The Kingdom of God is poorly understood. Kingdom understanding brings wisdom to how life works. Seeing principles in scripture can be life changing.
The understanding of the Kingdom starts in Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Here we see the Sovereign of all the universe, whose realm, reign, and regency are described at the outset.
1. His realm (or scope of rule) is transcendent: that is, not only does it include the entire physical universe, it exceeds it. He existed before all creation, He expands beyond it, and by virtue of having begotten it, He emcompasses all that it is.
2. His reign (or the power by which He rules) is exercised by His will, His word, and His works. By His own will He creatively decides and designs; by His own word HE speaks creation into being: and by His own works, His Spirit displays His unlimited power.
3. His regency (or authority to rule) is in His preexistence and holiness (or perfection).
Man’s power and authority for exercising this rule/dominion originates in God’s intent to make man in His own image and likeness.
First Things First Principle
Matthew 6:33, "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
What is the message here in Matthew 6? It’s about making life work. It’s about LIVING.
Verse 19 Store up treasures in heaven...not on earth; verse 24 No one can serve two masters...you cannot love God and other things with the same love; verse 25 Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, drink, or wear. Look at the birds and the lilies of the field. Your heavenly father feeds and clothes them. You are more valuable to him than they are.
Where is God in your life? What number is He? Start putting God first and watch your worry go away. God is into first things. He wants to be first. This is why devotions in the morning, first thing, is best. This is why we start the year off in prayer and fasting. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
If you were God and you came to earth to save the human family, wouldn't you want people to know you were here? The message of God, the ministry of God to planet earth, the human family...lay in a manger, helplessly; an infant who would be raised by a teenage, first-time mother.
Jesus came from a family to bring the human family into God's family. It's 2020, the year of the pandemic, chaos, racial tension, a disputed election, numbers rising...plus a million other things to take your mind off of what matters. God has come to make you His son or daughter, that you might enjoy the access of your inheritance.
What is God saying by opening up the New Testament with the genealogy of Jesus?
- God works in and through “broken” families - all families are broken to some degree
- Children matter to God - you aren’t raising children, your raising adults
- Christmas can change everything - Holy Spirit conceives Jesus in us and that can change everything, Jesus, the Son of God, came from a family to bring the human family into relationship with His Father and Jesus taught us to pray….”Our Father….”
Children matter here too. Not McDonalds. The most important thing happening on this campus each week.
Bethlehem, though you are small out of you something big is going to come. In Matthew Chapter 1, Matthew is writing to the Jews trying to prove Jesus is the Messiah, the King. This wouldn’t be some aristocratic, untouchable, blue blood Messiah. This would be God sending a Savior who would identify with the people, the common blue collar people.
The New Testament opens up with a sketchy list of people who all come from the same family, the Jewish lineage that promised the Messiah. It begins with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It includes David who we can identify with because he messed up, royally. Oddly, it lists three women. Tamar - a battered wife who, Rahab, the harlot, prostitute, and Bathsheba - the wife of Uriah, the woman who committed adultery with King David, of whom it would be said about Jesus who is the Root of Jesse, the father of David.
Why long lists of names in the Bible? People matter to God, He makes a promise/covenant to someone, and not matter how crooked the people may be, we see that God is faithful.
Big things or good things or, better yet, great things and people come from broken families. All great things start small. You have to be filled with Holy Spirit inspiration and sight to be able to see potential in all situations. God sees differently than we do. He works in sketchy ways, more sketchy than your ways and my ways. But, He is effective in His sketchiness.
Professionals are telling us that stress is at an all-time high. The American Psychological Association said, "We are facing a national mental health crisis." Meanwhile, almost everything in our culture, entertainment industry, and media is denying God, attacking God, and even blaspheming God. In the face of the world and its culture, it is more so than ever time to intentionally and purposely commit time to seek the Lord by clearing away the clutter and making time for God in your life.
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded (James 4:8 ESV)
He rewards the faith of those who give all their passion and strength into seeking Him. (Hebrews 11:6 TPT)
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
At Restoration Church, we are Vertical, Biblical, Spirit-Filled (but not crazy), Next Generation and Missions Minded.