We are His KINGDOM People: In the World, Not OF It

As I watch the news today, my heart breaking for our nation as it steps farther from God, I find myself praying, “Here am I, O God. Help me to know how to be a Christian, in love with and serving You, being one who is in the world, but not OF the world.”

Today in this nation, same sex marriage gains approval in the court of human appeal. As one who believes God means it when He tells us that marriage is one man to one woman, having purpose in that union, it makes my heart sad to see this decision come to our nation. However, the thing that God reminds me of is the fact that God’s ways and Laws are given to distinguish those who are His from those belonging to the world. We are People OF His Kingdom, on assignment IN this world, charged not to be OF its system. Beloved of God, this world is dictated by a different wisdom and principles than God leads us to possess.

The world has every right to be the world. That is the nature of THE BEAST. Why are we so shocked when the world in which we live behaves in agreement with its nature? Our challenge is to remain in the nature God calls us to possess as people of His Kingdom.

The travesty is that too many of our children are going the way OF the world. That breaks my heart still more. However, Beloved, like it or not, this is their right of choice, given them by God.

“See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes AND HIS JUDGMENTS, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them” ~ Deuteronomy 30:15-20.

Our children and all those in each age have right of choice, to choose whether they will believe God, love Him and adhere to His ways, or whether they will serve the god of this world. What is our choice and responsibility as Kingdom people who are in the world, but not of it? As Paul said in his days of challenge, so must we say, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge” ~ Acts 4:19. We are responsible before God to make our choice and set an example for our children to follow. In so doing, as parents we are responsible to give our children the seeds of truth they need to possess so they can make their own, well-informed decision.

It is vital that we make a distinction between the ways of this world and those given us by God. Our children need to realize the choices set before them and the consequences when making them. They need to know that to choose God is to choose not to be of this world and its ways. They need to understand the difference available to us in God’s Kingdom. If we fail to help our children have understanding of what it is to be of God’s Kingdom, Children of the Royal court, tasked with eternal purpose, we will lose a generation of our children.

Watching the way of the world unfold and take hold in our nation is scary to me, for it signals failure to choose God and His way, which signals consequences that will come in behind those choices. That fear makes me want to lock my children and grandchildren away and protect them from this world. I want to make their choice for them to protect them from the fallout coming on the world. The problem is that God does not give me that right. He only grants to me the right and responsibility of a parent and grandparent tasked with setting a good example and training those He gives me in the ways and truths of the Lord.

Our nation is in trouble: not because I say so, but because God says so in His warning to those who follow Him, found and outlined throughout His word. The hope of our children lies with God, and we must do all we can to give them the resources they need to make the choice that is for their best “today” and their eternal destiny.

Beloved, our nation is in trouble because it chooses more and more to go the way of this world’s system, and that is the fulfillment of prophesy long ago warned of as the end of days draws ever closer to its conclusion. The question is, are we following God as Kingdom People, or are we toying with life as part of the world and its philosophy, afraid of taking our stand with God for fear of losing our position in this life or connection with those in it?

“Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, we will serve the Lord” ~ Joshua 24:14-15.

We each have our choice to make. Choose today whom you will serve and be the people of God’s Kingdom despite the ways of this world. In that decision, be head under God in your own home, refusing to allow the ways of the world to find refuge there. Realize, parent, that the father of the prodigal had to release the son to the world for a time, allowing him his fill so he could realize the caregivers in charge of hogs have it better in the Father’s house than one can have in the world. We all must die to self before resurrection in Christ can come. They must make their choice just as we had to do.

Our choices have consequences, be it blessing or curse. Our nation in this world is toying with the curse, in keeping with the dictates of this world. However, Beloved, the world has no hold on us who are the Blessed and Beloved People of God’s Kingdom. Walk as Children of Light (Ephesians 5:7-10; 1 Peter 2:9-10).

“…Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE Lord, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ” ~ 1 Corinthians 2:12-16 (read 1 Corinthians 1-2).

In Jesus Name: a Look at John 17 ~ Part 4c

Read John 17

“I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves” ~ vs. 11-13.

