Saturday, June 21, 2014

Kingdom Living

Imagine traveling to some exotic location filled with interesting people and places to visit. You check into a very luxurious hotel that caters to your every need. Fresh flowers await you as you enter your very private hotel suite. There is a mint on your pillow and a large balcony with a perfect view of the setting sun. Three delicious gourmet meals are delivered daily to your door. You enjoy hot coffee on your balcony every morning and soak in the oversized jacuzzi every evening. You relax in your bed at the end of each day reading a really good book. It sounds like paradise, and I suppose that it is.  But consider staying in that room, alone, for a month, a year.. or even a lifetime!  What if you never ventured out of your hotel suite to encounter the people and culture surrounding you? What if you never contributed to the well-being of another person? What if you never shared your life or experiences with anyone else? This, sadly, can be compared to the spiritual life of many Christians today. 

How many times have you heard it said that spirituality (or religion) is a personal matter. That statement is almost always made to suggest that talking about or practicing your faith in public is distasteful. This culture of intolerance (i.e. discomfort with the name of Jesus) has caused many a Christian to withdraw from the culture that surrounds them. Christians may attend church services and Christian gatherings, read their Bibles (and sometimes read other Christian literature), and they may listen to Christian music and watch Christian TV programming, but do they do these things in presence of non-believers?  How do they interact with others in our culture?  Do they even really share their own spiritual condition with believers around them?

The saddest cases are Christians who live in family of non-believers who seclude themselves from their families. A woman who is a devout believer married to a non-Christian, with children who do not know the Lord. She may hide away in her prayer closet daily, but is she able (or willing) to step out of that closet to witness to those around her? encourage her family to experience the love of God?

All of this is by design. The enemy knows that the worst thing that could ever happen to his plans for your destruction is for you to wake up one day and realize that you are a soldier in the Kingdom of God. Your special talents and skills are all there for a single purpose ... To walk after the Spirit of God and help accomplish the perfect plan that God has ordained for your life and in His kingdom for those around you. Jesus wants you to know Him and to introduce Him to all you encounter.
Colossians 1:27-29: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 
Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 
Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
God could have sent his angels to earth to proclaim the good news of the Gospel.  He could have written it in the sky. He could have rained down fire from heaven. But, instead, he chose you. He wants your life to be His witness in this earth. Not only in word, but also in deed. How you live and what you do will play a part in God's kingdom purpose around you.  He will accomplish His purposes whether we participate or not; but, if we want to truly appreciate kingdom living and the power of God working in and through us, there is nothing better than to submit fully to the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Ephesians 1:17-23: That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 
And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

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