Kingdom Principles – Continued – Pastor Don Moore

Friday, October 06, 2006

Notes from Pastor Don’s Bible study on Kingdom principles.

Pastor Don pointed out, if we get these Kingdom Principles,  our lives will change dramatically. It will change our physical, mental, spiritual, and social lives.

Matthew 6:31 Therefore do not worry, saying,”What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?”

KINGDOM PRINCIPLE: Do not worry. Pastor Don pointed out that this was not a suggestion, not a recommendation, but it was a command: DO NOT WORRY!

People want to glorify worry. In fact, if someone is sharing a problem, they tend to get upset if you tell them not to worry. They will fight you to worry. We make worry a habit. We practice worry, feed worry, and keep it going. 

One example is when we rehearse what we are going to say to someone – we know that there might be a problem so we lay awake at night running scenarios in our mind – if he says this, I will say that….But when the time comes, many times our scenarios do not pan out and we spend hours of sleeplessness worrying about something that isn’t going to happen.

We also spend time worrying whether or not someone likes us or not.

Matthew 6:32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

We are not to worry about any physical thing, any financial thing, our clothing, our food. The Gentiles worry about these things. God knows what we need before we ask Him.

In the Kingdom, God is a benevolent dictator, who is responsible for everyone in the Kingdom. He will provide for the needs of his subjects. We, on earth, have a democratic mindset. We worry about everyone and we worry about ourselves.  Christians live in the Kingdom of God. The things we need are the Kingdom’s responsibilities not the world’s or ourselves.

When we worry we are refusing to obey the dictates of the Kingdom and espousing to take God’s position. This is not just disobedience, it is anarchy. It is God’s job to see to my needs. It is my job to show up where He wants me to show up. I won’t be able to do that if I am not plugged into the Kingdom as a subject and waiting for His instructions. We need to practice waiting for and obeying His instructions for our lives.

When we worry we work at justifying our need to worry. Some people worry so much that they end up not having a life to tell about, because they are so worried about things. But what they are worrying about is not life.

Pastor Don gave an example (using women of course she says smiling). A woman is going to a formal event and she needs a dress. She worries about what she will wear. According to Pastor Don the problem is simple – open up your closet door and look – you either have a dress to wear in there or not. If you don’t, you need to go shopping. Of course, Pastor Don is amazed at how women can have a closet full of clothes and feel they have nothing to wear. In the Kingdom, if you need a dress you have the freedom to get a dress.

If I am worrying about a situation – worry is not going to help.
If I am worrying about a situation – I believe I am in control.
If I am worrying about a situation – I believe I am responsible for it.

In reality none of the above three sentences are true! If I am living in a state of worry I will be adopting a lot of alternatives to prove that my worry is accurate.

We need to ask ourselves this important question: CAN I THINK ABOUT WHAT I AM THINKING ABOUT? Is what I am thinking about Kingdom thinking?

Our minds can run thoughts that are not Kingdom thoughts – and then it is like running without a throttle. We need to take our thoughts captive. 2 Corinthians 10:5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

We need to be obedient to Christ, not obedient to our worry. When we realize that we are thinking thoughts that are not Kingdom thoughts, we need to stop ourselves. I don’t need an excuse to worry. I have free will in the Kingdom of God to go shopping (back to the formal dress scenario). I don’t need to worry to make an excuse to shop. Christians refuse to give themselves permission to be happy.

Matthew 6:27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? Worry won’t add to or change the picture. People worry about what others think about, but the ones that they are worrying about have no Kingdom authority over them. There are only two people that you have to worry about what they are thinking about you. 1) Jesus Christ and 2) your spiritual head. And if your spiritual head is being a good shepherd, the only one to be concerned about is what Jesus is thinking about you.

Others in the church that have their opinions are only beneficial for sharpening your spiritual skills. Some may challenge you in the area of love, or acceptance, or sharpening each other’s skills, teaching us where we need to work on ourselves.  The best place for annoying people is in the church, for they are beneficial for helping the saints to grow in love, and the annoying people will also begin to learn to get their annoying behavior under control.

