Notes from Sunday 6 October 2013..
Speaker: Pastor Tim Azonwenunebi
Key Passage: Luke 8: 1
Our key passage tells us that Jesus preached and demonstrated the Kingdom of God. Today, we are going to examine the necessity of Jesus going to every city and village preaching the Kingdom of God. Luke 16:16 says “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it”. Why is it necessary for us to press into Kingdom? Why is God offering us the Kingdom? What is this Kingdom and what is in this Kingdom? Why should we desire the Kingdom of God? What does it offer us?
1. The Kingdom of God is of God is of Greater Value than anything in this world
If the Kingdom of God is usual or common, then there would be no point pressing into it. When Jesus said everyone is forcing their way into it, he meant EVERYONE. There must be something unique about the Kingdom of God. In Matthew 13: 44-45, Jesus said;
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
Why would a man sell everything he has, in order to be a partaker of the Kingdom? God’s Kingdom is a treasure; it is worth more than gold. When a person comes into the discovery of the Kingdom of God, he can give up anything to get it. There is nothing in this world as valuable as the Kingdom. If the Kingdom of God was of equal value with all of the man’s possessions, he would not have given up his possessions to obtain the Kingdom of God.
2. The Kingdom of God is Glorious
Psalm 145 10:12 says;
“All your works praise you, Lord;
your faithful people extol you.
They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom”.
We must talk about the Glory of the Kingdom of God. How can a man talk about the Glory of a Kingdom he has not seen or embraced? It follows that every child of God will experience the glory of the Kingdom, to be able to talk about it. The scripture talks about the ‘Glorious Splendour’ of the Kingdom of God. God’s Kingdom offers us the kind of Glory that nothing else offers us. We will talk about the Glorious Majesty of his Kingdom. If you are in the Kingdom of God, you are in the Kingdom of Glory. A man who enters a Kingdom of Splendour will live a splendid life. When we enter the Kingdom of God, our lives become Glorious. Jesus said to the Jews, “Abraham your Father saw my coming and he rejoiced” (John 8:56-59). Jesus meant that Abraham’s eyes of the spirit were opened, and he saw the Kingdom of God which was to come. These are the days of Jesus. These are the days that Abraham foresaw. If Abraham rejoiced, what then should we do? We must rejoice! Previously, we thought that accepting Christ was tantamount to accepting a worthless life. We thought wrong!
In God’s redemptive work, Jesus suffered in order that we might be brought into the Glory. The scripture says “in bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists,should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered” (Hebrews 2:10). The Kingdom of God will not devalue or degrade you, it will uplift you. Luke 18:29-30 says;
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”
God will not leave you at the level at which he met you. The Bible says “Of the increase of his Kingdom, there shall be no end” (Isaiah 9:7). The Kingdom of God is limitless: when God begins to increase you, men will not be able to determine the end.
The Kingdom of God means for us the administration of Christ, which can govern better than any human government, power or administration. If Christ was not better than the Kingdom of this world, we would not need it. This is why the Bible says; “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33). Jesus said to Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place” (John 18:36). We are in this world, but we are under a different administration. A believer in Christ lives in two Kingdoms; physically we are in Nigeria, but live by Christ’s regime. Matthew 17: 24-26 explains this;
“After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”
“Yes, he does,” he replied.
When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak.“What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?”
“From others,” Peter answered.
“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”
Jesus is not bound by the laws or operation of the Kingdom of man. It may seem magical. It is supernatural and mysterious. The Kingdom can do for you beyond what human language can articulate.
This Kingdom is in two phases; when Jesus came to earth the first time, people looked forward to the next phase. People thought the Kingdom should immediately appear, as Jesus had been preaching about the Kingdom of God for three and a half years.
The Kingdom of God exists in enemy territory. However, God has promised us in Psalms 110:2-3;
“The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion,saying,
Rule in the midst of your enemies!”Your troops will be willing
on your day of battle.”
Similarly, Daniel 7: 12 says “The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.”
Satan’s kingdom has been defeated, but is still present. Why is this important? Some of us may think that as soon as we embrace the Kingdom of God, there will be no more battles or challenges in our lives. The Bible shows that Satan’s authority has been withdrawn, but he is still on earth. (Know that God teaches us through his word). God wants us to know this, so he gave us the parable of the Sower in Luke 8;
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”
When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said,“The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,
“‘though seeing, they may not see;
though hearing, they may not understand.’
“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”
The word of God is the word of the Kingdom. God’s word is the carrier of the Kingdom. God’s word is a seed, containing whatever he wants to do in your life. When God wants to make you great, he will plant the seed of greatness in your heart. It may come as word, as an idea, or as a principle delivered to the heart. However, the state of your heart will determine whether or not you will experience the greatness God has purposed for you. If the word of God is removed from your heart, what value remains?
There is work required to maximize the potential of the Kingdom of God. Will you allow God’s word come to fullness and maturity in your life? Instead of blaming the church for failures in our lives, can we change the state of our hearts? If it was not possible for God’s word to produce a 100 percent increase, Jesus would not say it. Jesus said “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10)”.
1) the seed of the Kingdom will not be wasted in our lives;
2) The possibilities we have will not be wasted;
3) Also, may we be filled with the fullness of God, to reach the maximum God has ordained for us;
4) May we not be ashamed of Jesus.
God will envelope you. May the power of God come upon you!