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Luke 13:20-21 - And again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? 21 It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.”
A Kingdom Disciple is a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. The phrase, Kingdom Disciple, is my shorthand way of communicating what it means to live faithfully as Christ’s follower, under his Lordship, and for his Kingdom. This distinctive is not mine. It’s neither innovative nor original. However, my goal in emphasizing Kingdom Discipleship is to help men see more fully what God has revealed in and through his Word about following Christ.
Jesus Christ is Lord
By using the phrase, Kingdom Discipleship, I wish to remind disciples of Jesus Christ that our calling is to faithfully and obediently follow Christ in every sphere of life. This is imperative because Jesus Christ is Lord over every sphere of life. It was God who granted Jesus authority over heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18) and gave him the name above every name (Phil. 2:9). It would, therefore, run counter to the biblical witness regarding our Lord’s authority, for men to live compartmentalized lives as his followers. God doesn’t want us to submit to Christ for just 70 or even 95 percent of our lives. He wants all of us. To paraphrase Abraham Kuyper, there is not a square inch in all the universe Christ has not claimed for himself.
Therefore, our calling as his followers is to intentionally, faithfully, obediently, and joyfully extend his Kingdom – his rule, reign, will, and influence – into every sphere of our lives (in every area of responsibility, interest, relationship, and authority). Everything, the common and the uncommon, the sacred and the secular, is to be done for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31) and according to his will.
God’s Kingly Influence
The influence of the Kingdom of God and of his Christ must come through gracious, loving, and truthful persuasion, modeling, and witness, never through coercion or manipulation. The kind of transformed individual, family, church, state, society, and world God desires will not, indeed, must not, come through violent political revolution or rebellion but by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit and the subsequent “salt and light influence” of God’s people.
The Local Church
The primary means, humanly speaking, by which God’s Kingdom is extended in this way is through local assemblies of God’s people. It is in and through the life of the local church that the life-giving, life-transforming Gospel of the Kingdom is proclaimed, taught, and lived out. It is only as men, women, boys, and girls are reborn by the Spirit of God that they can enter the Kingdom of God (John 3:3-8). Then, as they grow in their faith, having their minds continually renewed and lives transformed, they become better educated, equipped, and encouraged to take this good news of the Kingdom into every sphere of their lives. And just as the woman’s yeast is mixed into the dough and worked until it permeates all of it (Luke 13:20-21), so too is the Kingdom of God extended into every sphere of life by his disciples.
The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord's Day 40
105. Q. What does God require in the sixth commandment?
A. I am not to dishonor, hate, injure, or kill my neighbor by thoughts, words, or gestures, and much less by deeds, whether personally or through another; rather, I am to put away all desire of revenge. Moreover, I am not to harm or recklessly endanger myself. Therefore, also, the government bears the sword to prevent murder.
 Gen. 9:6; Lev. 19:17, 18; Matt. 5:21, 22; 26:52.  Prov. 25:21, 22; Matt. 18:35; Rom. 12:19; Eph. 4:26.  Matt. 4:7; 26:52; Rom. 13:11-14.  Gen. 9:6; Ex. 21:14; Rom. 13:4.
106. Q. But does this commandment speak only of killing?
A. By forbidding murder God teaches us that He hates the root of murder, such as envy, hatred, anger, and desire of revenge, and that He regards all these as murder.
 Prov. 14:30; Rom. 1:29; 12:19; Gal. 5:19-21; James 1:20; I John 2:9-11.  I John 3:15.
107. Q. Is it enough, then, that we do not kill our neighbor in any such way?
A. No. When God condemns envy, hatred, and anger, He commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves, to show patience, peace, gentleness, mercy, and friendliness toward him, to protect him from harm as much as we can, and to do good even to our enemies.
 Matt. 7:12; 22:39; Rom. 12:10.  Matt. 5:5; Luke 6:36; Rom. 12:10, 18; Gal. 6:1, 2; Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:12; I Pet. 3:8.  Ex. 23:4, 5; Matt. 5:44, 45; Rom. 12:20.
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To pray well is the better half of study. (Martin Luther)
This Week’s Scripture
· Genesis 18:1-15
· Psalm 116:1-19
· Romans 5:1-8
· Matthew 9:35 – 10:8
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
our God is merciful.
6 The Lord preserves the simple;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
7 Return, O my soul, to your rest;
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed (verse 1)
Alas! And did my Savior bleed, and did my Sovereign die?
Would he devote that sacred head for sinners such as I?
