The Kingdom is Within You

Jesus made several interesting statements regarding the Kingdom of God, and as we have studied previously, He even tells us to seek the Kingdom of God first, and all the other things would be added to us.

Yet if you ask the typical believer what the Kingdom of God is, many of them will struggle to give an answer. Simply put, most people aren’t sure what the Kingdom of God is. How can we seek for something if we don’t know what it is? How do we know when we’ve found it, if we don’t know what we are looking for?

Today we are going to answer these questions. We will begin by examining what Jesus said about the Kingdom of God; we will begin to form a picture of what the Kingdom looks like, and then we will see what it actually is, and we will see an amazing picture of what Jesus Christ accomplished for us, and what he has Given to us.

God Works While You Rest

The natural reaction when things aren’t going our way and situations look bad, is to work more, try harder, strive more intensely – yet as we examine the scriptures, what we find is a different reaction being demonstrated over and over again. A reaction that is not one of stress, worry, striving or fear, but a reaction of rest.

This is not the kind of reaction that we typically expect, because it is not a worldly reaction; and it is not a worldly type of rest either. It is not “sitting on your hands and doing nothing” as opponents of this rest might imply; but it is a rest that originates in our spirit, as we behold the finished work of Christ and live our new identity in Him.

The Names of God Show Who He Is (Part 2)

Last week, in part one, we began taking a closer look at the names of God. As mentioned, names carry more of a meaning than what we have come to generally think. That’s why we see God changing the name of people whenever He made a covenant with them, or blessed them; such as Abram to Abraham, or Jacob to Isaac for example.

Given the importance of names, it would therefore benefit us to examine the names which God has given Himself. If He places importance on names, then all-the-more would God then want us to understand the names which He has revealed to s about Himself. After all, He didn’t name Himself for His own benefit, He did it for our benefit, because He wants us to know Him and His character.

So we continue today to look at the names of God and what they show us about Himself, that we would have a deeper understanding and relationship with Him.

Receiving Divine Power

Divine power. Supernatural ability. Going beyond human strength, human limits. Being something more. For years we have been infatuated with the idea of having power – even from the very beginning. It’s one of the reasons we like super-heroes… because they have strength and abilities beyond regular humans.

If we are being honest, “regular” human beings are rather weak on their own. Relying on devices and machines to accomplish most of our advanced tasks… not even the strongest among the animals when compared strength for strength and speed for speed.

Yet we have access to something that these others do not have, we have access to divine power which would actually put our favorite comic book heroes to shame – the kind of power that makes evil forces run and hide in terror. It has been given to us by God Himself.

This probably sounds to good to be true, and you’re doubting it in your mind right now… but I’m going to prove it in scripture, and by the end of this study today, you’re going to realize just how strong you truly are, and how to receive divine power; not just a nice thought or a warm fuzzy feeling – but real and effectual power that makes a difference.

What it Means to Have Love

Most people who have read the book of 1st Corinthians, are familiar with the phrase from chapter 13, stating that if you do not have love, nothing else matters. Most people and most preachers for that matter present this in a way which makes it seem as though this verse is saying you must work up love, and do your best to love others – and most people tend to accept and believe that to be true.

However, what I want to share with you today is a different perspective. As we take a look at 1st Corinthians 13, through the lens of Grace and the finished work of Christ, we begin to see something different than what is generally assumed. Something less focused on our efforts to try and work-up love within ourselves, and something more (properly) focused on Christ, His finished work, and His love for us. By seeing this, you will have a new appreciation and application of the love of God in your daily life.

Who’s Your Daddy?

There are literally millions of people who claim to believe in God, and Jesus Christ. Millions of people claim to be part of a vast spiritual family, and claim to be brothers in Christ. The question that I want to pose to you today in this study, is the one in the title… Who’s Your Daddy? Do you know who your daddy is? Do you know His character? Do you know His love? Are you simply existing in a spiritual family that you don’t really know… and if so, what can you do about it?