Hedged by His Name ~ Part 3

As we live within the hedge as people of God’s name, we possess a mind set on and driven by eternal purpose; and we bear His image, having His nature in heart and flowing out as adornment. Last in my thought for the hedge we have when we are In Jesus’ Name is found in John 15:

“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples” ~ vs. 8.

When we name our Children, we give them personal names that distinguish them as individual, but they are born automatically possessing our family name. It tells the world that this is Joseph of the family of Smith. Discipleship is the same. This is Peter, disciple of Jesus. Andrew was disciple of John until he united with Jesus, changing his alliance: he married into the family of Christ.

A family’s character is judged by the reputation of its family members, each making an impact on the reputation of the whole. Likewise, the teacher grew in reputation partly by the actions and behaviors of those aligned under his discipleship. That is what happens with us as we become disciples of Christ, we come under the name “Christian”, representative of that family name. People know of Christians what they see and experience of our actions and behaviors. Thus, they believe they know who Jesus is through that experience. Do we represent Him well? Our lifestyle is the answer that reveals the sincerity of connection with the Christ. It is not just words, but it is our actions and ways of living that reveal the truth.

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples” ~ vs. 1-8.

God has long had a people in the world, tasked with representing Him and His interests. They are called “the Children of God” and are of the lineage of that Name, disciples fed by His heart desires, through which the fruit of His Spirit at work in and through them makes Him known. That name comes with great responsibility and with the full resources of God for the fulfillment of our responsibilities as His representatives in the world. As we abide in the vine of Christ, possessing the family name He passes to us, we are His disciples, tasked with discipling others.

Like with the nation of Israel, others may see what God is doing for and through us, His great blessings toward us, and desire to take part in that. Their desire may draw them in with claims of possessing the family name, but they are weeds beside us, never fully grafting to feast on the vine in true commitment and surrender to Him. Such people are unproductive branches that sap the provision of God meant for feeding the vine.

Simply saying, “I belong to Jesus,” is nothing without fruit that proves adherence of the graft. The things we do and the words we speak have power that will reveal the vine upon which we feast. Beloved, if we call ourselves Christian, but live as one fed by this world’s philosophy, we blaspheme the name.

“The person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the Lord; and that person shall be cut off from among his people” ~ Numbers 15:30.

We can walk along side and claim the people of God as our own, but we cannot claim God without vitally uniting with Him. The truth of our unity with God will reveal itself by a life changed to agree with Him and His nature. The Amplified version of this verse in Numbers is scary to me:

“The person who does anything willfully and openly, whether he is native-born or a stranger, that one reproaches, reviles, and blasphemes the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from among his people [THAT THE ATONEMENT MADE FOR THEM MAY NOT INCLUDE HIM].”

“Whether native born or a stranger.” Strangers hear and see the blessed of God and enter the fold to claim the blessing without wholeheartedly taking the marriage vows that make for vital union and right of name bearing. Likewise, we can be born and raised among God’s people, but without personally choosing relationship found in vital union with God through Christ, we cannot possess the family name in righteousness and truth.

If we truly belong to God in Christ Jesus, taking that family name through belief in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on our behalf, giving us life and a new name, it will show in our lifestyle, choices, words, thoughts and desires. We will faithfully feast on the vine of Jesus, bearing fruit that represents our God, Lord, Father, and King. If we fail to bear the fruit of abiding, we are impostors and not true Children, and we are in danger of eternal damnation, separated from God and His family forever.

“…To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the TRUE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM who called us by His own glory and excellence.  For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature…. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you” ~ 2 Peter 1:1-11.

“Make certain of His calling and choosing you.” That suggests we can have a false encounter with God that tricks us into believing that we are safe and secure in that relationship. We cannot bear true fruit without real relationship. TheInGodsHandssme proof of relationship is in the fruit of our lives.

These things, Lord, You speak in the world so that we may have Your joy made full in us. We can face this life as we unite more and more with You, being one together with You in the power of Your Spirit, bearing Your name, flowing out of and adorned by Your nature, as righteous representatives of the family of God. As You have spoken over us, O God, so let it be done. In Jesus, amen.