.

I shall continue my ramble through the Kingdom thoughts the as I write in my next blog, I will continue this thought line from this point onward as we go forward, until next blog which will be soon a joyous reaching for the King.

3 Small Things are Exceedingly wise.

In the book of Proverbs there are many one liners of wisdom for life, wrapped up in the words, they speak to relationship, family, to business practices and environments, their wisdom will help you become a better leader, manager, husband, wife, child, person.    They just deal with people and life to the full.   I have often encouraged young men and women to form a habit around the reading of at least one proverb a day, letting the proverbs groom life and enable a better person to emerge.   They are not only helpful to the individual but they will produce a better society if we could embrace them.

I must admit there are some strange ones as well, such as what do you do with “if you dig a pit you will surely fall into it” or “if a man stand on a log he will surly fall off” clearly they did not have health and safety.   In Proverbs 30:24 forward we have presented to us “small things” unimportant things yet they are presented as small insignificant things which are very significant for us, they are “exceedingly wise”.   Small is worth listening to and taking note of some times, I would suggest to you, always.

How many times have we missed the Father as it was not exceedingly big enough for us, significant for us, of notoriety, or even X Factor enough to take note of, yet there was wisdom for the day there.

MY prayer is that we all see significance according to the lesson, the insight of wisdom delivered, not its position, impact, or even any value system we may employ.   How many times has God been there dressed in such a non attractive manner, I wonder how many missed Jesus as he was not as they expected.   Proverbs also encourages us that “wisdom cries in the street”, Ok lets train our eyes and ears to see and hear  the “small things” for exceeding wisdom.

Why start with small things well here are three small wisdom’s for life I have noted in my life and others that we would do well to take on board and employ the wisdom.

1.         Experience Life thought the lens of faith – it’s all down to how you view life, your view will enable or trip you up it’s so important how you look on life.   People around you and situations will shout “no you cannot”, “you should not” and will make reasons why not, however you and I must face the storm and look through another view.   What has God promised you, what has he said, what will you do in the light of that.

This is not about a fanciful, wistful saying, but what has become part of your fabric, that which God has said.  One thing is certain, if God has said it, it will be beyond your ability, means and emotion at present, BUT God, we do or don’t believe.    What keeps you together in the situations of life that you can align your whole being with?

There is no better way than to see and take life and all it has while looking through afresh lens.   I am not suggesting we become presumptuous or individualistic and alone, but I am encouraging us to Know what God has said and look at life through those very words.    To see with your hearing perhaps, as the lens is established by what you have heard, it is when sight is determined by hearing!

So what lens do you govern yourself by, what experience will you have tomorrow.

I wear glasses to enable 20 20 vision, without them well let us say there would be many bruises as I would walk into things, I experience life through the putting on of two circular glass plates, without them I would have a distorted view of life.  The view would be so out of focus that I think I would end up in a darkened room, it is tiring trying to have to squint and stretch to get focus but with glasses, o boy can I see far and short.    Experience life though the lens of Faith, its clear, challenging, humbling but adventure beyond.

Through this lens of faith,  we have testimony down through time, of people’s views being transformed, this lens enabling forward advance.   One such transformation came to William Wilberforce after a sudden conversion experience, William began to see his work (and world) in a whole new light.

“The gospel freely admitted makes a man happy. It gives him peace with God, and makes him happy in God. It gives to industry a noble, contented look which selfish drudgery never wore; and from the moment that a man begins to do his work for his Saviour’s sake, he feels that the most ordinary employments are full of sweetness and dignity, and that the most difficult are not impossible. And if any of you, my friends, is weary with his work, if dissatisfaction with yourself or sorrow of any kind disheartens you, if at any time you feel the dull paralysis of conscious sin, or the depressing influence of vexing thoughts, look to Jesus, and be happy. Be happy, and your joyful work will prosper well.”

2.      Bloom where you are planted – so many of us are robbed of fulfilling all God has for us, as we have adopted a saying that keeps us from where we are, “grass is greener on the other side” so we make every where seem better that where we are.   It produces an unhealthy dissatisfaction and dislike of the gift God has given us.

