Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Differences in the Two Kingdoms

Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. ~ Matthew 7:21
Yesterday, I blogged about the two kingdoms in this world. We each live by the rule and pattern of one or the other. It would be nice to say I always live by the pattern of God's kingdom but I don't. The difference is whether I accept it as normal when I'm living according to the pattern of  "this world" or whether it is normal for me to live according to the patterns of God's kingdom.

We are surrounded by the kingdom of this dark world and all the self-centeredness of it. God's kingdom is here, strong and powerful, but the gate into His kingdom is small and the road is narrow. (Matthew 7:13)

The difference for those who are living under the rule of God's kingdom is really quite simple but also difficult because of our cultures pressure to be self-sufficient. 
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Matthew 7:24
There are many good and moral people in this world who do wonderful things for others. The problem is they rule themselves (self-rule is the pattern of the kingdom of Satan). 

Regardless of how good we think we are, if we aren't listening to God's Word and putting it into practice, we aren't building our life in God's kingdom. There is a difference in knowing God's Word and hearing it. His Word comes to life by submitting fully to the Holy Spirit. It is only through the Holy Spirit that we can know the will of God for our everyday pattern of living.

The two kingdoms have distinct patterns. Which pattern is normal for you? Listening to God and putting what he says into practice or judging for yourself what is right and good?

Additional Resources: 
Vineyard Columbus online Sermon for February 15, 2009: The Challenge of Pluralism and the follow-up Bible Study (this study changes weekly and is not archived)

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the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

Copyright 2005-2010 Lisa Biggs Crum
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