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Posts tagged ‘Kingdom of God’

It begins with the heart…

By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 1:10-11

You have a calling, you have a purpose, you have something that God is asking you to do. Sometimes those callings, those purposes change over time so that when an old purpose or an old calling ends, we are sometimes left empty handed, a little blind.

Though each of us has a calling, things are different in the kingdom of God than they are in the kingdom of the world. We always want to begin, when we talk about calling, to ask, “What does God want me to do? Does God want me to do this? Does God want me to go there? What does he want me to do, vocationally? What does he want me to build?”

Those are good questions, but your calling does not actually begin with what God wants you to do. Rather, your calling begins with who God wants you to be. God cares more about your character than he does your accomplishments. God cares more about you being a good, courageous, just, friendly, loving, hopeful, joy-filled person, than he does about you creating a successful business, or even an outreach to the poor, or anything like that.

In the kingdom of God, our Father begins with the heart of each individual and plants within in it a unique calling in this world.

Prayer: Dear Lord, how reassuring it is to know that, by acquiring the characteristics that you have encouraged me to obtain, I will find my calling. Even when an old calling ends, by living the life you’ve designed for me, I will find my way to your next calling upon my life. Amen.

Reflection: Do you believe you’ve discovered God’s calling upon your life? If yes, describe that calling. If not, what part of your life or behavior is holding you back?

Kingdom Living.

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. Colossians 1:13

When the children of Israel were poised to enter the Promised Land, God told them to go in, possess the land, and dwell therein.

For us as Christians, the Promised Land means crossing from the natural into the supernatural realm. God has called us to come out of the kingdom of the world and to come into the kingdom of God. He calls us to walk by faith and not by sight.

The kingdom of God has different laws from our old kingdom, and we must learn to operate in them. Jesus said in Matthew 5:19 that those who both do and teach God’s laws in the Old Testament “shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” God’s commands are His blueprint for successful kingdom living.

Praise Him today for giving us the Holy Spirit, who enables us to live above condemnation and to grow in obedience to God’s commands (Romans 8:1-39).

Jesus, I praise You for taking me from the
kingdom of darkness into Your kingdom
of light. Teach me to operate by faith
and not by sight. Amen.


Miracles Show the Coming of the Kingdom?.

Jesus’ deeds—especially his miracles—offer additional insights into how Jesus viewed himself. It’s not the fact that Jesus performed miracles that illuminates his self-understanding (especially since his own disciples later performed miracles), but what’s important is how he interpreted his own miracles.

Jesus said, “If I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Luke 11:20). He’s not like other miracle workers who do amazing things and then life proceeds as it always has. No—to Jesus, his miracles were a sign indicating the coming of the kingdom of God. They were a foretaste of what the kingdom is going to be like. And that sets Jesus apart.

Jesus saw his miracles as bringing about something unprecedented—the coming of God’s dominion. He didn’t merely see himself as a worker of miracles; he saw himself as the one in whom and through whom the promises of God come to pass. That’s a not-too-thinly-veiled claim of transcendence.

—Adapted from interview with Dr. Ben Witherington III

Taken from “What Did Jesus Understand About His Own Miracles?” by The Case for Christ Study Biblefrom Zondervan (used by permission).

the Case for Christ Study Bible

The kingdom is at hand…

By Bobby Schuller, Hour of Power Pastor

“And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people.”
-Ezekiel 37:13

Most of the time when we think about Easter, we think about the fact that we get to go to heaven when we die, and that is true. Jesus is preparing a place for us where, when we die, we will be with him forever. It’s a place where we will be in glory with the Father. We will be in his loving care, and there will not be another tear shed. It will be beautiful, it will be wonderful, and you have nothing to be afraid of in that regard.

Nevertheless, Jesus’ main reason for raising himself from the dead and wanting to save us was not just so that we could go to heaven when we die. Jesus’ goal was to bring heaven to earth. That’s why Jesus continually preaches the kingdom of heaven is at hand; he says that all the time. That was Jesus’ message.