Part of our training is to learn how to keep in perspective why people are in our lives. We need to learn how to stay in the Kingdom when others in our lives are outside of the Kingdom in their actions. We cannot let the fleshly emotions affect us in the Kingdom.

John 18:33-36 Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done? Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

KINGDOM PRINCIPLE. Just because everybody is doing it doesn’t excuse you for doing it. We don’t get offended and we don’t fight. Jesus could have called down legions of angels to protect Himself, He could have rallied the nation of Israel to fight for Him, but that is not what He did. He pointed out that His kingdom was not the earth’s.

We are concerned about the proper use of money, but not concerned about the possession of money. God will not fully bless us in any area until we show that we are trustworthy in that area. If we are going to use any area in our lives in an unkingdom like manner, God will not bless that.

In the Kingdom I can have money but money doesn’t have me. If God allows us to have money, He will want it used according to Kingdom Principles.

In the Kingdom things that get you upset are not the same as what would get you upset in the world. In the World you get upset when your hero is hurt and when you get offended you fight. The spiritual leaders do not remember that they are servants, and they get offended if they are not served by the people.

Jesus did not take offense when people mistreated and abused Him. He did not strike back, He served the people, healing and providing teachings. When He spit at someone, it was to heal them. In the Kingdom we don’t do what others expect us to do, for we are functioning under Kingdom Principles.

Romans 14:14-15 I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself, but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.

KINGDOM PRINCIPLE: If anything in my behavior will cause you to sin, I will not do it in front of you. Pastor Don pointed out that if he is with someone who is a non-pork eater, he won’t order bacon. For some dietary restrictions are the only part of their lives that they have control over, and it would be a shame to do anything that would weaken that control. This has nothing to do with a value judgment, it is part of not wanting a person to stumble.

When we come to Christ, we sing, “I surrender all.” Once we state that, we can no longer use the excuse, “That’s just the way I am.” That is a lame excuse for doing the worldly behavior we still want to do. We need to be doing Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. This is part of the analysis of a Kingdom Principle. I have to reorganize, realize what thoughts are permitted and line up with God’s Word, and recognize what is not beneficial.

KINGDOM PRINCIPLE: To be concerned about the spiritual well-being of our brothers and sisters in Christ. To not do anything that would cause them to stumble in their spiritual walk.

You may have an opinion about me, but I am not going to let your opinion of me limit my freedom in Christ. I am still free in Christ. You may not like me, but that will not cause me to cease loving you, change my actions, limit my freedom in the Body of Christ. I won’t allow my opinion of you cause me to influence you to sin. I will not even bring an accusation against you.

Romans 14:16-17 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil, for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

There is a difference between spiritual worship and religious worship.

Religious worship is being led to worship according to cultural dictates and traditions of a people or group. (Stand, sit, kneel at prescribed periods). But when asked to show where a particular action is Biblical, often there is not a chapter or verse that states that this is how it ALWAYS is. The Pharisees and Scribes were doing things out of a religious practice. There is a major problem with this type of worship. Everybody can get to a relationship with God by spiritual worship, but religious worship and traditions do not guarantee a relationship with God. The traditions exert a political and social control over the people. Often they are made by leaders who pick traditions that they like and do well, or that they like to see others doing.

Spiritual worship is relational, you are led to worship in a certain way by the Spirit. And if asked why you are kneeling or standing, or singing, you can give chapter and verse. If you are seeking God for relationship, He will show up.

Jesus is offering Kingdom righteousness, peace and joy in relationship with the Holy Spirit.

The problem is that when you are born again it is not a guarantee of righteousness, peace and joy. You can wake up tomorrow and find that you do not have righteousness, peace and joy. You can have a bad day, a foul mouth. You need to bring yourself in line with the Kingdom of God to attain righteousness, peace and joy.

Romans 14:18-19 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.

We need to put Christ first, and edify the body of Christ.

