Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What is Kingdom life anyway?

I've mentioned a couple of times in my blog the phrase Kingdom life.  It may or may not be familiar to you.  It think it is best described in one of my favorite books: Soul Revolution: How Imperfect People Become All God Intended, by John Burke  http://www.soulrevolution.net/

 Soul Revolution, p. 98-100 (bold highlighting added by me):

Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is near--and this is good news." Why is it good news for imperfect people like you and me? Because life in God's kingdom--the way God intended for us to live, with him, with each other, and in relation to our world--is now available to ordinary, imperfect, messed-up people. That's the revolution! It's a completely revolutionary way to live right now, superior to our own kingdoms where we battle for power and worth and control.

This is good news for all willing humans because God has a plan to restore what has been lost and broken relationally, one willing life at a time. It's good news because it's an invitation into the life we're searching for in all our relationships.

Jesus says, it's not religioius observance, but willing relationship that God's after. What you must do is repent and trust in this good news. The Greek word usually translated "repent" is the word metanoeo--which literally means "to change your mind" or "have a change of mind and actions." If you're only living life for the sake of  your own little kingdom, you must change your mind, turn from your old ways, and begin to live within God's kingdom. And that's good news--you can do it! But you have to believe it's good news or you can't take advantage of it.
Jesus explained, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20-21 NIV)
Do you realize how great the news is that Jesus brings to all humanity? Jesus paid the price to hook you up to a revolutionary way of life. Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, you are now invited to "Come as you are"; God takes you "as is" so you can begin to live life restored into a right relationship with him. As you're willing, God leads you into a life that grows within and then gives life to others. This is good news because it's a better, more powerful and more loving way to live!
It's not religion that God wants. Relational revolution is what he's after. It's not about jumping through spiritual hoops; it's about living in intimacy wiht God and others, so that God can begin to heal and restore what's broken in our world. Life in God's kingdom is relational. The means and the measure of maturity is relationship! That's why  true spiritual maturity is not measured with how religious or outwardly righteous we behave. It's measured in how willing we are to trust God, do what he says, and let him lead us to become loving, life-giving people to one another. God lives his life of love in us and through us as we're willing.

So, what does living Kingdom life mean to you?  Have you ever experienced it or encountered it?  What stood out to you most from John Burke's description? What'cha think??

Love to hear your comments and feedback....

Friday, March 16, 2012

Join the Journey...

I started this blog a couple years ago, but never got it off the ground. I finally think the time is right now to get it going again. It is a way for me to allow others to go on a journey with me as I discover how to have a life-giving faith. Faith should bring us life, not death; joy and peace, not discontentment and strife. I believe it is possible and I know it is because I've seen it with my own eyes. If you want to follow my journey, feel free to subscribe to this blog. My hope is it is an encouragement to you as you seek to bring joy and life to your journey of faith!

Words to Define a Passion

Today, God sent me a mission statement.  Born out of a passion, desire, feeling that I've been harboring and longing to put words to.  Recently someone asked me, "Do you know what your calling is; that one thing you all about?" I had some inklings that I have explored a couple times, but they were never solid enough to put exact words to...until today.

I was in my car this morning singing the song, "Christ has Risen" by Matt Maher. As I got to the the verse: 

O death, where is your sting? O hell, where is your victory? O church, come stand in the light. Our God is not dead, He's alive! He's alive!
I felt a familiar passion rising from deep within my soul. The longing to inspire the nations to the hope in Christ. The longing to inspire God's people to become all He has created them to be.  The desire to run up to everyone in the Church and proclaim, "Our God is not dead--He's alive! He's Alive! Have you heard?  Let's stop living as if we serve a dead God and live like He is alive. Let us stand boldly in the light as victors over death and hell, for we stand in Christ!"

Then the words came...
My mission is: To empower and ignite God's church with a passion for Kingdom life and a desire to bring Kingdom life to those around them.

So clear and precise, that it couldn't have come from me. That's it! The words to direct my passion! Praise God!!