Showing posts with label Kingdom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kingdom. Show all posts

Monday, March 13, 2023

Hebrews: Jesus is Superior to the Angels


STOP — Hebrews 1:5-14


The author of Hebrews provides a contrast between Jesus and the angels to demonstrate that Jesus is superior to the angels. God has declared that Jesus is His Son and to the angels God has commanded that the angels worship him. To Jesus God gave the Kingdom, but to the angels God made them servants.


Jesus is the King of the Kingdom and angels are his servants.


1. Jesus is greater than the angels because God has treated them differently. God declared that Jesus is the Son and that angels are to worship him.

2. God made the angels servants, but He made Jesus the King of the Kingdom.

3. Jesus was at the beginning and was responsible for creation. He is ruler over it.

4. Angels are servants of the Kingdom. They have the responsibility of serving God’s people in our task of working for the Kingdom.


Thank You for Jesus. He is the creator and savior of all things and I join the angels in worshipping Him.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Who Is Your King?

 {Judges 17:6; ESV}

In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. 

The book of Judges is the account of the nation of Israel between the death of Joshua and the establishment of the monarchy with Saul and David. The recurring problem this young nation dealt with was the lack of leadership. As long as God provided them with a leader: Moses, Joshua, and the various Judges the people seemed to do what was right, but once these leaders were gone the people seemed to always follow the religious practices of the kingdoms around them.

Rather than being God’s covenant people, guided by the Law, Israel desired to be another Canaanite nation, adopting the practices of their neighbors.

Israel’s unwillingness to accept God’s rule led to the invasion of foreign kings. No Israelite king ruled Israel, but there were kings who ruled Israel. These kings were cruel and their actions devastated the nation and kept the Israelites in bondage. 

Because of Israel’s choice not to accept God’s invitation to be their King, God allowed the invasions of foreign kings to occur.

The Old Testament often gives us a picture of what historically happened as a metaphor to the spiritual reality of life. Just as Israel needed to surrender to God lordship, we too need to surrender to God's rule.

We may think we don’t need a king in our lives because we have the wisdom and the freedom to do what we think is best, but the reality is that we are bound by the chains of a tyrant. Many of us are chained and enslaved. 

The habits you cannot break are not the result of your weakness, but are chains given to us by a cruel master. The lust, selfishness, and greed of your heart are the chains in which you have been bound. “I am free,” we yell as we fall back into whatever addictions we have developed to cope with life.

The reason why we self medicate with sex, alcohol, Netflix, Amazon shopping, exercise, or food is because that is how we have learned to cope with life. This self medication can easily turn into addiction and slavery.

Peter wrote:
For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb. — 1 Peter 1:18-19 (CSB)

We inherited a way of life from the world. It is all that we know and it seems like wisdom because it is how everyone else is living, but that way of life is really oppression. We need to be rescued from it.

Jesus is the King who came to rescue us. The foundation of the Gospel is that God’s good Kingdom is being brought into the world through Jesus. This was Jesus’s summary of his message:
From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near.” — 
Matthew 4:17 (CSB)

To repent, in this context of Kingdom, means to change our loyalties. I like to say that to repent is to defect from the kingdom of darkness and declare our allegiance to Jesus and his Kingdom.

We have a choice to make. Who will be our King?

Will we accept Jesus’s offer to be our King by repenting and following him or will we choose to be our own king too weak to stand against the oppressing forces the world sends our way?

The Bible teaches that Jesus is offering the opportunity to accept His Kingship to all people, but there will be a day when this invitation will cease. Jesus is preparing to return and on that day no one will be able to stand against Him. Everyone will bow before him, either in absolute terror or in absolute love, and worship the King of kings. 

Today is the day for you to defect from the kingdom of this world and become part of the Kingdom of Heaven. The day is coming when there will only be one King left standing, and on that day I want to be on his side.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Citizens of God's Kingdom

{Ephesians 2:19-22; NLT} 
So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit. 

There are two kingdoms. 

There is the kingdom of this world and there is the kingdom of God. 

 The reality of life, apart from Jesus, is that we are excluded from God’s kingdom. This means we are strangers and foreigners in the very kingdom that God created us to call home. 

Things can be different! 

Our citizenship can be changed!

 Not only can we become citizens of God’s kingdom, but we can even be adopted into God’s family! 

Before, while we were in our sin, we were outsiders, we didn’t belong to God’s Kingdom, but now we do. We were citizens of the world, and foreigners in the Kingdom of God, but now our citizenship has changed. 

The world is no longer our home, we are pilgrims in this land, because our citizenship is now in Heaven.

 I want to point out two implications that come with being citizens of God’s Ki ngdom. 