I have a desire to enable people to live to the full where they are, the missing factor is, we have lost the understanding that God has planted us where we are!   Not as a discipline or judgment against you but with the purpose of transformation.   If we cannot grasp this, Gods’ planting for us, we will never bloom.    We say that identity is important, which it is, but I would say to you believing and realising that where I am is the planting of the Lord is equally vital.   In Genesis God not only planted a garden but he planted Adam into the garden, a place prepared and planted mankind.   I would say we have to know Gods’ hand placing us so we can bloom.

Your decision to be planted will make you and the people around you flourish, that is as you become planted and convinced of your setting, which is often our battle being convinced, for being convinced having a conviction is a necessary strength for life.    As you are convinced of being planted or where you are now being the will of God watch your planting attract people and opportunity to you.    So many wish their lives away wishing they where somewhere else or in anther person place.     It is  fashionable to belong to networks for advance and they are effective to a degree, but the knowledge of being planted and living accordingly will cause you to bloom!

3.         Have the stamina to pursue your God-given passions until the end. – the challenge of finishing well, of getting through all the distractions, the disappointments and letting the passion that God has worked into you to have its end.   Living life with no regrets, there may be sadness but nothing that steals stamina.   The developing of stamina of staying in when it is all up hill and getting harder and harder.   As I tell you, you will have moments when you feel that you are crushed Paul said he was perplexed, crushed on every side but he kept going and so do we too.

Stamina is so necessary in every day to be able to keep your emotion, your attitude your physical ability up, to achieve what God has revealed to your lens and through your planting to bloom.

There is no time here to consider the ways of building stamina of ensuring that the company you keep, the way you talk, the way you see, all effect stamina.  To consider how to build your stamina for the journey is another worthwhile topic for another blog, the how to build, the necessity of stamina, the cultivating of the means to strength for the road ahead.

Disciples of the kingdom or Jesus?

The clash of our opening paragraph in the last blog comes right through to sounds and smells, the clash of metal to metal, the flash of sun light on bare metal, the noise of horse pushing against men and horse, the sound of metal against metal, the battle raged for the Kingdom.   The battle rages for the Kingdom of God and the lives of mankind.

Our battle might not be as old as the fight of ages past but it is as significant or even more so to humankind and creation.  As the Kingdom of God shakes our world breaking in and moving from a simple “taste of the age to come” to an overwhelming of this age with the age to come, filling our world with creative order, with heavens realm, and the Divine life.   This is God declaration “they will be my people (son) and I will be their God” in the book of Revelation.   Christ fills all in all and the full course of God’s restorative action is being played through our time, our lives, you and me.

I closed my last thought with a question being posed, have we made disciples of Jesus rather than continuing the direction Jesus commenced in making disciples or sons of the Kingdom?     If this is so, it has a major impact on our message along with our practice, it also explains perhaps why we produce religious church rather than a condition of people who are born of a coming Kingdom, transforming creation to God’s original intent, that is the ecclesia of God.

First let me say that the coming of Jesus was so radical he simply did not come with a small change but a radical, foundational change to life and creation.    Let me bring you an example of this Kingdom that Jesus heralds and set a direction to make disciples of the Kingdom.

As Jesus fulfilled Old Testaments prophecy ridding into the city on a colt he came to Jerusalem while the people gathered, heralding and crying aloud (Mark 11:10) “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!     Hosanna in the highest!”

This Jesus of the Kingdom of God would not take upon himself  old Jewish tradition as he was the Jesus of the Kingdom of God.   The people tried to turn the kingdom of God into a Jewish kingdom, they declared the kingdom of our “father David”, Jesus bring the Kingdom of God.

Every Jew prayed an amazingly offensive prayer, in putting down people “God I thank you that I was not born a woman, a leper, or a Gentile” , the Jesus of the Kingdom of God brings in a new order in Luke 4:25-27 Jesus says “But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land,        26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.          27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”

He said this Kingdom order is different from your taught prayer, I cannot join with you in that statement and belief, as I am of a Kingdom of God and I must make sons of the Kingdom, disciples  of this Kingdom.     In the Kingdom of God the care for lepers, woman and Gentiles is given.      This is what Jesus was outlining in saying the above  “…I am cancelling the former prayer…”.     The reaction was to attempt to take him, Jesus for Israel only, for Israel only wanted SOME included over and against the ALL of who Jesus came for, he came for the Kingdom.     At that time Israel was for their nation only, yet      Christ came to bring an inclusive and ever expansive Kingdom of God.    The future stands with those who stand for the ALL and not the SOME.    He brought a different order, a different Kingdom.

