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.”

KR14: Salt of the Earth (part 2)

Kingdom-Disciples-IconYou are the salt of the earth….You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:13-14 NLT)

After His list of blessings upon Kingdom Disciples, Jesus gets to the point of the Beatitudes. There is a point to what Jesus said.

Kingdom Disciples are blessed so that we will spread Kingdom Flavor across the earth. Kingdom Disciples are blessed so that we will shine Kingdom Light throughout the world. God’s Spirit calls out everywhere, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”(Psalm 34:8) The earth needs our salt for taste. The world needs our light to see. The Lord is good and He wants us to make it known.

There is a point to our lives! We have been blessed with a purpose. God’s promise to His people: “I will bless you.” But He doesn’t stop there, His promise has purpose: “All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:2-3)

There is a point to God’s blessing. It’s a beautiful point.

As is my practice, I recently took a day to get away to be alone with Jesus. While walking and meditating upon the Beatitudes, a pleasant reminder came to my mind on the beauty of this point. Please click on this link for a one-minute video I made for you that day at Salt Point State Park on the coast of Northern California.

Kingdom ReflectionQuestion for reflection: We are to bless all the families of the earth. What would you put on the list of the Top 5 needs for the world’s families?

Kingdom prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that there is a point to why we were born. Help us each recognize our unique part in Your purpose and follow You to its fulfillment. Amen.

KR13: Salt of the Earth

Kingdom-Disciples-Icon“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” (Matthew 5:13 NLT)

Kingdom Disciples are the salt of the earth. Within our families, among our neighbors, throughout our society and across the earth, we are called to add flavor—Kingdom Flavor. Jesus, the Source of this Flavor used the Beatitudes to describe the Flavor in words.

Once in my prayer journal, I wrote out my personal words to Jesus, as a response to His words:

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for Him,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”

Revelation that we are spiritually empty without You, Lord Jesus, is the doorway into Your Kingdom. As we acknowledge our need, repent and turn to You, You lead us in.

“God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.”

Another revelation occurs; we realize our world is so unlike Your Kingdom. Ours is a world of brokenness—broken relationship with You, with ourselves, with one another and with nature. We mourn. But there is hope in You and Your plan for wholeness. We find comfort that You have a plan and we’re invited to join You in it.

“God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.”

Revelation comes that we cannot change the world unless we “walk humbly with our God.” You are the One with The Plan. You’ll show us as we walk with You—You leading the Way.

“God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
    for they will be satisfied.”

So much of human suffering and environmental degradation is rooted in injustice. “There is abundant food in the fallow ground of the poor, but it is swept away by injustice.” Often it is the need for food and water that leads to revolt and killing.

Anger and violence is not Your way. You have a Plan and we shall be satisfied as we follow You and Your Kingdom Ways.

“God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.”

We are to respond to the needy with mercy. You will show us how to do this well—have mercy upon us and show us—because we will not do it properly (creating paternalism, dependency) without You. You have The Plan.

“God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.”

Looking at our surroundings—we are confronted with the demand for justice and the cries for mercy. A barrage upon heart and mind creates temptation to respond in a purely human fashion. We however are called to Your side, to confess our failings and sins, to receive forgiveness and cleansing. To see You. To hear You. To move in communion with You and our brothers and sisters to see Your Kingdom come.

“God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.”

I know from experience, though we as Your followers are called to peace, we encounter conflict—even sometimes creating conflict among ourselves. We’re blessed as we learn to restore peace through honesty, forgiving and being forgiven.

As we love one another, we prove to be Your children and we will reflect Your Kingdom values.

“God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”

Working with You and one another to change the world will result in backlash. Persecution will come. For many—in the neediest parts of our world—it has come, and with a vengeance.

“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.”

Yes we are happy! We are glad! Great reward is up ahead! You have blessed us with Your Kingdom. You have made Your Kingdom Disciples like salt. As we faithfully follow You, You will keep our Kingdom Flavor strong and we will salt and transform the whole earth.


Kingdom ReflectionQuestion for reflection: Rebecca Pippert’s book title says it: Out of the Salt Shaker and into the World. How are you and your fellowship getting out spreading Kingdom Flavor?

Kingdom prayer: Lord, stir us to action. Help us take the Kingdom Flavor You’ve given us and generously season our world. Amen.




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.