I’m still stuck on Mother’s Day. Even though it was a week ago. I was reflecting, “Why is it so hard to be a mom?” Actually, it’s me and you as kids. We make it hard on moms. I remember a time they were fixing the road in front of our hose. They had put down fresh asphalt and I rode my bike on it! My mom saw me fall in front of the big machine that rolls the concrete flat. She thought I have may been flattened! Dad came home to a crying mom and boys who are laughing. Us boys used to play tag with real bow and arrows. It’s just dawning on me that I was a part of the problem. You gotta realize this. Call your mom again to apologize (Ha!)
Now, this teaching series has given us is a good opportunity to address the “christian words” we use. One guy asked me after a meeting, “What is salt and light? You were talking about that on Sunday and I didn’t know what you were talking about.”
Remember, not everyone knows all the fancy Christian words.
Today, we are going to learn about King and church. We’ll teach about God’s Kingdom. Not simply as a place that you have a ticket to the Kingdom of Heaven when you die. Jesus talked about God’s Kingdom on earth.
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.
Jesus teaches with many metaphors of the Kingdom:
He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field,
He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field.
He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.”
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Dave thinks that OHC takes it’s definition of God’s Kingdom from the Lord’s Prayer. “Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.”
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, 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
Definition: God’s Kingdom is where God’s will is done
- Heaven – The Kingdom is done 100% of the time
- Earth – There is a battle. Sometimes God’s will is done yet there is also an evil kingdom at war with God’s Kingdom
God’s Kingdom is not just in heaven. We get to be agents of the Kingdom here and now. What a great challenge!
We get to be God’s Kingdom in many ways
- At your work
- In your home
- In your neighborhood
- In Haiti
- In Mozambique
Illustration: Larry Novak
- Larry attended this service on a regular basis
- He died a couple weeks ago
- While in ICU, they pulled the plug. He asked Dave to pray with him.
- His body was broken but his mind was sharp.
- His wife and three grown children were able to be with him. They prayed together and shared final words.
- That is a picture of God’s Kingdom at work.
Illustration: Farmers donating resources
The farmers who farm those 100 acres as a service of others is a picture of God’s Kingdom
Illustration: The translator through our sponsor children
The people who sit with the families and translate our letters and prayers is a powerful picture of God’s Kingdom.
We have babies coming in our congregation more than once a week. When you hold the baby, there is something about that moment. That baby will cause a lot of strife for a long time, yet you can feel God’s Kingdom right there.
Illustration: Volunteering with Kids
There are small group leaders right now who are sitting with kids. That’s God’s Kingdom.
One thing about mission trips is the veil between the kingdoms is thin. On the Haiti trip a witch doctor converted to Christianity. We can see that and know the spiritual power in that, without question.
Yet Jeff Mickey tells Dave about a college student who gave up smoking after experiencing a worship service. It’s easy for us to think “Wow, that must have been a good service.” No, it’s the Kingdom at work.
- The New Testament word “church” is meant to be all the believers in an area who are following Christ.
- Not “Orchard Hill Church” but instead “The Church of the Cedar Valley”
- We have many people attending local congregations this morning and we need to cheer that on.
- The churches that can cheer on the others are confident and clear about their calling.
We are called to become fully devoted followers of Christ through our five communities. We will do that through faith, families, friends, and service.
When we know what we’re about we can cheer on other congregations who are also making an impact.
God is building a people, it’s called his church. He’s asking those people to build his Kingdom here.
Illustration: Love Cedar Valley
- 43 local congregations working together to serve
- There was a closing session at 5 Sullivan Brothers
- The band leader is a local church leader. The band had seven different churches represented.
- The pentecostal church was there waving flags
- There were dancers in the front, worshipping God.
- Of course, I was in the back standing hands in my pockets worshipping.
- This was when I thought, “I wonder if this is what heaven will look like…”
- Get ready for heaven. If this is too wild for ya, you’ve got more coming!
- The service closed with an artist asking questions about why the world is broken. At the end of the video, she realized that she could be the one to answer questions. “Here am I, Lord.”
- At the close of the video, there were people who gave a sentence about their personal life and said,, “Here am I, Lord. Use me.”
Do you have the courage to ask that question? That is the challenge for today. We can be agents of the Kingdom.
The kingdom of Heaven is a pearl of great value. When we believe the gospel and become a follower of Jesus Christ, we not only get an eternity with God in heaven, we get to begin eternal life right now and be used by God to bring His kingdom to earth.
Here I am, Lord. Use me to…