Today we have called people to be disciples of Jesus but Jesus called disciples to become disciples of the kingdom Matthew 13:52 (Moffat) “every scribe has become the disciple of the realm (Kingdom)”

Disciple of a Kingdom, Jesus called disciples, to make disciples of the Kingdom this has been weakened and it has weakened the impact of the message of Christ to the world, the “good seed” saw the kingdom Matthew 13:38, 39, now is Jesus a carpenter, or the architect? there is a New World order a new Kingdom breaking through?

Note this the good seed,  the sons of the kingdom, the Word is the seed in Matthew 13:19 by V38 sons of the Kingdom are now the seed. It has to be outlined that In the days of Jesus “sons of” had a different meaning from our use today.       It was used to refer to the son of the dominant quality in the person.   Such as Barnabas –  son of encouragement or even Judas – son of perdition that is a wasted son.

Therefore now seeing we are to be sons of the Kingdom we can now conclude it is about what is our dominant quality.    Seek first only says this is our visible, directing, controlling dominant quality sons of the Kingdom.

I shall posse a question for you, with the loss of the focus and emphasis on the ‘sons of the Kingdom’ and making ‘disciples of the Kingdom’ is a distraction and ,os son the advance and understanding of the ‘Kingdom of God’ and therefore becoming servants minded influencers

The kingdom of God is not a system imposed but a way exposed.

Kingdom of God is to change the outlook on life to change the world’s character, simply changing the atmosphere is a distraction and not enough, it will not bring transformation but we need to change the character of society

That is we become centers of revelation the Kingdom of God and be SONS OF THE KINGDOM, being Disciples of the Kingdom just as Jesus meant it to be.

Kingdom… which one?

As they gathered their armour shimmered in the sun light, at midday when the sun was high in the sky they stood proud upon the hill-top looking into the valley where their armies stood waiting for the agreed moment for battle to begin.    Swords ready, spears poised, shields raised, men clad in chain and battle armour, horses covered with shining metal all in battle array.   The clash of the realms of Kingdoms.   They stood one invader, one defender, the battle was for the Kingdom.    The King’s sat considering strategies and the fight for the Kingdoms began.

Perhaps this is the most familiar picture that we think of when introducing the language of KINGDOM into every day life.    Two realms attempting to establish or even usurp themselves, Knights, armour, spears, shields, jousting., maidens, chivalry, white horses and all that.     Perhaps its just the hollywood picture we all have.     For sure its two realms that belong to a distant past.

We don’t have kingdoms of this order any longer, it has even become more popular to say we live in GB rather than United Kingdom.    Kingdom seems to be an old term yet when it comes to things in relation to Jesus it is a term we must grapple with and take into our lives.    Jesus came announcing the Kingdom of God, he walked demonstrating the Kingdom of God, he was the Kingdom of God!

Today the language of the Kingdom of God is more popular than ever, declared from pulpits regularly, taught and inspired, it seems if you don’t have it in your teaching as a Christian you are strange.   I recall the day when we grappled with it as God was unfolding its truth, when it was not so popular.      Yet it is not about its popularity but more about the truth of the Kingdom.   You and I who have ventured out and began our faiths journey, submitting ourselves to King Jesus it is a real realm that we are part of.

Today Kingdom is still challenged by Empires. Empires of the mind, of people, of agendas even by an empirical church.    The teaching has sometimes been over taken to establish this one or that ones control, and certainly not to establish the Kingdom as proclaimed and practiced by the Christ of God.

The kingdom of God Is not about making any person greater, richer or exclusive above any others it is about bringing the order of God to bear on all creation, it is about making mature saints.   Humanity being mature, Christ filling all in all.

In the Matthew 6:33 passage we are told to “seek first the Kingdom of God” these were words that at the time they were spoken were aimed at confronting the world, today they still do that, they challenge our minds, they hold a plumb-line up to our actions discovering where our hearts are focussed!

The Father, from our first introduction breaks into ‘void and darkness’ with confrontation, presenting from the beginning God in action, and so it is with “seek first”.   It makes us stand up and re-evaluate, assess our days, and align with freedom, to seek first the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 6 addresses the “all” of our lives with such simple, direct words, in terms of, if we seek first the eternal, the cosmic realm our needs will be seen too.   We are met with an invitation to bring our supreme loyalty to the King and seek his Kingdom.     In seeking the Kingdom of God we create a following, with all things being added along with the significance of the Kingdom of God.

