Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Craving the Kingdom

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Craving the Kingdom

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Craving the Kingdom

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In the model prayer and elsewhere in scripture there is an emphasis on seeking the Kingdom. Amidst our daily pursuits are we craving and yearning for that Kingdom? Do we have the desire to fall under God's authority and sovereignty. We do this in part when we are baptized, but do we long for the complete fulfillment and complete commitment within God's Kingdom?

Transcript

These are the notes taken live during services as captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing. This is not a word for word transcript. For the exact wording, please consult the audio recording. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- There are two places in the Bible that talk about the model prayer. I want to turn over quickly to one of those places. Matthew 6:9-10 Matthew 6:9-10 [9] After this manner therefore pray you: Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. [10] Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
American King James Version×
Here, Christ gives us a model for how to fashion our prayers. Vs. 9 – We are to begin acknowledging God and thanking Him for His blessings. But of all the things that could come next, the next thing we are told to pray about is God’s kingdom. Matthew 6:33 Matthew 6:33But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
American King James Version×
There is a great theme throughout the Bible of God creating a kingdom; of God building a family. That is to be on the forefront of our mind. Why? Why the rush? Why should we seek the kingdom first? We know God will send Jesus Christ at just the right time. We can’t alter that. Regardless of the words we say, we can’t alter that. Why should we tell God we are anxious for it to come? We all have bills to pay. There are stresses there. But we make it. We have exercise routines. Trips to take. Reunions to plan. We all have a life, but we should be seeking the kingdom. We should want it sooner rather than later. We lead a dual life. We are praying and studying. We also grow up, get schooled, get married, have kids. We put energy into both sides. Is this what God has intended for us? A dual life? Self-pursuit of physical goals and full on devotion to Him? Matthew 6:33 Matthew 6:33But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
American King James Version×
Regardless of what other physical pursuits we have, above everything else, all our dreams and goals, we should be seeking first the kingdom of God. The United Nations recognizes 192 countries. There are possibly another dozen or so that they don’t recognize because of things they have done, or their territory is disputed (like the Gaza Strip.) But none of them are the kingdom of God. But the kingdom of God is the government we are to seek. It is not recognized by any current body or government. But we are to seek it. Vs. 33 – “Seek” is from Greek meaning eagerly yean for. G2212 ζητέω zēteō dzay-teh'-o Of uncertain affinity; to seek (literally or figuratively); specifically (by Hebraism) to worship (God), or (in a bad sense) to plot (against life): - be (go) about, desire, endeavour, enquire (for), require, (X will) seek (after, for, means). Compare G4441. Thayer Definition: 1) to seek in order to find 1a) to seek a thing 1b) to seek [in order to find out] by thinking, meditating, reasoning, to enquire into 1c) to seek after, seek for, aim at, strive after 2) to seek, i.e. require, demand 2a) to crave, demand something from someone Part of Speech: verb Eagerly yearn for the kingdom. You are so excited about the kingdom you can hardly contain yourself. Have this excitement in your belly that you can hardly contain yourself. It is almost like going on a trip or the feast. I know some have already started packing for the Feast. Some may be already completely packed. It is like the night before going to Disneyland. My family is like that. What rides you will ride. Will you stay for the fireworks? Of course, you have to stay for the fireworks. Out of those 192 countries, which is our country? Where do we place our allegiance? In one of those 192 countries, or somewhere else? Many grew up reciting the pledge of allegiance. We would stand and face the flag. There was a school in Arizona where they started the day outside. They would recite the pledge. Is that where we place our trust? It is not wrong to have national pride for our country. But how far do we allow it to go? There is another definition I really like: Thayer’s says it means “to crave”. So, Christ is saying we should crave the kingdom of God. To crave means to have an appetite for. Think about chocolate. Dark chocolate. For those who have been pregnant, perhaps you craved things. Fortunately, I craved the same things. Sometimes it was strawberries. Sometimes it was doughnuts. Sometimes it was peanut butter. What do you crave? If you crave something in your diet, you are probably lacking in eating enough of that thing. In a proper perspective, we might crave a new or new to us car. The latest phone. The latest game. To be around family or friends. Companionship and friendship. Do we ever crave the kingdom of God? To be involved with the literal fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets, we must crave it. We can’t compromise with it. Colossians 1:13-14 Colossians 1:13-14 [13] Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: [14] In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
