How the Kingdom of God Works…
And Our Place in It…Head, Heart and Hands
“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90: 12
God is there….and here. He is close. He is the all in all. Every human being knows this deep down in our souls. From the most ancient of civilizations to this day, human beings have searched after God, intrinsically knowing that God holds the answer to the knowledge of eternity – which He Himself has placed within our hearts. (Eccl.3:11) We all know that we literally are “here today and gone tomorrow,” yet eternity awaits….and God and His kingdom hold both the key to eternity and the key to living our lives for what counts right now….to living our lives in the fulfillment and joy and purpose for which we were created!
Jesus talked a lot about the kingdom. He centered it in Himself. He said, talking about Himself, “The time has come. The kingdom of God is near (literally, right here in front of you!). Repent (literally, change your mind – receive what I bring), and believe the Good News. He showed by His life what it looked like to live in the kingdom. And He told stories -called parables – about how the kingdom works, inviting us to receive it all and live in it!
In the next few weeks we look at some of these stories that Jesus told about how the kingdom of God works….as He shows us also our place in it, Head, Heart, and Hands…as He shows us what life is meant to be about as people of the Kingdom of God!
“O Lord, teach us to number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
Weekend of Nov.3rd, 4th “Kingdom Paradigm” (Living in the Kingdom Picture)
Early in our marriage I got the impression that Jane was angry over something. I can’t remember the details – as with so many things, they don’t matter and get lost with time. But I do remember that my response was to decide to get angry in return…until Jane took my hands in hers after dinner one night, and looking into my eyes with great concern said, “Brad, what’s wrong? I’m so concerned about you!” I was seeing things through a completely wrong paradigm. Jane wasn’t upset with me at all. And even if she was, I should have seen things through the filter, the paradigm, that she loved me and only wanted the best for me. A paradigm is a way of seeing things – a filter through which you understand and respond to things. It is essential that we see things through a correct paradigm. Today, Jesus shows us the paradigm through which to see things – and to live – in the Kingdom. Interested?
Weekend of Nov.10th, 11th “Kingdom Math” (Living in the Kingdom Equation)
Basic math. Negative numbers. Quadratic equations. Geometry proofs. Trigonometry functions. Calculus…. well, you get the point. There are many types of math and if one is to function in that realm, they must know the equations. God has a math as well – and like many things of God, it is hidden in mystery. For instance, the math for God who dwells in His essence as the Trinity is 1+1+1=1. Today, we look at God’s Kingdom math. It too is a mystery. But if we are going to live in the kingdom, we really need to understand the math! Interested?
Weekend of Nov.17th, 18th “Kingdom Vision” (Living with Kingdom Eyes)
They say that Ted Williams (one of baseballs’ all-time great hitters) could actually see the stitching on the baseball as it was coming to home plate traveling at 90 miles per hour! It pays to have good vision! I remember when I was coaching, another coach walked up to me in the middle of a game and told me to have the running back “cut back” right after he got through the line of scrimmage. I did – and it went for a touchdown. The other coach had “seen something.” But note this, If Ted Williams had never swung the bat his vision would have been wasted and if I had never told the running back to “cut back” the vision of that coach would have been wasted as well. Today, Jesus would give us “Kingdom Vision” in a way that perhaps we have never understood – SEEN before – so that we can LIVE with “Kingdom Eyes.” Interested?
Weekend of Nov.24th, 25th “Kingdom Urgency” Living in the Kingdom NOW)
My son, Jeff, is an emergency room/trauma nurse. He tells the story of how one shift they brought in the husband of the doctor who was the Chief of Staff. While Jeff immediately recognized the signs of severe sepsis and began to take action, no one else caught it or believed him. In fact, the head nurse was so busy talking with the man’s wife (remember, she was the Chief of Staff of the hospital) trying to “make points” and assuring her they had everything handled, that she told Jeff to “calm down and quit acting like it was so urgent.” But being Jeff – and this being his patient – he refused, living in the urgency that the situation deserved, saving the man’s life. The next day the Chief of Staff pulled him aside privately in her office and thanked him for saving her husband’s life. Today, Jesus would give us “Kingdom Urgency.” He would hold up the situation in which we live our lives and how this by necessity points us to living our lives in the “urgency of the Kingdom” RIGHT NOW. Interested?