Jesus was resurrected from the dead because he wants to save this world. Jesus died on the cross to save our souls from sin, but he was also resurrected from the dead because he wants to save everyone in this world.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for bringing heaven to earth through your Son, my Lord Jesus. Amen.

Reflection: How do you experience heaven on earth?

Earthly Distractions.

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
Mark 13:8a

Recommended Reading
Daniel 10:1-21 ( )

Wars and conflicts are a part of life in a fallen world. But behind those conflicts are spiritual realities and dynamics that demand our attention and our involvement. That’s the reason Jesus taught His disciples to pray for God’s kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). Only when the spiritual dynamics on earth are changed will the physical dynamics between nations and people change as well.

Listen to Today’s Radio Message  ( )

Job 1-2 and Daniel 10 give glimpses into how spiritual realities affect life on earth. Satan likes nothing better than to stir up conflict and foment rebellion on earth. For when man is fighting against man, then man’s attention is taken away from God. When man is occupied with physical realities alone — peace between nations and individuals — then spiritual realities escape his attention. Creation’s groaning is heard in part in the cries of humans in conflict with one another (Romans 8:18-22).

It is the Christian’s duty to stay focused on heavenly citizenship and realities, to pray for the kingdom of God to be consummated on earth. Pray today for God’s kingdom to come  on earth as it is in heaven.

We must never settle for harmony at the expense of holiness, nor for peace at the expense of principle.
John Bradford

Job 1-4

By David Jeremiah.

Thorns, thistles, and thieves…

By Bobby Schuller, Hour of Power Pastor

“Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.”

1 Timothy 2:8

Who are the people that live outside the kingdom of God and the flourishing life he provides? In his word, the Lord calls these people wolves, or wolves in sheep’s clothing, pretenders, actors, lions, thorns, thistles, thieves, violent invaders, chaff that is blown away in the wind, whitewashed tombs, and so on.

There’s a clear distinction between these two lives – one that is dead, angry, bitter, and worried, versus one that is not. The second life, one lived in the kingdom of God, is so alive that even when a kingdom person dies, they still live. It’s a life that blossoms right where it’s planted. It’s a life that can be beaten, it can be hit, it can be hurt, it can be wounded, but it can’t be killed because it flourishes in the kingdom of God.

It is my belief that you cannot deny that scripture tells us that anger, bitterness, revenge, resentment, being easily offended are not at all a part of that sparrows-flying-through-life kind of living. Jesus commands us not to be angry because he loves us and He wants us to be happy.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your teachings on anger. I so want to follow your directives so that I can live a happy life in your kingdom on earth. Amen.

Devotion: How has this devotion helped you to understand the difference between the angry life and one lived free of anger?.

The flourishing life…

By Bobby Schuller, Hour of Power Pastor

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
-Psalm 16:11

Imagine what your life would be like if it were impossible for you to be angry. Imagine that! Imagine if it were impossible for you to feel frustrated, bitter, offended, or wounded. Would your life improve or get worse? Are you kidding me? It would be like the best life ever! Your life would be easy! It’d be “easy like Sunday morning.”

When someone cuts you off in traffic, you would just slow down, let another one in. Right? The idea of living life where you just can’t get angry, to me, expresses a fuller, richer kind of life. And, guess what? You can be that kind of person. You can. You can be a person who never gets angry, or hardly ever.

This, of course, is the image that Jesus gives us of disciples flourishing in the kingdom of God. Here are other images that Jesus uses when he speaks of people living in his kingdom: Birds of the air fluttering through the sky. Children playing. Guests at a party welcoming one another. Branches bearing rich and juicy fruit. Sheep grazing in a warm summer pasture. Lilies swaying the field. These are the images that Jesus gives us. And He says, “Take on my yoke. It’s easy. My burden is light.” This is the flourishing life.

Prayer: Dear Lord, you’ve given me so many examples of how I may live better in your kingdom. When negative emotions arise that cause me to slip away from your embrace, I will recall the beauty and peacefulness that you have described and find my way back to you. Amen.

Devotion: Which of these examples of the flourishing life help you to envision yourself living peacefully in God’s kingdom?.

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