Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 18, 2011

EKG Day 37 Devotional

Everything is about the kingdom, just as Paul demonstrated by continually "engaging in discussion andtrying to persuade [others] about the things related to the kingdom of God" (Acts 19:8).

Evenn in our last glimpse of him at the unfinished ending of the Book of Acts, he was awaiting trial in Rome, living in a rented house, "proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with full boldness and without hindrance". (Acts 28:31)

This is the heartbeat of the church - now and then.

We have not outgrown this heyday of kingdom advance. We continue to live in days that are ripe for reaching our neighborhoods and nation with the gospel of Jesus Christ, experiencing His kingdom fruit in our daily lives, sending and supporting missionaries around the globe, and praying for those who are embodying Christ to the unsaved people of the world.

We are fully able to embrace God's kingdom priorities as His community on earth; proclaiming Christ's redemption, establishing new churches, united and made up of diverse types of people, teaching sound doctrine, enjoying true fellowship, giving ourselves to worship, and expecting God to work among us. But it takes more than wanting to. It takes  more than wishing it could be so. It even takes more than planning and our bulldog determination.

It takes Holy Spirit power.

Who in your neighborhood needs a word from God today? Ask God to show you where He is at work in your world. Seek the Holy Spirit's power. Join God in His work.

November 17, 2011

EKG Devotional Day 36

"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”   Matthew 16:19

Keys, like gate are a biblical symbol of authority (Isa. 22:22). And Jesus has given "the keys to the kingdom" - the power and authority of God - to His community, the church.

This doesn't make us the doorkeeper that decides who gets in but more of a steward who has the authroity to show that the keys are real, that they work, that they do indeed lead to life.

The best way I know to describe the "keys" is to think of them as the message of the gospel, which is the only way to be given acceptance into the kingdom. Jesus entrusted these keys into the hands of is apostles, who used them to open the door of faith for both Jew and Gentile alike.

And today these keys are in our hands, placed there by virtue of our relationship with Jesus Christ.

God has chosen the church to declare His mssage and uphold His truth. The church is God's kingdom people in community. This is why every kingdom person must of necessity identify himself with the church using his gifts and resources to advance its work as it in turn advances the kingdom.

The King has called.
The dying await,
The gates tremble.
The kingdom comes.

Take out the keys from your pocket or purse. Look at them. What doors do they open for you? What in your life gives you access to kingdom work?