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Are you on the edge of God’s kingdom?

Are you on the edge of God’s kingdom?

Love Him

The religious leaders and elites of the Jewish faith were constantly trying to trap Jesus. One asked “Which is most important of all the commandments?”

Jesus answered that the Master your God is one; so love the Master God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’

There is no other commandment that ranks with these Jesus tells me.

Has it been granted to us to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God?

Mystery

Whenever I hear the word “mystery”, my curiosity kicks in. I want to know.

A “mystery” in the New Testament is something that had at one time been hidden but is now revealed to God’s people.

Now that is cool. We get to know stuff that no one else does. That shows you just how good God is.

To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. ~Jesus | Matthew 13:11

There are “mysteries” that are no longer mysterious to the child of God. “The mystery of faith” is the divinely revealed truth about grace, redemption, and forgiveness in the Messiah. It is hard (impossible even) to understand those until you begin to mature as a disciple of Jesus. As a citizen of the country that Jesus is King of, we get that insight. Unbelievers and atheist don’t get it.

Here are some the amazing things that are described as mysteries that we know about that others don’t.

  • Jesus’ incarnation (1 Timothy 3:16)
  • The indwelling of the Spirit (Colossians 1:26–27)
  • The unity of the church (Ephesians 3:4–6)
  • The rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51–52)
  • And the good news itself (Colossians 4:3)

The mystery of faith is a term that occurs in 1 Timothy 3:9. “Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.

Depending on the English translation, the Greek phrase τὸ μυστήριον τῆς πίστεως is translated “the mystery of faith,” “the mystery of the faith,” or “the deep truths of the faith.”

Will we suffer for God?

Kingdom of God

I am to show respect to everyone. It starts with the fear of God.  It continues with love of my brothers and sisters. It extends to honoring government authorities.

That is pretty straightforward. It is my calling.

It may lead to trouble. Jesus shows the way for He was killed unjustly. He submitted however. He did it for us so as to redeem us. Now that is some good news. I am excited.

Has the kingdom of God come upon us?

Jesus is King

Is Jesus my Master? Am I His slave? Does Jesus own me? Jesus is the King, anointed by the Holy Spirit and in charge of God’s country. Even the demons obey. I must obey Jesus.

Now in thinking about the authority of the Messiah, perhaps it’s helpful to consider two words. The first is the word dunamis which the Bible translates “power.” The second is the word exousia which the Bible translates “power” or “authority” and is best understood as “authority,” and there is a difference.

Do we have the keys of the kingdom of God?

Jesus is King

The Apostle Peter rightly declares the Jesus is the Messiah, the anointed one from God. Anointed to be King in the Kingdom of God. This is a huge deal and a turning point for the disciples. I must do the same. I must bow down to Jesus our King. It is a turning point for me as well.

Jesus responds. Jesus gives a great gift. Jesus gives Peter the keys to the Kingdom. Peter will be able to unlock anything he wants.

Why? Because Peter, and the others, have figured out that Jesus is King and in control.

Whoa Nelly, now that is something. That is good news.

Simon Peter said, “You’re the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus came back, “God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.

“And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven.” He swore the disciples to secrecy. He made them promise they would tell no one that he was the Messiah. | Matthew 16:16-20

What does this all mean?

  • Jesus must be a king if He is the Messiah.
  • Jesus was from Judah, the kingly tribe.
  • When Jesus was born, wise men from the East came looking for the King of the Jews.
    • “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:1–2).
  • Jesus taught that He would one day sit on a glorious throne.
    • “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matthew 19:28;
    • “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.” (Matthew 25:31).
  • Many people in Israel saw Jesus as their long-awaited king and expected Him to set up His rule immediately
    • “While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately.” (Luke 19:11),
    • Although Jesus’ kingdom is currently not of this world. Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” (John 18:36).
  • At the end of Jesus’ life, during His trial before Pilate, Jesus did not defend Himself except to answer affirmatively when Pilate asked if He was the King of the Jews
    • Pilate questioned Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He answered him, “It is as you say.” (Mark 15:2).