At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light,
and the burden of my heart rolled away;
it was there by faith I received my sight,
and now I am happy all the day.
Take time now to offer God your praise and worship.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8)
Can ye doubt, if God is love, if to all his mercies move? Will ye not his word receive? Will ye not his oath believe? See, the suffering God appears! Jesus weeps! Believe his tears! Mingled with his blood they cry, why will you resolve to die? Amen. (Charles Wesley)
As David did in Psalm 139, ask the Lord to search you and know you through and through. Confess the sins God brings to mind, knowing you are forgiven and that He will cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
O Great Redeemer, I give you praise and thanks for your compassion. As the Lord Jesus traveled throughout all the cities and villages, teaching and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, he also healed every disease and affliction. He saw lost, hurting, and helpless people as sheep without a shepherd. And to this day, O Lord, you continue to remind us that the harvest is plentiful, yet laborers are few. Help me, merciful God, to be one who prays earnestly to you for those who are lost. Cause me also to pray that you would send out laborers into your harvest. And just as Jesus called out and sent the twelve, move me to become one who has compassion over those who do not know you. Here I am O Lord, send me to them with that same gospel of the Kingdom. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen. (based on Matthew 9:35 – 10:8)
Spend some time reflecting on the prayer of thanksgiving above and then thank God for who he is and the many ways he has poured out his goodness and grace in your life.
Supplication (Petitions – prayers for yourself)
· Lord, help me to faithfully participate in the life of my congregation and for the sake of my community…
Ø By my prayers
Ø By my presence
Ø By my gifts
Ø By my service
Ø By my witness
· Today’s events and interactions with others, planned and unplanned
· Other needs
Supplication (Intercession – prayers for others)
· My family
· For those who serve in government, at the national, state, and local levels
· For those who serve in law-enforcement
· For those who serve in fire and rescue
· For those who serve in our nation’s military
· Other needs
God wants worshipers before workers; indeed the only acceptable workers are those who have learned the lost art of worship. (A.W. Tozer)
Today our walk in the word explores new life in Christ. Join me as we look at Ephesians 2:1-10 for our devotional study.
Listen to this devotion at the Walking Points Podcast. Click here or listen on your favorite podcast platform. The podcast version of the devotion has extra commentary I hope you will enjoy and be blessed by.
Psalm 63:1 – O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
I think I know what it means to thirst for God, to long for him, to hunger for him.
I believe there are two different circumstances in which I experience this longing. One is when I have been walking closely with the Lord. I feel it when I am spending much time with him in his Word, in prayer and meditation, in worship, in the reading of books by godly authors, and so on. The more I am with him, the richer my time with him, the more I discover I want to be with him, the deeper I desire to go in my relationship with him. There is a true sense of longing during such times.
And yet, as strange as it sounds, during those times in my life of spiritual draught and depression, I also long for him. However, there’s something qualitatively different about the feeling. When things are going well in my walk with the Lord, it seems my deeper longing for him will yield great fruit. I almost expect a rich encounter with him. Yet, when I feel distant from him, though I still long for him, I wonder if I’ll ever have again with God what I once had. It’s almost a “longing of despair.” Have you ever experienced that?
My experience is a good example of why it’s often unsafe to put too much stock in our feelings. Our feelings are fickle and they have the capacity to lead us astray. Not only that, but there are many things that can affect our feelings, such as our health, our sleeping patterns, our diet, the time of day, and our relationships. I often treasure my feelings, but I am very aware of how unreliable they can be.
It’s when we gauge our spiritual life based on our feelings we can get ourselves into trouble. For example, one day with the Lord may be a wonderful blessing and you may be tempted to think you should be canonized as a saint. Yet, another day might yield the opposite experience and you may begin wondering if you’re even a Christian at all.
Instead of living on that sort of spiritual roller-coaster, wisdom calls us to trust in the Lord always and continue plodding along with him every day, regardless of our circumstances and feelings.
God Himself is Our Reward
Hebrews 11:6 says God rewards those who earnestly seek him. Deuteronomy 4:29 tells us if we look for the Lord with all of our heart and soul, we will find him. In these verses, and others throughout Scripture, we are encouraged by the Lord himself, to seek him. His promise is we will be rewarded by finding him. You see, God is the reward!
Feelings are great. God gave us feelings. But they too are affected by sin which often makes them unreliable. Therefore, don’t put all your trust in your feelings but in the God who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He alone is the One we are called to seek, thirst for, and long after and desire. He alone is worthy of such a grand pursuit.
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Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path: (Proverbs 23:19)
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.