We have a lot of ideas of who Jesus is, and honestly most of it comes to us 2nd and 3rd hand – that is not all bad, that how we get taught we listen to others teaching us. However if we are not careful we will limit ourselves to how much we read the word ourselves! Its so important to be saturated in not only the FULL story of this amazing book, but in the words and actions of Jesus himself.
We do have a lot of ideas of who Jesus was and lots of questions… and Only God knows the answers to a lot of our questions, of course. But we must be confident of this: that Jesus intends for his kingdom to spread, it is a CONTAGIOUS KINGDOM.
Jesus invitation that started with 12 younger men still stands. Come and follow me. Not just listen to what He says, but follow Him, learn how He walks, how He talks, how He treated others, how He treated women, how He treat His mother and step dad and how He spend so much time in prayer with God.
JOHN 13:35 – Jesus is talking about they will know you are followers of me by the way you love each other. In other words, my reputation is carried out by the way you treat and care and love and speak about one another. And we are not living up to those standards!
So… Kingdom Community – Pastor Mark has been speaking about that for a while now. I love the the concept of it. But what does it actually mean, and HOW ON EARTH DO WE ACTUALLY BRING IT?
Jesus Kingdom, The Kingdom of Heaven as it phrases in most of the New Testament. The Kings domain is real, its ideal, its a system. With Grace at the forefront and Love as its foundation. Its something we can live in, and its a lifestyle we can learn to walk with.
It says in Matthew 11: ‘Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.’ Jesus AGAIN has the invitation to follow him, With GRACE at the forefront.
As Christians, as people who believe in Jesus and follow whats he says – we believe that we have been SAVED by the Grace. We were doomed, lost and it is by His amazing GRACE that we are found. Period. – But I think a problem we have is we think once we have been saved by Grace that the Old law will sustain us. If its Grace that saved us and found us in the first place, than its only going to be Grace that will keep us and sustain us and keep us hungry for more of Him. Grace is not cheap, it was paid for already.
THIS CONTAGIOUS KINGDOM IS WERE WE CALL HOME, ITS THE PLACE WE WERE DESIGN FOR.
CS LEWIS PUT IT THIS WAY: If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.
There are people everyday you encounter that have NO IDEA about this amazing Grace, this contagious Kingdom, this Hope that Jesus is known for.
There are people everyday you encounter that are hurt, that are broken, that have been pushed out from different communities or even churches YET THERE YOU ARE – and Jesus has us, HIS CHURCH to spread the news of this contagious kingdom, this amazing grace. No one else is coming, we are the Plan – GODs plan here on earth.
You know Sundays are cool, sermons and such on Sundays are cool – but the best ones happy on Monday morning when you go into work, or Wednesday when you take that friend out to lunch is is hurting and you can offer some Hope, or when you put your kids down at night and you can leave them with hope of a better day tomorrow, or when you see someone in town and you do anything you can to make their day just a little brighter. You don’t need a title- don’t wait till Sunday to be a servant leader – you are that every day of the week!
Jesus’ plan to spread the word of His kingdom was us, the church. Not just ‘that church’, not just ‘that group’… but THE church. The collection of believers and followers of Christ all of the world. That is His plan.
I believe we need to BRING the word of the Kingdom, The GOOD NEWS of who Jesus is to our everyday life. We make it way more complicated than it needs to be. People are home sick, and they don’t even know it.
YOU BELONG HERE – You belong here at the River, At ROOTS YOUTH GROUP, in each others home, sharing meals together, supporting and encouraging each other, its actually foundational to our faith that we share meals together and we spend time encouraging one another.
You belong here. Before you believe, Even before you behave. You belong here. Because that is what the Kingdom is all about. Before we say no to one more person, can we remember how Jesus said yes to us. He welcomed us with open arms, so why are we not doing the same – as people who follow Christ’s example. You want to see me get fired up – I will fight for people – I will fight for everyones fair right at the foot of Jesus and the message of the Gospel.
In HIS kingdom we don’t make the rules. He has not given us choice over who to love. In His kingdom we all have a place, where Grace is the forefront, and Love is the foundation.
It is so easy to just hangout with people who think like you, act like you, vote like you, behave like you and yet I have come to learn that is not a Kingdom priceable – and it does not shaped Christ in me. I think all of us want to hear others speak in our opinions just in a different voice. We get offered so easily because you hold different values or opinions and sometimes we down know where those values come from. I hope we can ask Holy Spirit to teach us the values and core heart of the Kingdom.
DO WE HAVE
CULTURE OF ACCEPTANCE – Do we let people know they belong here. Before they believe, before they behave. You are welcomed. Jesus would see people that others forgot about or overlooked, He always accepted people how they were and called them to a greater standard of living by the way He loved them.
CULTURE OF GRACE – Grace is the forefront of the Message of Jesus. Grace is what saved us, Grace is what sustains us. Grace is the forefront and Love is our foundation of who Jesus is.
CULTURE OF YES – Peter was a Yes man. He learnt that from His Rabbi, from his teacher. He wanted to be more like Him, he wanted to walk like Jesus, talk like Him, walk on water like Him. The only thing he did not want to do the same was die like Him. We believe Peter was also crucified but upside down.
Are we following Jesus’ teachings and example with our YES. I know there are priorities, healthy boundaries we must have… But are we stopping things from happening with our quick NO. How willing is your heart for the YES. Should you serve at the church YES, why. First of its a lot of fun. And anyway you can serve others will always be a way to see through the lens of Jesus….
2 Corinthians 1 20
Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us.
CULTURE OF HONOR – Jesus washed the feet of both Peter and Judas. Jesus knew how to Love and yet Honor people who didn’t believe what He did, yet Honored them and held them up high. Giving respect and high regards to those around you. Through encouragement, words for someone else, getting someone lunch…
CULTURE OF JOY – Our King, our hero, was murdered, naked, without blame or cause. When my hero, my example did NOTHING wrong and yet faced the ultimate sacrifice through a torture of the worst kind.
WHY DO I THINK MY LIFE WILL MAKE SENSE ALL THE TIME. We are only Saved by HIS GRACE and HIS GRACE ALONE. If we don’t understand that in our gut then we will never understand what Joy is. One of our goals in YOUTH MINISTRY – One of our high values that every time I pray with he leaders before we start is that we will RAISE the Joy level of the teenagers around that. That can happen in so many different ways but starts with us having a revelation of what Christ did for us KNOWING WHO WE WERE AND WHAT WE WERE LIKE!!!