If you haven’t read my blog “A Kingdom Kind of Year”, you may want to do so before reading this one. There I share the basic truth that the New Testament preachers proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom of God everywhere they went. This blog is to put this truth into a larger perspective for you.
For years I taught (rightly so) the born-again experience, the Lordship of Christ, walking in the Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, growing in Christ and all the other wonderful truths in living out the Christian life. All these things are critical to our spiritual growth and we are all rightly preaching and teaching them, no matter the name over our church doors.
So, what is different about the “kingdom” message? The answer is context and application of these powerful truths.
I’ll cut to the chase and get directly to my point.
Much of both traditional and cultural christianity has made everything about “us”. Be born-again so I can go to heaven. Walk with Jesus and in the Holy Spirit so I can be blessed. Flow in the gifts of the Spirit so we can show everyone how spiritual we are. See us shine! (For Jesus of course.) Cultural christianity especially makes most everything about me.
When you put these same truths in a larger kingdom context however, it’s never about us, it’s always about the King and His kingdom. We are servants of the King whom He equips to run and expand His kingdom upon the earth. We are born-again to be servant/sons with a purpose and destiny in the kingdom. We learn to walk in the Lord and by His Spirit so we may continue to do what He did when He walked the earth. What was that? To do the will of the Father in heaven. The empowerment of the Holy Spirit with all the gifts that come with Him were “tools” to use in the field, not trophies to put on display in the sterile environment of a church “service”.
A “kingdom context” requires us to look up and out…not in. We look up to King Jesus for direction. We look outward to see the harvest He is sending us into to work today. This is an uncomfortable truth if you want to have your own sweet little country club type church fellowship. The first question asked by these types of christians is, “What’s in it for us?” This is proof we are into kingdom building alright…ours, not His.
Jesus said, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. Jesus will always lead us into the work of the larger kingdom. Why? Because that may friend is what He did, does and will continue to do through us…until His bodily return.
But what about me? What about my family? What about my needs? Jesus also said to seek first the kingdom and His righteousness and all “these things” would be added to you. Yes, the blessings will come, but not as we seek them, but rather the kingdom.