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The Kingdom and My Life Choices (5 of 11)
Series: From Here to Kingdom Come
Matthew 5: 6-8
The two most important things Jesus ever spoke were the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6, and the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 and they both begin with the kingdom of God. Jesus' Sermon on the Mount has rightly been called "The Constitution of the Kingdom." For Jesus, the understanding of the kingdom of God was not a marginal emphasis, but it was the emphasis upon which everything revolved and from which everything gets its meaning.
And yet for the last 200 years, what has been the central organizing principle and power of Christianity? It has been almost everything from season to season except the kingdom of God. And when it is thee kingdom of God, it is almost always a coming kingdom identified with the second coming of Christ. BUT Jesus preached the kingdom of God as a mode of life for RIGHT NOW, a methodology for life. It was a possession and a program for the total life, now. And Jesus began the greatest sermon ever preached by saying, "How blessed are they who know their need of God, the kingdom of heaven IS THEIRS!" It belongs to us NOW, not just in heaven, not just when Jesus comes back, but here and now!
And it is not just an impossible illusion incapable of being lived out now, it is stark reality. To live the opposite of what Jesus says in Matthew 5, 6, and 7 IS an impossible illusion. In fact, life lived any other way is confusing, maddening, and a total impossibility to live! And it is open to everyone who is receptive. It is in receiving of the kingdom that makes available all the enablement and power of God to everyone - not just the good, those we think are deserving and worthy, but ALL regardless of present condition. The kingdom is offered to everyone, everywhere on equal terms - we don't achieve it, we receive it.
AND IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THE MATTER OF CHOICE, not just a choice about being born again, but a choice as to how they will live ou ...
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