Peter figured it all out. Have I?

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There is power in prayer. At the Christian Training Center International, we see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Has the Kingdom of God already come?

Jesus is King

When will God’s country (aka the kingdom) come? That was and is the big question. The Messiah (the Anointed One) would usher it in.

It has already happened, Jesus declared. Jesus is the Son of God and the Messiah. Jesus came to us over 2,000 years ago. He established God’s country. I am a citizen of God’s country right now. Nothing to look forward to from that point of view.

What is the Kingdom of God? Who is the King?

Image result for kingdom of god

Pilate said, “Do I look like a Jew? Your people and your high priests turned you over to me. What did you do?” My kingdom,” said Jesus, “doesn’t consist of what you see around you. If it did, my followers would fight so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But I’m not that kind of king, not the world’s kind of king.” | Source: John 18:35-36 (The Message)

Breaking news!

Jesus is in charge of God’s Kingdom.

God is in a good mood.

I’m looking out my window. I see lots of stuff. The yard, the house across the street, a tree in the front yard, our daughter’s car …. Lots of stuff for sure. If I turn around, more stuff. Computers, books, clocks, desk and much more. More stuff.

Is Jesus the King of the Jews?

God’s plan was moving along on schedule. Jesus had been arrested and was now on trial. It was a little confusing. First to Pilate, then to Herod and then back to Pilate. Jesus was going to die and shed his blood for us. That was God’s plan and it was going to happen. Nothing could stop it.

Then they all took Jesus to Pilate and began to bring up charges against him. They said, “We found this man undermining our law and order, forbidding taxes to be paid to Caesar, setting himself up as Messiah-King.” Pilate asked him, “Is this true that you’re ‘King of the Jews’?” “Those are your words, not mine,” Jesus replied. | Source: Luke 23:1-2 (The Message)

What are we working for?

Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you [or soul]? What could you ever trade your soul for?” 

Source: Mark 8:34-37 (The Message)

Jesus ties everything together for us. We are not left guessing what is required of us in the Kingdom of God where Jesus is in charge.

Who is in charge of God’s country?

Taking God Seriously

Jesus is now at the core issue as He lays out His manifesto (Matthew 5 – 7). God has a country. It is a kingdom. Jesus is the Messiah and it’s King. Now that is some good news.

Jesus is clear about our mission. It is not to worry about “the things” of life. It is to totally dedicate ourselves to what Jesus, as the King of God’s country, wants us to do.

That is the main thing about the main thing.

How do we become children of God?

Image result for children of god

This is stunning. As disciples of Jesus, we are the chief objects of God’s fatherly love. We become God’s children through faith and are then encouraged by Scripture to imitate our heavenly Father in our daily living.

We also become a child of God by being “born again”. We were born as a child of our earthly father. They did what they could for us in raising us well but it had its limits.

What is God’s kingdom like?

The joy of deliverance is amazing. When God sets us free, rejoicing is in order. We were tied up missing God’s goal (aka sin). Jesus, our Master, set us free. We are now His slaves.

What is God’s kingdom like? It is spiritual, not physical. Now that brings celebration because we can have it now. We can be ecstatic.

We can embrace joy. We have great news!

The Doorway to the Kingdom

 

The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount produces a sense of despair in the natural man— exactly what Jesus means for it to do. As long as we have some self-righteous idea that we can carry out our Lord’s teaching, God will allow us to continue until we expose our own ignorance by stumbling over some obstacle in our way. Only then are we willing to come to Him as paupers and receive from Him. “Blessed are the poor in spirit….” This is the first principle in the kingdom of God. The underlying foundation of Jesus Christ’s kingdom is poverty, not possessions; not making decisions for Jesus, but having such a sense of absolute futility that we finally admit, “Lord, I cannot even begin to do it.” Then Jesus says, “Blessed are you…” (Matthew 5:11). This is the doorway to the kingdom, and yet it takes us so long to believe that we are actually poor! The knowledge of our own poverty is what brings us to the proper place where Jesus Christ accomplishes His work.