Hebrews 1:8-9 But to the Son (Jesus) He (God) says: “Your throne, O God (Jesus)  is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God (Jesus), your God (God), has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.

Here is a verse that shows that Jesus is God. The Father is speaking to the Son, and calling Him God. The scepter is a symbol of power and authority in righteousness. One thing you cannot compromise on is your individual personal righteousness. You can’t take 1/2 step in the wrong direction. You can’t talk about prosperity and cheat on your taxes. The Kingdom of God is Righteousness (the first thing mentioned) peace and joy. You cannot abdicate on any of the 10 commandments, or part with any of the gifts of the spirit. Righteousness establishes you as an member of the Kingdom of God. Jesus never forsook righteousness in any of His dealings on earth. If we lose our righteousness, we lose our peace and joy. After the devil tempts us to unrighteousness, he steals our peace and joy. The good news is that once we repent 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Someone asked what righteousness was, and it is living right, just doing right. Pastor Don said that one time he asked his father if he should do something or not do something and his father answered him, “If you think it is wrong, don’t do it.” If the Holy Spirit gives you a check in your spirit don’t do it. We are clothed in righteousness because of Jesus’ sacrifice for us.

Hebrews 12:27-29 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and Godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.

Fire cleanses and purges anything that is not of God. Everything not of God will be burned away. What we want is for God to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” God will look not at what we do (not if we are pastor, potentate, janitor, sanitation engineer, soldier, etc) but what we do with what God has given us. Will we use His gifts the way He wants us to use them in service of His kingdom? Kingdom values are different from earthly values. God wants to know if we have sown seed, produced new seed, growth for the Kingdom. That is what matters in God’s kingdom. We don’t ever retire from Kingdom work, we can’t stop talking about the goodness and love of God.

Mark 12:28-34 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. “There is no other commandment greater than these.” So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher,” You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” But after that no one dared question Him.

Jesus did not tell the scribe that he was IN the Kingdom of God, just that he wasn’t far from the Kingdom of God. The scribe had intellectual understanding, but hadn’t come to the point of relationship with God. Revelation without relationship is empty. God wants us to come into relationship with Him. Jesus will come for His Bride. He knows us intimately, and wants relationship with us. Marriage is a commitment. We have a relationship with Jesus even though we do not have everything revealed to us.

In the Kingdom of God, we know the Beauty of the Groom, Jesus Christ, and even though we don’t know every aspect of what He is doing in our lives, we receive by faith the relationship.

Matthew 13:10-13 And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given to you in that hour, speak that, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

Mysteries are given to us of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is relational, revealed truths of the gospel. The Body of Christ can be confused by teachers that stick to tradition instead of preaching the Word of God. Righteousness, peace and Joy is the goal. Righteousness is the most important goal, after that various areas of prosperity are received. But God is not going to release that if we are not living rightly. Jesus says we have not because we ask not, or we ask AMISS. It is amiss if we are seeking prosperity instead of righteousness, peace and joy. God has given everyone a measure of faith, and it is up to us to use that measure.

When we use our faith we receive abundance and knowledge. Fear keeps the Body of Christ from prosperity. The work plan of God gives us the seed to sow. We are not to eat our seed, but to sow the seed to grow the Kingdom.

KINGDOM PRINCIPLE: God has a destiny for us. He wants us to go from here to there. The space between were you are and there is affected from the beginning to where you are now. That is the space of preparedness. What we do to prepare helps us to get to there.

What is sad is that many people spend time preparing, then they get off the track and end up on a side journey. When they look back at their life they can’t figure out why they aren’t going where God wanted them to go, not realizing that they had gotten tricked by a side journey that led them nowhere.

God teaches us and gives us the tools to get from here to there. But we have to obey His guidance and avoid the sidetracks. In the Kingdom of God we will not have to wonder what He has equipped us to do. We must seek the Kingdom and God and He will then open up the understanding to us.

Hope this teaching blessed you. It sure has given me a higher level of accountability. I so much want to do what God wants me to do, and to be a good ambassador for Him.

Have a blessed day today!

Heather

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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