DINNER AND THE WORD Sessions 36 – 37 – KINGDOM DECISIONS
MATTHEW CHAPTER SIXTEEN AND VERSE NINETEEN
END TIMES CONFUSION
In these times, hypocrisy, judgment, segregation, hate, religious dogma, lack of understanding, and many other negative labels have been levied at the Church. We don’t live in an environment where the Church is generally relevant or effective in meeting people where they need to be met. By and large, the Church, in response to its low attendance numbers and its failing finances, responds with marketing ploys and programs to draw people back to church (not the lack of capitalization). Our job is to demonstrate the King and His Kingdom AND LET HIM BRING THE RESULTS THAT THE KINGDOM BRINGS.
“So above all, constantly seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness, then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly. Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself.” Matthew 6:33-34 TPT
We make moment-by-moment decisions that keep us focused on the KINGDOM! Our focus on the Kingdom is our testimony.
THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM
And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19 NKJV
Keys represent privilege, trust, and authority. When a teenager receives the keys to the family car, a distinct turning point has been reached. Growth, preparedness, training, and trust converge in releasing this expensive and potentially dangerous vehicle into the care and use of a son or daughter. It’s a big day and a weighty moment, for the authority granted could be as destructive as beneficial. Is the child ready? Are you ready to unlock the Kingdom’s impact on your life? The responsibility is not only the effect of that Kingdom in your life but the lives of those around you!
It is dangerous if we get it wrong, with the Church creating more religious damage than good. It would be incredible if these keys unlock our passions and abilities to see people’s lives transformed.
When Jesus said He would give His disciples “the keys of the kingdom of heaven,” He based it on each one’s coming to the same place of understanding Peter had reached when he said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (v. 16).
In other words, “the keys” are given to people who fully recognize Jesus as their King and yield to His rule as the mandate for their lives. Then, the full force of the Kingdom imparts gifts, talents, and moments that we will be used as representatives of the Kingdom to others.
THE FULL GOVERNANCE AND FORCE OF THE KINGDOM CAN NOT BE RELEASED INTO A SELF-SERVING ENVIRONMENT!
As keys give access, Jesus opens new arenas of possibility for us. As keys verify trust, Jesus entrusts arenas of service to us. And just as keys IGNITE, LOCK, and LOOSE, Christ sends us to people and circumstances waiting to be ‘turned on,’ ‘bound to,’ and ‘set free’ to the things of Heaven.
“ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN”
THE SIX KEYS THAT WILL IGNITE, LOCK, LOOSE
In the heart of every Christian lies the desire to lead a life that aligns with the teachings of Jesus Christ. But that desire, however good, is only fulfilled once we represent Jesus to someone else! The Bible, as the foundational text of Christianity, provides invaluable guidance on how Kingdom principles should govern a Christian’s life.
These principles serve as a compass, directing believers toward a life of love, righteousness, and service to God and others. Let’s explore some key Kingdom principles from Scripture that will release Heaven to Earth – “Let Your Kingdom Come!”
1. Seek First the Kingdom of God – PRIORITIZE KINGDOM THINKING
In Matthew 6:33, Jesus implores his followers, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” This verse reminds us that our priorities should revolve around God’s Kingdom and His righteousness. Our primary focus should be advancing the Kingdom of God in all we do.
2. Love Your Neighbor as Yourself – GIVE UP SELFISHNESS
In Matthew 22:39, Jesus commands, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This principle underscores the importance of selfless love and compassion. Christians are called to treat others with the same care and respect they desire for themselves. It’s a Kingdom principle that fosters unity, forgiveness, and empathy.
3. The Beatitudes: Blessed Are… GROW YOUR KINGDOM IDENTITY
The Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5:3-12, contains the Beatitudes, which outline the characteristics and attitudes blessed by God. These include humility, meekness, a hunger for righteousness, and peacemaking. Embracing these Kingdom principles leads to spiritual fulfillment and reflects Christ’s nature.
4. The Great Commission… GET GOING BY GENUINELY LOVING OTHERS
In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus commissions his disciples to “Go and make disciples of all nations.” This Great Commission underscores the importance of spreading the Gospel and sharing the Kingdom principles with the world. Christians are called to be ambassadors of God’s Kingdom, sharing the message of salvation.
5. Bearing the Fruits of the Spirit… GIVE HIM TO OTHERS
Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruits of the Spirit as love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These qualities should manifest in every Christian’s life, demonstrating the Holy Spirit’s transformative power and the Kingdom’s influence.
6. Be Doers of the Word… DO WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS
James 1:22 reminds believers, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” Kingdom principles require action, not just words. Christians are called to live out their faith through deeds of love, justice, and righteousness.
Living by Kingdom principles is not a mere aspiration but a lifelong journey for Christians. These principles provide a solid foundation for navigating life’s challenges, relationships, and purpose. By seeking God’s Kingdom, loving others selflessly, and embodying the values of the Beatitudes, Christians can fulfill their divine calling to be lights in a world in need of God’s grace and love. Through adherence to these principles, believers can experience the abundant life promised by Jesus and help bring the Kingdom of God closer to reality on Earth.
Conduct a comparative AIR Study of MATTHEW 5:3-12 and ROMANS 12
- How do the Beatitudes relate to the negative rap the church gets from the world?
- Describe a practical approach to “on earth as it is in heaven.”
- What has “let your Kingdom come” got to do with Kingdom governance?
- What do the fruits of the Spirit have to do with the Gifts of the Spirit?
- How is spiritual selfishness a Kingdom disrupter?