If we do not seek the kingdom of God we will be seeking first the kingdom of self.    This kingdom of self is the kingdom of subtraction, as when possessions get hold of you, you discover that owning them becomes, being owned by them.

Your biggest need is a cosmic backing and when this is lacking the house of mankind is empty of meaning and purpose and God

Seeking the Kingdom brings to us All it unshakableness, All its forgiveness, All its at homeness, All its freedom, All it’s joy, All is everything-belongs to you.    The good news-here and now

Jesus said in Luke 4:21, 22 something had been fulfilled, in a room filled with people, with all these eyes fixed upon him, he not only spoke but did something, he “SAT DOWN”, what a scandal, how ridiculous, who did he think he is?   In every synagogue a chair was given as the seat of the Messiah and in this chair the drama played itself out, Jesus sat in the Messiah’s chair!

In this sitting down and declaration he said the word of the kingdom has become fleshed out in me, the kingdom has broken through and the realisation of that is in me.      You have heard about it now see it!      I am the kingdom of God standing in the synagogue

A thought went through my mind while thinking on the Kingdom and its implications,  “We have made songs about the REIGN of Christ and his Kingdom into songs about RAIN on me”

We have been born from above to bring heaven to earth, to be the reign of God on earth and to herald the Kingdom of God in all creation, to declare, sing, live and act out REIGN ON ME!

Jesus brought a blueprint for a new World order not just salvation, he tabernacle in the mankind model,  we have now become the working blue print model of the Kingdom of God.

You Are A New World order-tasted of the age to come

Jesus called disciples of the new world order, the Kingdom of God, he called disciples to go and make disciples, we have gone out to make disciples of Jesus.   Jesus actually made disciples of the Kingdom, sons of the Kingdom.   Not disciples of Jesus but disciples of the Kingdom of God!     Now that’s got you thinking and all stirred up, we have perhaps made the wrong disciples?     My aim is to consider this next time!


Launched Words…

I turned the pages of my electronic bible over, what a strange action, I am always amazed what these computers can do and sound like, I continued to read waiting and anticipating the Spirit of God to have gone deep within God looking for fresh insight to be brought into my daylight (1 Cor. 2:10).     With anticipation I read on knowing that when God revels it will have an implication for me, to make it part of my life, embracing it in every way.    Then it arrived as arrow in flight in pierced the clouded mind and thought patterns broke through into my being.   It read “He launches his promises earthward how swift and sure they come!” (Psalm 147:15), WOW, WOW! the Father launches, its trajectory set, its path calculated and course set, away it goes a promise of the Father.
I realised that the overcomer overcomes through the strength of God also by the living promises of God.     What about transforming what God has said into a pregnant promise, into words with power, into sentences that are God filled.   For is this not a promise from heaven a God filled sentence?    Not just words on a page, Biblical promises but launched, swift to arrive words, “for none of his words will return void” not sound bites to quote heave invested words!   Perhaps promises spoken long ago taken back into the face of God through my conversations with the Father, my prayer and returned as “Reverse Thunder” (Rev 16:17-21) with my words invested  into again with Gods substance  and creation is effected”
If promises have been launched towards Gods creation should we not consider what they are?    Making known what has been uttered what has been said towards creation, humanity you and me.   What has been promised as the ultimate intention of God, Gods purpose to bring about, this will of the Father we are to be given to beyond our own will.    Should we not have the duty to enquire, then we have a responsibility to make it known.
Launched promises God speaks – thank goodness God has words, this God of ours
God speakers words that work
God directs speaking words having a direction in them
Speaking must be twined to hearing, so let God speak and let us hear and take heed of promises
Promises launched in words that work!      A promise making God, a promise keeping Father an ever extending God via spoken words – literal God changing shape in us, around us by utterance, words and all within those words are God.
So where from here, take the book of words, of promise the scripture Spirit uttered words and collate promises spoken to all creation, to humanity, to the church of God, to you and me.   Begin to revel in the spoken promises, begin to consider that these are not thoughts, nice reading passages but fulfilling promises.   For though promises we will live gloriously, don’t just wait until they arrive or happen live in the glorious light of these words.