  1. We are not alone. I am not the only citizen of the Kingdom, and though it might feel like I am all alone at times, that is just a feeling and not reality. In this Kingdom reside all the faithful who lived under the Old Covenant as well as all of the faithful who follow Christ Jesus. The writer of Hebrews writes of a “great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1). It encourages me to think about all the people who have lived faithful lives, because it reminds me that I am not the only one to experience the struggles of faith. 
  2. There is a standard for living. God expects His people to live in a certain way. One of the expectations God has for His people is that we will be servants. We need to help those people who are in need and in the process bring God’s love and hope into their lives. A second expectation is that we live moral lives. The moral standard that we live by needs to be better than the standard the rest of the world by. People need to recognize that there is a difference in the way we live and the they live. 

What a word of hope we find in this passage. 

We are part of God’s Kingdom! Being citizens of God’s kingdom is going provide us with some challenges. It will be a challenge simply because our purpose of life has changed. The fact that we are citizens of God’s kingdom and members of His household needs to shape the way we live.


It needs to shape our lives because we no longer live for ourselves. Now we are representatives, ambassadors, of God’s Kingdom, and is essential that we to play the part.

Questions to consider: 
  • What was your life like before Jesus? 
  • Do you gain any hope from knowing you are part of God’s kingdom? 
  • How can you be a good representative of God’s kingdom?

Monday, April 20, 2020

Trust Jesus to Lead

One of my favorite stories in the Gospels is the story of the Rich Young Ruler (Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30).

I like the story because the Rich Young Ruler is a person in the Bible who American Christians can relate to.

While we may not consider ourselves rich, compared to rest of the world we are. In fact, the greatest stumbling block for Americans, just as it was for the Rich Young Man, is materialism (measuring the worth and purpose of our lives by the things we have or desire to have).

The Rich Young Man comes to Jesus with the question: "How can I have eternal life?"

Ultimately what the Young Man asked Jesus is how he can be part of God's eternal kingdom.

Jesus responded, "You need to keep the commandments."

The key, according to Jesus, is to remain in God's will. God revealed His will to Israel through the Law. For the Rich Young Man to remain in God's will required that he keep the commandments.

Young Man replied to Jesus, "I have kept the commandments."

We should not hear this as being arrogant, but rather a declaration that he was following what the Law required. He obeyed the commandments, and when he broke one he made sure the appropriate sacrifice was offered. In his mind he could truthfully say, "I have kept the commandments."

Notice Jesus did not challenge him on this point. Rather, he gave the Young man one more thing to do: sell his possessions and give the money to the poor.

Remember Jesus hung all the commandments on two commands: love God and love your neighbor.

What the Young Man revealed by holding on to his wealth is that he really did not keep the commandments. He participated in a religion, but true love eluded him.

The Young Man was torn between two desires. He desired the lifestyle that his money gave him, but he also desired to be part of God's Kingdom.

The Young Man chose the immediate desire of an easy life rather than the long term desire of following Jesus.

The result was that the Young Man missed out on being part of God's Kingdom. He came with the desire to be part of the eternal Kingdom of God. He went away sad because he knew his desire would not be satisfied.

I wonder if the Young Man was still alive in 70 AD.

Did he witness the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans?

Did he experience hunger that no amount of money could fill?

Was he one of the rich people who had their bellies slit open as they tried to sneak out of Jerusalem with their riches in their stomach?

Did he see the futility of trusting in his wealth and wonder how life would have been different if he had followed Jesus?

It doesn't really matter if he was alive then or not, because his choice led him down the path of the temporary which always leads to an ever increasing desire of the things of this world. The sadness he experienced when he left Jesus was the same sadness that had him seeking Jesus. His life was missing something, but he wasn't willing to to do what was necessary to fulfill the craving of his soul.

What about you?

Is there something in your life that you are hanging on to even though you know it is an obstacle to the life God has for you?

Is there something in your life that you have learned to rely for comfort and fulfillment but pushes Jesus out?

Until we are willing to trust Jesus more than we trust ourselves we will continue to be frustrated with the direction of our lives.

Following Jesus requires us to live with courage.

The first courageous step that we must take is to give up those things we have trusted to bring us happiness, pleasure, and meaning. It is a scary thing to give up what we comfortable with in order to venture into the unknown. We will never know the life God has for us until we do exactly what he tells us to do.

We must trust Jesus to lead the way to life.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Rend Collective - Build Your Kingdom Here OFFICIAL

Jesus asked us to pray: "Your kingdom come..."

May we continue to pray for the coming of God's Kingdom and may we yield our lives to God's will. 

This is one of my favorite Rend Collective songs.


The Spiritually Mature Life: Having the Fruit

On Sunday, April 7, 2024, I started a new sermon series at Bethlehem Church called A Spiritually Mature Life. This sermon series is focused ...