American King James Version×
Vs. 13 – What does that mean? What does “conveyed” mean? We don’t use that word much anymore. He has taken us like a conveyor belt. He is translating us into something else. Vs. 14 – At baptism we begin to be conveyed or translated into something else. So what is the kingdom that we have been conveyed into? The Greek word “kingdom” is “basileia”. This is what Paul says we have been translated into. G932 βασιλεία basileia bas-il-i'-ah From G935; properly royalty, that is, (abstractly) rule, or (concretely) a realm (literally or figuratively): - kingdom, + reign. Thayer Definition: 1) royal power, kingship, dominion, rule 1a) not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom 1b) of the royal power of Jesus as the triumphant Messiah 1c) of the royal power and dignity conferred on Christians in the Messiah’s kingdom 2) a kingdom, the territory subject to the rule of a king 3) used in the N.T. to refer to the reign of the Messiah Part of Speech: noun feminine Basileia means the sovereignty of the power or the authority of God. This word appears 154 times in the KJV. Repent for the basileia is at hand. It is used in reference to the kingdom of heaven. The sovereignty, authority, or royal power of God. 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 [50] Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. [51] Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. [53] For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. [54] So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
American King James Version×
We are all here; we are not living the kingdom yet. We are all flesh and blood. How can we be conveyed into something that is not here? Vs. 54 – Our physical bodies cannot inherit the kingdom of God. So if we are conveyed into the kingdom, how does this fit? How are we conveyed into the kingdom at baptism? We are not in God’s kingdom now. Satan is still the god of this world. But if we can’t inherit it now, how will we be conveyed in this basileia? Booklet “The Gospel of the Kingdom” “This passage in Colossians shows that God's sovereignty and power begin in the life of the Christian at conversion.” Continues by quoting The New International Version Study Bible: “In this verse the word kingdom does not here refer to a territory but to the authority, rule or sovereign power of a king. Here it means that the Christian is no longer under the dominion of evil (darkness) but under the benevolent rule of God's Son." Here we begin to understand that we are conveyed to this kingdom – this basileia – where a permanent commitment is made to God’s basileia. While we are living this life, we are already under the authority of God. We are under the sovereignty of that power. It is not recognized by the UN or any government. But it is coming. That is the event pictured in this holy day. Revelation 11:15 Revelation 11:15And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
American King James Version×
God’s plan of salvation is all about God’s basileia coming to this earth, and that kingdom being literally established. Think about the holy days. They all point to that basileia. To the fact that we are already under that authority and royal power of God. At this feast we celebrate today and the remaining holy days of the year, and the Sabbaths, we acknowledge God’s power and authority. We acknowledge our dedication to that government that will be here when Christ returns. We are not to live of this world. We are to resist the pulls of Satan. But God’s literal kingdom is not here yet. The nature of animals will be changed. That kingdom is not here yet. But as baptized members, we are under that rule now. 2 Corinthians 5:20 2 Corinthians 5:20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be you reconciled to God.
American King James Version×
We are all ambassadors. We represent a government that is not here. It is like we are ambassadors living in a foreign country. We live under the authority of that basileia. Even though we don’t live with a pet grizzly bear yet, we are still under God’s basileia. As ambassadors for Christ, we should be supporting that basileia. Are we a true ambassador? An ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat who represents a nation. We live in the US. Are we everything USA? No. There is a lot of good here. But we are not 100% USA. But we are ambassadors for the kingdom. We are like athletes for the nations at the Olympics. They wear their nation’s colors. They are not a diplomat directly, but they represent that country. Likewise, we should be representing our true country – God’s kingdom. We should acknowledge the basileia we live under. The 1968 Mexican Olympics In 1968 the Summer Olympics were held in Mexico City. This was the first Olympiad held in a Spanish speaking country, the only one held in Latin America and the first to broadcast the closing ceremonies in color. The high altitude of the city caused many athletes to struggle in their efforts, and while there were many memorable events during this Olympic event – here are a few of the most notable: • While receiving their medals, Tommie Smith and John Carlos infamously raised their fists and lowered their head during