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A Thought for the Week--The Kingdom of God

Monday, August 28, 2006

"...the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Romans 14:17 NKJ)

Paul is writing this letter to the Christian church in Rome. He is chiding them about their putting standards for eating and drinking certain foods on one another. He is making the point that this is not what the Kingdom of God is about. The point he is making is that God has a kingdom, and it is about righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.  

God has a kingdom in heaven. John, in his vision, saw the heavens opened and the throne of God, with angels before the throne (Revelation 4:1-2). Jesus taught us to pray, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." There is a heaven, where God reigns, and Jesus wants us to pray for this kingdom to be established on earth. Paul was caught up into this place, called the "third heaven" (2 Corinthians 12:2). There is a heaven above us where the stars and sun and moon are. There is a middle heaven, where the principalities and powers are, where the spirits under Satanís authority rule. Then there is the third heaven where Godís throne is and where Jesus now reigns, "far above all principalities, powers, thrones and dominions" (Ephesians 1:21). 

God has a plan to establish His kingdom in the mid-heavens and on the earth, through His people. God is now establishing His kingdom in the hearts of His people. Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is within you." God wants to unite us with Himself by living in us so that we can reign with Christ as God brings all things under His feet. God will dislodge the reigning spiritual powers who reign in the second heaven, when they seek to use the people in their kingdom to destroy the people of God and the nation of Israel. Jesus will then establish His kingdom with us in the second heaven and on the earth. 

The Bible says that the heavens and earth will be united. The Bible says, "The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens" (Jeremiah 10:11 NKJ). The Bible says, "All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the kingdom is the LORD'S, and He rules over the nations" (Psalm 22:27-28 NKJ). We are to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God. We are to demonstrate the power and presence of the kingdom of God in us, by showing love to people, by establishing Godís principles in all aspects of our lives, and by healing the sick as Jesus did (Luke 10:8-9). We are to disciple the nations, leading and training them to bring Godís kingdom principles into all aspects of their lives--personal, family, relationships, business and commercial activities, governmental and educational systems. Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the good news" (Mark 15:1).

Father, we rejoice that You reign in heaven over all the earth. Let Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth also. Amen.

 

A Thought for the Week--The Kingdom of God

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

..."the kingdom of God isÖ righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Romans 14:17 NKJ)

Paul is writing this letter to the Christian church in Rome, chiding them about putting on one another their standards for eating and drinking certain foods. He is making the point that this is not what the Kingdom of God is about; rather, it is about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 

God has a kingdom in which His righteous will is constantly and consistently done. God wants us to know, desire, and receive His kingdom, and to bring it into the earth. Jesus taught us to pray that the heavenly kingdom and will of God would be done on earth as it is known and done in heaven. God has a plan to bring this about. The Father makes known His plan to the Son; the Son reveals and speaks the plan into the earth; the Spirit of God energizes or activates the plan into the hearts of Godís people. This is the way God created the heavens and the earth. The Father revealed the plan, the Son spoke the words, and the Spirit moved; thus the earth was created according to the plan, words, and power of God (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 33: 6; Colossians 1:16-18; Job 26:13). Paul is reminding us here that the kingdom of God is filled with righteousness, through the Holy Spirit. 

Jesus told us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all our needs would be met--spiritual, mental, emotional, and material (Matthew 6:33). God wants to meet all of our needs. He wants to awaken our spirits to the blessedness of serving Him as He brings about His kingdom rule and principles on this earth through the life of His Son in His people. God wants to give us revelation of what He is doing so that we can follow Him, and not have to figure out by ourselves what is the right or best thing to do. God desires to impart His righteous ways into us through His Spirit so that we can have supernatural revelation and wisdom from Him and be successful in our business and economic endeavors. Jesus told us to do this, and now He reigns so that we can have the fullness and the blessings of the heavenly life manifested here on this earth NOW. 

We are not called to try to do righteous things through our will power or our own strength. Rather we are called to know the righteous ways of God, to desire them, to receive them into our spirit, and then to release them into all of our being so we will bring them forth by our daily actions. The Holy Spirit of God will work the ways of this kind of life into us. The Father desires that we do this. The Son of God has declared that we should live this way, and now the Holy Spirit of God has come to bring this heavenly life into us and through us into the world. Truly the righteousness of God can and will come into us and through us, and we will be blessed.

Father, we continue to pray that Your kingdom would come and that Your will would be done in us and through us. Amen.

 

A Thought for the Week--The Kingdom of God

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"...the kingdom of God isÖpeace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Romans 14:17 NKJ)

The world is crying out for peace. Wars and rumors of war are prevalent in these times, just as God said they would be. Anxiety and stress are steadily increasing, just as God said they would. Worry and fear are gripping many, just as God said they would. The United Nations is deploying "peace keeping forces" on many fronts trying to keep peace as various ethnic groups within nations are warring against each other, just as God said they would (Matthew 24:1-14). 

Outside the United Nations building in New York is a statue depicting the UN motto, "they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." That quote is from the Bible. It is in both Isaiah 4:2 and Micah 4:3. The quote does not include the first half of the verse, which says, "He [God] shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people." Only after God brings His judgments into the nations can the nations have peace. The United Nations recognizes and is seeking the promise of peace that God offers, but they refuse to acknowledge the only way to achieve that peace. 

