Please remember that sermon notes are meant to act as a guide and may not be exactly what was preached.
In order to be “in the Kingdom,” you first must understand the reality of the Kingdom. The Spiritual world is just as real as the physical and there is an ongoing battle for your soul until you draw your last breath.
The Kingdom of God is a spiritual rule over the hearts and lives of those who willingly submit to God’s authority, to those that walk in obedience to His Word. It is seen in our actions and attitudes and expressed in our words and in the love we have for others. Those who do not submit to Him are not in the Kingdom! If you choose to acknowledge the lordship of Christ and gladly surrender to God’s rule in your heart, then you are in the Kingdom!
- Small seed: The Kingdom of God came in the form of a man when the King was born in a stable over 2,000 years ago. Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed,nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.
In the lives of those who believe in him, the wonderful workings of the Gospel of the Kingdom and the Good News of God’s love, may start out small but it will remain steady and growing if we allow it.
If you want to experience God’s blessings, to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Kingdom, to walk in the plans He has for you, you will have to walk in obedience to His Word. How can you be a part of His Plan and be doing your own thing?
Why would you expect blessings if you are not following Jesus?
Obedience may start out small, but with the Next Step you take, you are that much closer to where God would have you to be in His plan! God tells us in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
- It Grows! And with growth comes change… The Growth of the Kingdom comes from the growth of its citizens! You can’t stay where you are, as you are, and grow; because with growth comes change! And in order for you to grow you must have faith, “you must believe that God is who He say He is and that He will do what He says He will do” (Blackaby). 1 Peter 1:5 tells us that God is protecting you by His power, “And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.”
Paul changed (Saul), he grew. He was out to make a name for himself, full of zeal to bring an end to this renegade sect of Jesus followers, these Christians, the Church. Then, after an encounter on the road to Damascus, he repented/turned, so that we see these words he writes in the letter to the Philippians (3:4-10), “If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
- It provides shelter: If we are to change our communities, if we want to make a difference, then we must grow! I want us to impact our communities for our King and for His Kingdom, to bring glory to God and Jesus to those of the world. But, for that to happen, we have to grow and change so that God’s Church, the Kingdom, can be seen out there, so that our communities will see the church as a shelter to the lost and the hurting, so that “the birds of the air come and make a nest” in its many branches, finding shelter from the world!
If that is to happen then we must be growing and spreading our branches both inside the walls of our buildings and outside.
Psalm 91:1-2 – He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Vs. 33 The leaven: A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9) You have the potential to be a world changer. You can bring change to the community you by being an agent of change to your neighbor – leaven – salt – light
Is the church out in the world today? Is it out there making a difference for the Kingdom?
Are you an agent of Change? You have the potential! Maybe it is time for an adjustment. Maybe it’s time to let go of some things and reach out and do something different. Repent/turn to Christ – 1st big step – big change!
- Do you live in the reality of the Kingdom?
- How has your life changed with the reality of the Kingdom?
- If your life has not changed, what does that imply?