KR15: Light of the World

Kingdom-Disciples-Icon“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:14-16 NLT)

Kingdom Disciples are blessed so that we will shine Kingdom Light. We are to shine like Jesus. “Jesus went around doing good…” that’s how Peter, one of His closest disciples described Jesus. (Acts 10:38) Like Jesus, we are called to go around doing good—spreading the blessings of God’s Kingdom.

When Laura and I had our home in North India we were surrounded by human need. Despair would have overwhelmed me if I did not know deep in my heart that God’s purpose is to bring blessing and transformation to every person, family and community.

I made a list of blessings I hope to see God bring to that place. Though not visible yet, here’s what I can picture in the future:

  • Every single person has opportunities to hear the Gospel in ways they understand.
  • Many believe and become spirit-led disciples who gather in nearby Jesus-centered fellowships to worship, learn, pray and care for one another.
  • With God’s Word now available in their own language, believers discover His plans to use them and their families to spread the blessings of His Kingdom.
  • All children, including those who once begged on the streets, now receive godly education.
  • Every village has clean water and no one goes without adequate, nutritious food. Not a single person lacks the clothing and shelter needed. Health care is close and affordable.
  • Girls, boys, men and women have opportunities for lives that are fruitful and fulfilling spiritually, mentally, socially, emotionally and physically.

Is this too much to imagine? No! These are just some of the blessings of God’s Kingdom. Jesus told His disciples to pray to our Father in Heaven: “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” In response to His teaching and example, we as Kingdom Disciples must align ourselves with God’s will, working together to ensure that everyone on earth has access to:

The message of Jesus Christ presented in a way they can understand.


God’s Word in their own language.


Fellowship with disciples of Jesus: to freely worship Him, learn to obey Him and join in His global purposes.


Education that equips their children for godly living.


The basic necessities of life: food, clean water, clothing, shelter and health care.


Opportunities to lead a productive and fruitful life spiritually, mentally, socially, emotionally, and physically.


These are the six points of the Christian Magna Carta which was developed by Youth With A Mission in 1981. Here it has been slightly reworded for easier translation and communicating across different cultures. We are convinced that God’s purpose is to bless every person on earth in the ways listed above. He wants to use all of us to help make this happen.

What good deeds would Jesus have you do to “shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father”?

Kingdom Reflection

Question for reflection: What are the needs in your community? How will you discover what God wants you to do to shine for Him?

Kingdom prayer: We pray according to Your Word, “May Your Kingdom come soon. May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”

KR12: Facing Persecution? You’re Blessed

Kingdom-Disciples-Icon“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.” (Matthew 5:11-12 NLT)

Making disciples and spreading the blessings of God’s Kingdom where it’s needed most, is risky business! Yet it is the calling of all Kingdom Disciples.

A year ago, I frequently awakened in the middle of the night. Two of my coworkers had been arrest in a country famous for hostility toward the Gospel. Under such circumstances it was hard for me avoid anxiety. For these coworkers beatings and torture were probable.  Execution was possible. God’s blessing was a promise; Jesus declared it, but almost too hard to believe.

When the ordeal ended, I visited one of these friends. After listening to the story, I asked to have it written up and passed on for you:

“At the beginning of the 2013 I was detained for 2 months because of my desire to follow and obey Jesus in a certain country.  I had a lot of time to meditate on Jesus’ words: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely because of My name…”  It was very difficult for me not knowing what might happen; being cut off from the outside world; being anxious that I might dishonor Jesus’ name and my fellow workers during interrogation. 

At the same time I really felt blessed: the incredible privilege to share in the fellowship of His suffering (albeit a very little bit).  The Bible became more real to me than it had ever been.  It was my everyday manual on how to ‘behave’ (forgive, give, bless, answer respectfully).

Sometimes I sensed Jesus’ overwhelming presence and love for me and sometimes I didn’t feel anything, but I knew that He was there, watching over me. What I went through cannot compare with what He suffered on the cross and yet I felt His encouragement and smile.  Meditating on His suffering encouraged me greatly.  It became very precious to me and I got a deeper understanding what it cost Him.

I’ve never felt so extremely needy, weak and empty, but when I had nothing left and thought I was falling, tumbling down the crevice, I found that His hand was there to catch me.  Some days I had no praise or worship in my heart and just gave Him my emptiness, but every time Jesus met me and lifted my head. It’s something that I never want to forget.

After this experience I feel that I’m ‘limping’ (like Jacob).  I’m very much aware of my weakness and yet I’ve seen Jesus’ faithfulness and power.  It’s difficult to describe, but Job summarized it for me:  ‘My ear has heard of You but now my eyes have seen You.’ (Job 42:5).  I’m blessed indeed.”

Though the name cannot be given, due to security, on behalf of us all, let me give the author of this story our thanks. Thank you for giving us a glimpse of how Jesus kept His word and blessed you in the face of intense persecution. And so He promises to bless everyone who faces persecution for living as Kingdom Disciples.

Kingdom ReflectionQuestion for reflection: What aspects of today’s story might help you and your disciples willingly face persecution?

Kingdom prayer: Lord, You have called us to proclaim the Good News of Your Kingdom in word and deed. Please pour out Your grace upon us when we face mocking, lies, threats and harm so we may be faithful and fruitful. Amen.

KR1: How can I describe the Kingdom of God?

In a few days, coworkers from out of the area would arrive for strategy meetings at our home.  Our main theme:

“And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it….” (Matthew 24:14) We therefore go to nations who have not heard–introducing Jesus and His Kingdom through both our words and our deeds. What does this mean for us and how can we do this best?

Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it?” (Mark 4:30) This is what I had been wondering too. I was asking the same question. One morning I went for a run on the beach. The tide was out, leaving a thin layer of water about 100 feet wide, from the edge of the surf to the dry sand dunes. It stretched out before me for a few miles.


On Earth as in Heaven

As I ran on the wet sand, I marveled at the blue sky and white clouds above me, reflected on the watery surface under my feet. Though the reflection was imperfect, it almost made me feel like I was running across the heavens….   “That’s it!” I thought. “I can see on earth what is in heaven. This is one way I can describe the Kingdom of God.”

During our strategy meeting I used the illustration. Truly this is what we all want to see: God’s Kingdom reflected here on earth—among the unreached—as it is in heaven. It will always be an imperfect reflection, yet still we work for it and plead for it, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

The better we understand and see God’s purposes revealed in His Word and by His Spirit, the better we’ll work together in reflecting His Kingdom on earth.

This will be our theme in Kingdom Reflection. This is the first of many Kingdom Reflections related to launching indigenous movements of self-multiplying Jesus-centered fellowships that spread the blessings of God’s Kingdom within their families, among their neighbors, throughout their societies and across nations.

Question for reflection: How would you describe the Kingdom of God?IMG_0648

Kingdom prayer: Lord Jesus, make us part of a massive workforce to unreached people, spreading the blessings of Your Kingdom as we obey You, our King. Amen.