Source: The Doorway to the Kingdom | My Utmost For His Highest

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Backlot BBQ & Movie

Come join us for our Backlot Barbecue Event at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts on October 5, 2019. Learn more here.

Your ticket includes a delicious BBQ sandwich meal, a donut roast over an open fire, fun and games. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to enjoy DreamWorks “Madagascar” under the stars. All proceeds go to missions around the world.

DATES / TIMES:

Saturday, October 5, 2019

6:30pm – 8pm: Food, Games & Donut Roast

8pm: Outdoor movie featuring DreamWorks “Madagascar”

*BRING YOUR OWN CHAIR*

Learn more here.

Are we qualified to share the inheritance?

Thanks

Thanks

Now this is something to be thankful for. We are qualified. No doubt about it. God has done it for us.

God has prepared an inheritance for us. God has adopted us into His family. God, and God alone, has qualified us to share in His riches.

He sent His Son, Jesus the Messiah and it is now complete.

There is nothing else for us to do qualify to be a child of God. God has done it all. It is finished.

In my “work” and sometimes “family” life, I have to qualify myself. I have to prove myself. I have to demonstrate I can get it done. That is the way it works. That isn’t God’s way.

God’s world is different. It doesn’t make sense to us but it is reality.

We can share in the inheritance that our Father is preparing for us and all the saints. He has done it. There is nothing we can do to make it happen ourselves.

God is God. He does what He wants without our permission. He doesn’t ask us if it is okay with us.

God knows what needs to be done. God does it.

That is some good news.

Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

Colossians 1:12

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Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Is anything exempt from the rule of Jesus the Messiah?

 

Jesus is in charge

Jesus is in charge

Who is Jesus? The very Son of God who, as man, died for us and is now resurrected into an incorruptible body.

In the resurrection of Jesus, God has put Him in charge of everything. Nothing is exempt at all. Not a single thing.

So, how long will Jesus be in charge? Imagine billions and billions of years. Imagine it never ending.

That is hard to get my mind around some days because this is a world where things come to an end. In Jesus, who is in charge of everything forever, I live and have the same life. This is His gift to me.

God is God.

Jesus is in charge.

Jesus has been given all authority to His Son Jesus, our Master.

Jesus is the Messiah.

All this energy issues from the Messiah: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever.

Ephesians 1:20



If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

Will Jesus remember us?

Theif on the crossThree men  had been condemned.  Three men were hanging on crosses facing agonizing deaths. This is a horrific way to die. The Romans really knew how inflict the maximum amount of pain and agony. It wasn’t pretty.

One of the criminals hanging alongside our Master cursed Jesus: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!”  

But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him — he did nothing to deserve this.”

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.”

“Today you will join me in paradise.” ~Jesus on the cross | Luke 23:43

The criminal seemed to think this would be sometime in the future. Jesus was clear it would happen that day. Jesus remembered him. Jesus will remember us. Our names are written in the book of life. We are remembered. 

Jesus has become victorious.

God’s government (Kingdom) is not a democracy.

King JesusI need to change my mind (aka repent).

God’s government (Kingdom) is not a democracy. I have been raised to see democracy as the best form of government. And for us in America, it is.

The prophecy of Daniel 7:13-14 is so powerful and lays it out clearly.

“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

Jesus wasn’t elected. His way isn’t determined by a majority vote. God has always been in control and he has given everything over to His son Jesus, our Master.

God doesn’t need our permission to make a decision. It has always been that way. It always will.

On Palm Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem as King. The people knew it. After His resurrection, He ascended in Heaven and his Father made it official. He sits next to God and is in charge of everything in Gods world.

He has a new plan. It isn’t based on anything we know. Jesus put an end to that. No more trying to do good to please him.

Jesus is in charge of His world and government. He is in a good mood as a Father would be toward His children. He is also God.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

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