In the verse preceding these passages on peace, God describes the events that will bring about His judgments that will result in peace for the nations. He says, "Many people shall come and say, ĎCome, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.í For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:3 NKJ). God has peace in heaven, which is the place of His heavenly Mount Zion, the model after which the Mount Zion in Israel is to be fashioned (Hebrews 12:22). God has lifted the spirits of His people into the heavenly realm so we can have this peace brought into our being. We are the temple of God. God is bringing His peace into us as we seek the things above and not the things of the earth. From His temple in us, His peace will fill all of our being. He says we are to be filled with His Spirit. 

As we become filled with His Spirit and His peace, this heavenly peace will flow through us into the world. We can bring forth the heavenly principles of Godís Word in our lives and spheres of operation. We will come to the mountain of the Lord. We will bring to others the principles and ways of God that we have received from our God in heaven. We are vessels of Godís peace. 

The world is in turmoil over Jerusalem. God said this would happen. God will bring His peace into us, and He will also make Jerusalem a place where His peace dwells. There is great warring occurring because the world is not seeking the full peace of God in their heart and in Jerusalem. But God will bring peace as His kingdom is established in Zion. He has asked us to pray for this.

Father, once again we say, "Let Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Amen.

 

A Thought for the Week--The Kingdom of God 

Thursday, August 31, 2006

"...the kingdom of God isÖjoy in the Holy Spirit." (Romans 14:17 NKJ)

There is joy in the kingdom of God. David says, "... in Your presence is fullness of joy" (Psalm 16:11). It is difficult to be happy when we see the suffering and pain all around us. We can have times of happiness when we are feeling well, or when we see our children blessed, or when we have special times of enjoying some of the pleasures of life. We lose our happiness when sorrow comes. Joy, however, can be a deeper emotion, because it comes from deep within us. We can have joy amidst difficulty when we realize that God can and will work these difficulties for our eternal good. We can have joy even when we see sin and evil increasing in the world, when we realize that amidst the darkness of this world, God will increase the light and reality of His presence in us if we will but seek Him. We can have joy when we know that God will fill the heavens and earth with His ways and principles. David says, "Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations on earth." (Psalm 67:4 NKJ) 

True and lasting joy, like every other good and perfect gift, comes from God. True and lasting joy exists in the kingdom of God. All things that do not produce true and lasting joy shall be removed from the earth, so that only the things of Godís kingdom shall remain. "The king shall have joy in Your strength, O LORD" (Psalm 21:1). What a joyful life we will have when all the kings of this world find their joy in knowing, receiving and living in the strength of God! That is where we are going. God promises that kings will joy in the strength of God. 

The Bible says, "Öthe ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away" (Isaiah 35:10 NKJ). When we learn to live our lives with our focus on our living in, and receiving life from, the heavenly Mount Zion, bringing the blessings of heaven into this earth each day, we will have joy. When we live with a heavenly and eternal perspective on life, we will have joy. The Jews in Israel are back in their land. Many are more focused on the glitter and pleasures of Tel Aviv than on Jerusalem; they need a change of focus. All Christians have been brought into the heavenly realm, but many still have their eyes focused on the things of this world. We need a change of focus. God has promised to do this for all His people, Jews and Christians. Jesus knew the joy of, and received joy from, dwelling in Godís presence while on the earth. He taught these ways to His disciples. He said, "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full" (John 15:11 NKJ). We too can know the joy of the Lord, by focusing on Him and bringing His heavenly life into all spheres of our life.

Father, "Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit." Amen.

 

A Thought for the Week--The Kingdom of God

Friday, September 1, 2006

"...the kingdom of God isÖrighteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Romans 14:17 NKJ)

God has a kingdom. He lives in His kingdom. He wants us to live in His kingdom. He desires that we want His heavenly kingdom to come on the earth. Jesus, Godís Son, came from heaven to earth and became human like us. While on earth, He lived in communion with the heavenly kingdom. He told that the people that He does what He sees His Father doing (John 5:19). He said, "I and My Father are One" (John 10:30). Jesus taught us to pray that the kingdom of God would come to earth, and that the will of God would be done on earth as it is done in heaven (Matthew 6:10). 

Jesus listened to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God anointed Him. The Spirit of God empowered Him. The Spirit of God raised Him from the dead. Jesus lived in unity with the Spirit of God. The Father has the Spirit of God dwelling in Him. Jesus said that He and His Father are One, and that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to us also (John 14:16). Jesus said He would pray for this (John 14:26). 

Jesus wants us to be one with His Father. John the Baptist prophesied of Jesus that He would "baptize His people with the Holy Spirit" (John 1:33). The Holy Spirit says that those who are "joined to the Lord become one spirit with Him" (1 Corinthians 6:17). 

As we become united with Christ, the Holy Spirit imparts into us the righteousness of Christ. He imparts into us the peace of Christ. He imparts into us the joy of Christ. We become filled with the Spirit of Christ. We have Christ in us, and we are in Christ. This is what Paul means when he says, "It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20). We can live in the Holy Spirit as we allow the Holy Spirit to live in us. We can walk in the Spirit and no longer allow the old nature to have dominion over us. We can live in Christ and reign in this life (Romans 5:17). 

God wants these things for us, that we have victory over all our enemies and serve Him in holiness and righteousness. That is the blessing and promise of His New Covenant. These blessings can be ours, and we can walk in them by the power of the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus showed us how to do this and now is the Mediator of the New Covenant, working these things into us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Praise be to God!

Father, we rejoice in Your confidence in Yourself and in Your plan for us. Help us to live in and by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Truly there is righteousness, peace and joy in Your kingdom and for us through Your Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

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Serving God as He Unites Heaven and Earth in Christ

     
Rich and Kay Fick, Directors, Cyrus Ministries International

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