The Gospel of the Kingdom
Todays devotional is a clear and concise ‘state of the union’ of Christianity. Many Christ followers want to follow God as long as it doesn’t mess up their plans for their lives. I call these folks the ‘quarter pounders’. They are looking for nothing more than a get out of jail free card. While I would never questions a persons salvation, only the Lord knows the heart of any individual, I have to wonder why they don’t allow the Lord to guide them along the path of their lives.
When I decided to walk with the Lord I had to trust Him completely. That meant going against societal norms and understanding I would be mocked by people we do and don’t know. In all of that, I have found a simple reality, one can not apply western logic to the ways of our Lord. We can only understand God through our relationship with Him. His ways are not our ways, yet His plan is better than anything we could ever imagine because He has the big picture and only wants the best for us.
I can not imagine my life without the Lord…and to think some 15 years ago, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to walk with Him.
What is the state of your walk today? Ask yourself this one question, do I trust the Lord implicitly with my future? If not it might be time to get next to the Lord and ask why.
The Gospel of the Kingdom
by Os Hillman
“This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.” – 1 John 2:5b-6
When Christ came to earth, He came to bring to mankind the gospel of the Kingdom. Over the centuries, the Church has tended to emphasize only a portion of the gospel. That portion is the gospel of salvation. However, Jesus came that we might have more than just salvation. He came to give us a whole new life that was accompanied by signs, wonders, and His Spirit living in us and revealing Himself to us daily. He came so that we might walk on this earth as He did. If our lives are not reflecting the same things as Jesus’ did, we must ask why?
I have noticed three distinct types of workplace believers throughout my 24 years of walking with Christ. First, many of us come to Christ out of a need for salvation. Our hearts have been touched by His call on our lives. We reason and analyze the claims of Christ and make a decision for Him. It is the convenient time to accept Him in our lives. This first stage is often characterized by a “Bless me, Lord” attitude toward God. It is the first stage that primarily brings salvation into our lives. Some never really go past this first stage.
The second stage is the crisis stage. A crisis takes place in our lives, and we are motivated to seek Christ with a whole heart. However, this motivation is not out of pure love for Christ; rather, it is motivated by the desire to get out of the pain of living. The motivation is to solve “the what” versus “the why” in my life at the time. This stage is best characterized as “Help me, Lord.”
In the third stage we begin to experience the gospel of the Kingdom. It is the place where Jesus resided in His walk with His heavenly Father. It is the place of conviction. The number of people who live at this level are quite few, but these people are experiencing the reality of a walk with God that is foreign to all others. They are seeing daily occurrences of His involvement in their lives. They are motivated by a deep love for Him. They know Him. These people have an attitude characterized by these thoughts, “Have me, Lord; though He slay me, still will I trust Him.”
Where are you today? Have you merely accepted His salvation to simply float along? Or do you seek Him with a whole heart only when a crisis occurs? His desire is for you and me to live a life of conviction, motivated by our love for Him and His love for us. This is where we will experience the gospel of the Kingdom.