the playing of the American anthem; • Bob Beamon set a world record in the long jump of 29.199 feet – a record that stood for 23 years; • Dick Fosbury won the high jump with his now-famous “Fosbury flop,” which has since become the event standard. Another notable athlete at the 1968 Summer Olympics was marathon runner John Stephen Ahkwari of Tanzania – a runner you have probably never heard of. John Stephen finished last in the marathon event at 3:25:27 – about an hour after the first runner crossed the finish line with a time of 2:20:26. (For a marathon runner, a pitiful time.) During the race at about the eighteen mile marker, tired from the run and altitude, John Stephen fell seriously cutting his knee and dislocating the joint. Rather than quit, he allowed his knee and leg to be bandaged – and then he painfully resumed the race. He would run for a short distance, and then walk when the pain was too much, and then run again – repeating this cycle over and over. The marathon event was late in the day and the runners all finished before dark – except John Stephen. When he finally arrived through the dark at the stadium the few spectators there were getting seating for the next event. They couldn’t help but notice John Stephen as he limped-ran his final laps of the race in the stadium – and they began to applaud him as they realized that even though he was the last runner he was determined to finish the race. He was the last of 57 runners to finish that marathon event in the 1968 Summer Olympics, but he finished the race set before him. There were 74 who started but never finished. After John Stephen finished running and received medical care, he was asked, “Why did you keep going?” His simple response was, “You don’t understand. My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start a race; they sent me to finish it.” To spiritualize the thought, God has not called us to start the race to the kingdom; He has called us to finish it. It is about crossing the finish line no matter the joints that blow out or the obstacles before us. Paul was very familiar with racing. Philippians 3:14 Philippians 3:14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
American King James Version×
Vs. 14 – This is a statement we should plaster on our computer screens. We must crave the kingdom. We must press toward the mark of the kingdom. While we experience setbacks, only we can decide how much we crave the kingdom. To the amount we crave it, that is the degree we will finish the race. No one held John Stephen’s feet to the fire. He craved to finish. Not even a dislocated knee joint could keep him from finishing. He represented Tanzania. He was an ambassador for that country. How much of those things do we have? We live under basileia now. Do we have the deep urges and cravings for God’s kingdom? Pray for God’s basileia to become a reality. Pray for the kingdom. We are not trying to get God to change His timeline. But we need to assure Him that we crave it. He wants to see our commitment to that basileia. Philippians 3:20-21 Philippians 3:20-21 [20] For our conversation is in heaven; from where also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: [21] Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like to his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things to himself.
American King James Version×
Vs. 20 – That is the country we belong to. That is where our basileia is; God’s kingdom. Vs. 21 – “Transform” in Greek is “metamorphosis.” Christ will metamorphosis our body into something else. This word is the same one used of the transfiguration of Christ in Matthew 17. We are going to be changed into something else. Booklet “The Gospel of the Kingdom” “We, as modern-day saints, also exchange systems of government when we are converted. We now give our allegiance and obedience to the Kingdom of God, even though that Kingdom has not yet fully come.” At baptism, we exchange our physical allegiances for God’s. We acknowledge His royal power in our life. Figuratively speaking, that kingdom is here for us now. We live under that sovereign power. When Christ returns, He will usher in a kingdom. It will replace and surpass all the kingdoms of the earth. As members, we represent that sovereignty now. I was with some friends a while ago playing poker. A lone Little Debbie star crunch was on the line. At one point, someone said, “I’m all in.” They had confidence in their hand. Despite that, they failed to show godly love by sharing the star crunch. Do we push all our chips in? Like we heard this morning, do we buy this field? Do we meditate on the full potential of the basileia we live under? Do we pray about this? Do we acknowledge to God the sovereignty? He wants to see that. John Stephen was dedicated to that race. We represent a country we don’t live in. Are we all in when it comes to God’s way of life? We faithfully observe God’s holy days and Sabbaths. Christ will return and God’s kingdom will spread to all the earth. All humanity will get to have the blessings we get from following God’s way. That kingdom is not physically here yet, but we are under its basileia. Christ encouraged us to crave the kingdom of God. We are to push our chips in. All of them. Crave the kingdom of God. Set your sights on the literal basileia that will be established at the fulfilling at the literal fulfillment of this Feast of Trumpets.

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