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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?.

The learning process…

“Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance…”
-Proverbs 1:5

Imagine if you were Peter what it would have been like to follow Jesus.

One day, you’re catching fish, and this rabbi invites you to follow him. It’s a great honor, a huge honor to have a rabbi ask you to follow Him. He thinks you’re good enough to take his yoke upon you, and you decide, all right, I’m going to follow this man and I’m going to learn from him.

As you follow him, you think he’s just a rabbi. That in itself is a big deal. You think he’s a teacher, someone who’s going to coach you. And he was that; he was a rabbi. He was teaching Peter and the others.

But then there’s a blind man that Jesus heals, saying, “The kingdom of God has come to you.” Then a there’s a dead girl and Jesus raises her back to life. Then, there’s a woman who’s bleeding and Jesus heals her. Then Jesus begins to teach again. He heals a leper and says not to tell anybody, but know the kingdom of God is at hand.

Now Peter and his fellow disciples begin to realize that Jesus’ words, the knowledge he’s sharing with them, these spiritual rules, and this idea that they live in a spiritual world is starting to affect everything in their material world around them in ways they never thought possible.

Prayer: Dear Lord, through your word, I come to know you better. I grow by your example. By following your spiritual rules, everything in my life is better. Amen.

Devotion: How has getting to know Jesus better every day changed your life?

By Bobby Schuller, Hour of Power Pastor

A new reality…

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Matthew 16:19

When Jesus came into the world, the thesis of his message in three simple words is either “kingdom of God” or “kingdom of heaven.” It’s hard to read any of the four gospels and not see the theme of the kingdom of God over and over again.

The kingdom of God is a different reality than what most people in the world propose to us. Many would have us believe that we live in a world in which everything is material, where power matters most, a dog eat dog world where you ought to get back at people, where lying is the right thing to do in a time of need, and anger is somehow a good thing.

Jesus says, no. In this world, we live in a different reality. Others may say that we live in a world where everything can be measured and understood through mathematical formulas, Jesus says, no. Our world is more beautiful and exciting than that.

And Jesus promises us this different reality that we can’t see with physical eyes but only with spiritual eyes. Jesus, preaching the kingdom of God, is telling us that we live in a spiritual world that has spiritual rules, that speaks a spiritual language, and that, if we can understand and receive the knowledge of this spiritual world, everything will be different.

So, Jesus came with the big message and thesis in mind to show people what the spiritual world is like and to invite people to live in that reality. He invites us into a world in which God has set the rules, a world in which Jesus is King, a world in which, if you know these spiritual rules, everything in the material world can change for the better.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to get past the material world to live, instead, in your spiritual world, your kingdom of heaven on earth. Amen.
Devotion: What part of your world is more material than spiritual? How might you make changes in order to experience more of God’s kingdom on earth?

By Bobby Schuller, Crystal Cathedral Pastor

Here on earth….

Jesus replied, ‘The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, “Here it is,” or “There it is,” because the kingdom of God is in your midst.'”
Luke 17:20b-21

Think about what Jesus’ ministry actually looks like. He didn’t just go around praying with people, asking them to convert and believe in him so they could go to heaven when they die. Jesus went around healing people’s bodies, freeing people from demon possession, teaching people how to live life, how to live better in society, and how to be more loving in the way they treat people now.

Jesus taught us that every time we pray, we ought to say these words: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.” Want to finish this? On where? “On earth as it is in heaven.” Not only that, he wants us to say that every time we pray.

Jesus wants us to ask God to bring heaven to earth. Jesus wants us to ask God, “Lord, let everything that’s going on in heaven happen on earth. People are not hungry in heaven, are not sick in heaven, are not afraid in heaven, are not war torn in heaven, don’t hate each other in heaven, but glorify you in heaven.”

All of those things that are happening in heaven, Jesus taught us to ask every day, every time we pray, every time we bow our heads that what’s in heaven would happen here on earth, in our bodies, in our midst, right now. That’s the message of the gospel – that Jesus came to save this world in which we live.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I am so blessed to live in your kingdom on earth. I pray that what is happening in heaven is what I experience here on earth. Amen.

Devotion: What things that happen in heaven do you want to happen here on earth, as well?

By Bobby Schuller, Crystal Cathedral Pastor

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