Posted: 12 Jan 2011 12:00 AM PST
There are two kingdoms—the kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world. When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are adopted into the kingdom of God.
Being a citizen of a country means that you have special privileges. These vary from country to country. However, as a citizen of God’s kingdom, we become members of the royal family. We are joint heirs with Christ. We have access to the throne of God. We have personal fellowship with the King of kings. We are His beloved children.
In order to become a citizen of a country other than the one in which you are born, you must meet certain requirements. The kingdom of God requires its citizens to accept the reign of a wise and loving King. It means acknowledging Christ as our Lord and Savior. It means being obedient to the Word of God. It requires our saying, “Lord, not my will, but Yours be done.”
Human nature is selfish. What we think we need is foremost in our actions and prayers. Prayer that revolves around our own plans, desires, and needs, however, can be contrary to God’s Word.
When we surrender our lives to Christ and submit ourselves to Him, we are placing our will in submission to the Lord’s. Thus we begin to pray, “Lord, reign in my life, dominate my thoughts, show me Your will.”
Within each of us rages the war between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world. With Christ we have the victory. Knowing this, press on, armed with the confidence that God hears us and will answer our prayers.The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil (1 Peter 3:12).
Just a little humor for you if you are stuck in the snow.
This is from the Year I lived in Nome Alaska. I loved it, Hosanna, the blond, and Red, the Red dog, are no longer with us.
It was never so cold for me that it was three dog night, but most were definitely a two dog.
Based on “Unlimited Opportunities, Part 1” by Pastor Mark Balmer; 1/8-9/11,
Message #MB446; Daily Devotional #2 - “Comfortable?”
Preparing the Soil (Introduction): I want to put a picture in your mind. Imagine a mountainous area with big open grassy meadows. In one of those meadows is a small stream. The rest of the scene has no running water. In the meadow with the stream is a herd of sheep. There seems to be abundant grass and water nearby, and the sheep are content right where they are. They have no desire to move. So, what will eventually happen if they are allowed to stay there? First, they will start to run out of food. Now you would think they would say to themselves, we are running out of food and look for more elsewhere. However, that is not how a sheep thinks. They will wander, but not far. As they start running out of food, they get used to less and less. Eventually, they could become so weak from a lack of food that they couldn’t move somewhere else if they wanted to. The problem was not a lack of grass and water. The problem was that they were content where they were, becoming content with less and less, until they no longer had a choice. If those sheep had a shepherd to guide them, they would not have been starving. The shepherd leads them where they need to be, not necessarily where they want to be (Exodus 16:1-3).
Planting and Watering the Seed (Growth): We can become complacent in our walk with Christ, as well. We can easily say, "There seems to be plenty of water and grass. I will just stay here." As the grass starts to get lean we might say, "As we mature we will not experience things as we did when we first believed." Or when something new is introduced we could think, "Well, that is not how God works here!" Complacency - self-satisfaction accompanied by unawareness of actual danger or deficiencies. Complacency is against change, against new ideas, against anything that would encourage us to move from our comfort zone. Complacency also breeds dead religion, looking for God to work in the exact same way and trying to put Him in a box. There is not a box big enough to contain God and the ways He chooses to work in our lives. You cannot go with God and stay where you are.
Harvesting the Crop (Action/Response): Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20, NLT) God does not want us to be complacent in our relationship with Him. He wants to stretch us and take us places where we have to depend upon Him to show up. God does not receive glory in good people doing good things. He receives glory when He does God sized things through us. Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” (Matthew 19:26, NLT) Today, look for where God is leading. It will be away from that place of comfort. Yet, if we cannot trust God to lead us, then who can we trust? Are you wiser than God? Do you know a better path to take? Do you know all things and what is really around the corner? God does. His desire is the very best for us. Today, step out and follow wherever He is leading. The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
Cultivating (Additional Reading): Philippians 3:7-14
Calvary Chapel of Melbourne; 2955 Minton Road; W. Melbourne, FL 32904; 321-952-9673
All Bible references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.
New Living Translation = NLT.