The Growth of the Kingdom
Living Truth Radio Broadcast, April 3, 1998
In our last message we focussed on the revolutionary aspects of Jesus and His message, the Gospel of the Kingdom. It is my conviction that Satan has successfully distracted the North American Church by promising to satisfy our desires for ease and comfort and predictability. He has fooled many of us into believing that God is pleased with our efforts to create wonderful plans and programs and religious activities that give us a false sense of security.
He knows that when we all truly find our ultimate peace, security and sense of belonging in the awesome Love of God, and in the embrace of His loving family, a radical, irreversible change in our every thought, feeling and action will take place!
THIS is Kingdom activity! It begins in the deep, hidden recesses of our hearts, to cleanse and transform us from within! It lifts us up into heavenly dimensions in Christ, where God, His Kingdom, and His throne become a reality unto us!
Away with myths and fables and endless discussions on theology -- give us Christ!
Father, send us servants like Paul, who boldly admitted his
weaknesses, while continually acknowledging the all-sufficiency
of our Lord Jesus Christ!
2 Cor 4:3-6: But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them
that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the
minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious
gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Lord give us preachers who are not afraid to proclaim the revelation of Jesus Christ and His Gospel! God is shining into your hearts TODAY! You are beginning to see The face of Jesus Christ our Lord -- TODAY!
Herein is the beginning of a radical revolution! It begins as we surrender our lives to the power of His Word and the security of His Love! It frees us from forms, traditions, religious thinking, and the condemnation that our best will never be good enough!
My brother, my sister in Christ, you are accepted in the Beloved! You belong to Jesus! Now you must arise and walk in the reality of His Love!
The perfect Love of God can cast out your fears! The fear of failure. The fear of rejection. Even the fear of death!
Receive His Love today! This is the Good News of the wonderful, righteous reign of God! He is putting His enemies -- your doubts, fears, disillusionments, your pain, despair and bitterness -- under His feet! He is liberating your captive soul! Praise the Name of the Lord!
This brings us to another important Kingdom principle -- Kingdom growth and expansion. The pleasure of our God is to increase the intensity of His righteousness, peace and joy in this earth, and the level of freedom that His Creation experiences in Him. He does this in two basic directions.
The first is on the personal level. The second is on the corporate or universal level. In other words, He expands His work in the earth as we individually grow unto spiritual maturity, and also as others are brought into His Kingdom by the hearing of the Good News!
How beautiful is the running of those who run with the Good News of the Grace of our God! How wonderful is the message -- our God reigns!
This is where many of us can easily get out of balance. We either focus only on internal growth or only external growth. Regardless of your area of ministry, whether in the local church, or out on the mission field, we must always be mindful of both.
When any believer becomes focussed entirely on his or her own personal concerns, or even preoccupied with their own circle of Christian fellowship, death begins to set in. We then begin to lose our Kingdom vision, or at least an important element of it. This is crucial. Likewise we can forget about the details of our personal walk with God and time with the brothers and sisters while pursuing the grand vision of winning the world to Him.
The cure for these extremes is Christ-centeredness, and kingdom consciousness. Yes, God bought your salvation with the blood of Jesus Christ, but He was also IN CHRIST, reconciling THE WORLD unto Himself! How can we possibly grow in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ, while ignoring His very Heart?
I challenge you all today to rediscover your vision of His unfailing Love! Remember when you readily believed that all things were possible in God? Do you remember when your prayers were bold and audacious, for you understood the great potential of confident trust in His desire to bless His Creation?
Have the difficulties of Kingdom living foreshadowed your view of His eternal purpose? Have the testings of your faith left you weak and weary, or the disciplines of your Heavenly Father discouraged you?
Remember the admonition to despise not the discipline of the Lord, nor to faint when you are corrected by Him, for whom the Lord loves, He disciplines. But if you are without discipline, you are bastards, and not sons.
Today is a day to be healed and encouraged! The Father has been preparing you for His good work! Simply submit to His processing and the power of His wonderful Love!
You are the apple of His eye! He cares for you so much more than you could ever imagine! And for this reason He is shaking both you and me from our self-centeredness! He knows how this inhibits our full experience of His abundant Life!
How can we be delivered from our self absorption? Know this first: You will never deliver yourself from anything. Our world is being presently filled with self-help books, tapes and programs that may be of some use. But here we are talking about Kingdom Living -- not band aids! We are being immersed into the grace, the love, the power, and the fire of the Holy Spirit if God!
Jesus Christ is your Saviour, your baptizer in the Holy Spirit and your Lord! Receive all of Him! Receive His forgiveness and grace, and also receive the fullness of His Life into your being! He wants to manifest His Kingdom Life in you and in this earth today!
Kingdom growth is a dynamic reality. But sometimes we become preoccupied with the growth of OUR ministries, OUR churches, OUR plans and ambitions!
Jesus is building both His Church, and establishing His Kingdom. We do have a part to play in all of this, but we must be sure to just stay out of His way! The burden of this ministry is to see God's people released from the bondages of self, sin, sickness, religion, materialism, and our independent attitudes. Only the Good News of the Kingdom of God can accomplish this!
The churches of this country are filled with self-centered, comfortable pew warmers, who have little concern for the progress of God's eternal purposes. Could it be that our message has been too watered down and too weak?
Even some of the churches that are in so called "revival" have little impact on the communities that surround them. Let me tell you that the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is volatile! One who has been touched by its power will not easily continue in the modes of the past!
Jesus Christ is a man of consuming love and compassion for all! His seeking and saving of the lost knows no boundaries! If 99% of all men, women and children were to become saved, He would not be satisfied! He would leave the security of the fold to find the very last one!
This is the Heart of His Kingdom! Wherever His nature, His Character, His Holiness, His gentleness, goodness, meekness, faith, temperance, long suffering, love joy and peace are found -- there is the manifestation of His reign in the earth!
And not only that -- but His determination to see the fullness of His life revealed unto and in mankind is unrelenting! Jesus is the Eternal Living Word of God, and when He declared in the beginning: "Let us make man in our own image, and likeness, and let them have dominion over all the earth," all of the forces of the universe began moving towards this end!
How many of us have been drained of energy for this "Christian" Life? How many of us have become discouraged, as if in a losing battle? Well be of good cheer, you are ready to participate in the Battle of the Lord, becoming strong in Him, and in the power of HIS MIGHT! You can now begin to rest in Him, and take His Yoke upon you! Learn of Him! Then all of your striving can be according to His Working, which works in you mightily! (Colossians 1:29)
Simply give yourself to Him, allowing His Grace to impart unto you the very energy of God towards accomplishing His Eternal Purpose in you. In so doing you will naturally stir up the spiritual gifts that are already in you by virtue of His generosity.
Ministers, teachers, pastors and preachers: Listen to the Lord today. Forsake the yokes that men and religion have placed upon you. Begin today to flow only in the special abilities that have been placed in your life by His very ascension! Then you will begin to see lazy pew warmers become active participants, equipped for service in His Kingdom!
Don't worry anymore about church attendance, and the maintenance of the building. Let others do that! Your concern and God's concern is for the advance of His reign of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost! God wants to release you unto joyous liberty in Him as well!
You know we have touched on some sensitive issues today. We ask today that you will by your Spirit speak to our hearts, not in the Words of a mere man, but in your divine heavenly counsels. Only your eternal truth can free our minds and our lives unto your wonderful goals. May they ever be our goals as well!
In the Lovely Name of Jesus,