I had a conversation recently with a person who claimed that they didn’t really know what the will of God was… they didn’t really know what He would do (this happened to be in regards to healing, but the same could be applied to anything really) – this seemed strange to me, because if you have a close, personal, intimate relationship with someone, you get to know them, and you get to know their character and how they respond to things. If you see a couple that has been married for a long time, you find that they know one-another so well that they finish each-others sentences!

So what I want to share with you today, are some things about the character of God, the way in which He has revealed Himself, and how you can get to know Him in a more personal way.

The Essence of the Gospel and Love

At first, the title of today’s study might seem a bit disjointed, the essence of the Gospel and love. You might wonder if it wouldn’t be better to split these into two separate studies. Well, I thought about it, but the more that I explored each, I came to realize that the two cannot truly be separated; they are integral to one another. Without Love, there is no Gospel, and without the Gospel there is no Love. A surprising number of people today do not understand the basic foundation, the basic central core and essence of the Gospel message… all they really know, is that this guy Jesus, at some place and some time, died by crucifixion, and that for some reason He did it for them. (They may also include that He died for their sins).

What I have found is that for most people, these have become empty statements, lacking substance, lacking the essence of God’s Love and their personal identity in Christ. It’s one thing to say with your mouth that Jesus died for your sins – but it’s quite another to apply that reality to your life and to live from that place every single day. To take the fact that Christ has made you a completely new creation, and to apply it personally, and to make that identity completely yours, is the true essence of the Gospel. A fact that has been largely watered-down and even lost in many Christian circles today.

Living in Truth and Love

It’s no secret that the body of Christ is divided today. There are all manner of sects, churches and ministries to fit any particular tribe, taste or temperament that exists. There are even entire ministries dedicated to specific topics and categories. Personally I think that there should only be one category: Christ and His Finished Work – and from that, everything else will flow and every problem solved. Now, not surprisingly, when I mention this, some people get put-off and offended… they think that it is narrow-minded to say that the finished work of Christ can solve every problem, and when they tell me that, I typically respond by telling them that they have a very limited view of what He accomplished.

Sometimes that statement makes them curious and they want to know more; and sometimes it offends them even deeper – especially if they have been a believer for many years. Yet regardless of how long someone has been a believer, that doesn’t change the fact that there are countless people who have not been properly shown what the finished work of Christ actually accomplished, and so they have a dim view of what Jesus has really done for them.

What Place Are You Praying In?

Many times, I have heard people say, “I have prayed and prayed, but nothing seemed to happen!”. They are expressing their honest frustration at the apparent lack of results – and that’s okay. If we are honest, we have been there before, we know how that feels, and it is okay to express those feelings. God is not upset when people share their heart, in-fact He would much rather have open honestly than religious pretense.

When I have talked with these people sharing these feelings, we eventually get down to one main thing though, and that is the place they are in. And most are shocked when I mention this… because they don’t expect it… they don’t see it coming. You see, people have all sorts of places that they actually are in every single day. We really should only have one, but we have many, and the scriptures have something to say about it, in regards to faith and prayer in Christ; and what it says, may surprise you.

The Generosity of God Revealed

God is generous. I know by making this one statement, I’ve probably managed to offend someone. The idea of a truly generous God is not very popular today. Many people will say that they believe in a giving and generous God, but when you dig a little deeper, you will find that those same people only have a superficial belief in the generosity of God – which is to say that they don’t really believe that He is generous at all. I have encountered quite a number of people who feel that they must beg God to give them things and barely scrape by in life, and even some who think that the more needy and poor they are, the more it gives God glory and keeps them holy and humble.

On the other side, I have encountered people who say that God could not possibly be generous, because He wants to “test and try us” or “teach us lessons”, and then there are those think that God would just be some kind of magical genie, and so they oppose His generosity on those grounds. So what I want to share with you today, what the scriptures say about God’s generosity, and what He says about Himself.