KR16: The Good Seed

Jesus said, “the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom.” (Matt 13:38)

The message of the Kingdom of God is contained within people. When Kingdom Disciples group together and commit to love one another and obey Jesus’ commands—life and growth bursts forth.

Kingdom-Disciples-Icon

Though we quoted it before, E. Stanley Jones’ words bear repeating, “The most absolutely potent thing on this planet is a small group disciplined to great ends. The people of the Kingdom are the seeds of the new order. They do not give the message—they are the message. They do not seek an answer—they are the answer, the Kingdom in miniature. There is nothing so absolutely potent as a group unbreakably bonded to each other and unreservedly given to God. ”

Let’s plant these seeds of the new order. Let’s plant Kingdom Seeds! Keep it simple: Gather together. Listen to Jesus speak through His Word and His Spirit. Do what He says. Growth and fruit will come.

I call this Jesus-Centered Fellowships taking Kingdom-Focused Action.  What would Jesus have you and your group, team or fellowship do either nearby, or where the needs are greater—so that everyone 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.

Jesus promises, “For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am among them.” (Matt 18:20)  To those eager to obey, He will speak through His Word and His Spirit. To reinforce this truth for myself, I wrote additional words to a popular worship song called, “Come Now is the Time to Worship.”

Come, now is the time to listen
Come, now is the time to hear Your voice
We come, just as we are to listen
We come, just as we are to hear Your voice, we come

One day Your great Kingdom will be fully revealed
Love and peace will finally reign.
Yet today please tell us what You’d have us to do
As we work together toward that aim.

I sing this nearly every day.

Maybe I will keep singing it…until all have seen and heard the Good News of the Kingdom.

Kingdom ReflectionQuestion for reflection: What would Jesus have you do today as you work together with Him toward the aim of revealing His Kingdom? Is now the time to listen?

Kingdom prayer: Lord Jesus, throughout this world, please multiply groups and fellowships centered on You and who willingly follow You in taking Kingdom-focused action. Amen

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.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xbhn1o4i4vj3yrs/Salt_Point%20-%20Copy.MOV?dl=0

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.