The Kingdom Of God
Sermon Recap

The Kingdom Of God

January 16, 2019 | Brandon Lemois

When it comes to Jesus, his birth, death, and resurrection get the most read time of the story. But have you ever asked yourself, what was the point of Jesus’ life?

Matthew 4.17
From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”

Mark 1.14-15
Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News.  “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” 

Luke 4.42-44
Early the next morning Jesus went out to an isolated place. The crowds searched everywhere for him, and when they finally found him, they begged him not to leave them.  But he replied, “I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too, because that is why I was sent.” So he continued to travel around, preaching in synagogues throughout Judea.

The point of Jesus life was to announce to you that you could live a whole new way of life as a citizen of God’s Kingdom. And that if you live life in the Kingdom, you will be living life the way you were created to live, the way God planned for you to live before the foundations of the world.

Why is this is important? This year, many of you may be asking yourself, what should I do to have a better year? But perhaps you should ask yourself, who should I become? Are you becoming the person God created you to be?

When it comes to your life, Jesus cares much more about who you are becoming than what you are doing. In fact, he teaches that what you do is a direct result of who you are. So before asking what we should do, perhaps we should ask, who am I becoming

God is inviting you to become the person who you were always created to be. And to become this person, you have to live life in his Kingdom.

In light of Jesus’ announcement of The Kingdom, there are three questions we will answer:
What is the Kingdom of God?
What type of Kingdom is this?
How do I experience The Kingdom?

WHAT IS THE KINGDOM?

Kingdom of God is also called The Kingdom of Heaven, or just Heaven. It is the realm of God, the place where God is, and the place where all things are as God intended them to be. The reason we get confused about the Kingdom of God is that we only have certain polarized viewpoints about it.

Some of us view the Kingdom as Heaven, the place you go when you die, and is somewhere in the general direction of the sky.

Some of us view the Kingdom as the renewal of social and political structures so we are somehow trying to get Heaven down.

Luke 17.20-21
One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?” Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is within you.”

The Kingdom of God is not a reality to be perceived outside of you, but a reality to be experienced within you. And get this…it is whether you like it or not. The Kingdom is placed inside all of us when the Image of God was placed inside of us. The Image of God that is reverberating and humming inside all of us and guides us toward the reality of experiencing life within the Kingdom.

Reality of the Kingdom – we can experience a whole new way of life (2 Cor 5.16-17)

Results of the Kingdom – restoration according to God’s intent (Genesis 1-2; Isaiah 65.17-25; Revelation 21)

Reward of the Kingdom – Jesus, both now and forever (Phil 3.10; Romans 8.31-39)

WHAT TYPE OF KINGDOM IS THIS?
So what type of Kingdom is God inviting us to experience? This is the question we will explore over the next few weeks together in our Kingdom Come teaching series.

Jesus came to help us access the Kingdom of God. But when he describes the kingdom, Jesus never does so directly. He does so through little stories called Parables. He teaches us by pointing to what the kingdom is like, not what the Kingdom is.

I believe he does this to help us get to the core of what he has created us for. He knows some of us might get all type A and check off all the boxes, others are more cynical and may not believe everything, and others might get discouraged and quit. That’s why he says the best way to interact with the Kingdom is like a child.

Matthew 18.1-5
At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?” For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.

The Kingdom is like seeds, yeast, and treasure – Matthew 13.

Mustard Seed (13.31-32)

Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field.  It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”

Mustard plants are smaller and will cover a mountainside in months – today they are actually invasive. They bind together to create a thicket. You know how the seed is small and hidden? I want you to know that in time, soil, and a gardener, that seed will bloom within you and be useful. This is perhaps why you don’t see it. It is a seed that has been planted. It does not yet quite look like we would have imagined but something has happened and Christ is King.

Yeast (13.33)
Jesus also used this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.”

In order to rise yeast takes in the sugars and exhales carbon dioxide. This helps the bread rise, strengthens the dough, and breaks down molecules into smaller ones creating the flavor.

Field (13.44-46)
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. 46 When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!

He already has the treasure, why doesn’t he just take it? Jesus is trying to tell his story. The Kingdom is found in you, and in order to buy you, Jesus goes and gives everything he has, which is his life. Jesus Christ purchased the field through his death and resurrection so that he can get, who? You.

May we experience heaven itself now, today.
May we have the courage to be cooperative soil.
May the master gardener grace you with the gift of watering, tilling, and pruning when necessary.

HOW DO WE EXPERIENCE THE KINGDOM?
There is a tool called a Rule of Life that will help us keep the Kingdom of God central to our life. It is a set of disciplines that you create that help remind you of God’s grace on your life.

The Kingdom has four directions:
Up – Worship,
Down – Community
Forward – Mission
Backward – Rest

Over the next few weeks we will be introducing disciplines that we can engage that will help us remember the Kingdom of God in our lives in all directions. However, It is important to remember that we don’t practice disciplines to get God’s attention. There is nothing we can do to get Jesus to love us any more than he does right now.

NEXT STEPS
Set some “who” goals instead of “do” goals. At the end of 2019, who do you want to be?
Join a Community Group to be with other people.
Take an assessment about your wiring and discuss it with a mentor or counselor.

Assessment Ideas:
Enneagram
Myers-Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI)
Kolbe
The Chazown Experience
Right Path
Five Love Languages

HOW TO HAVE

THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE

Everyone lives a way of life, we just believe Jesus teaches the best way. Use this simple tool to apply the teachings of Jesus to three major areas of your life.