Saturday, September 6, 2014

Open Heavens Devotional for Saturday 6th September, 2014: THE WRONG KINGDOM


Memorise: When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. John 6:15

Read: John 6:11-15
11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.
12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.
13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.
14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.
15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

Jesus drew large crowds in the days of His ministry here on earth because of the signs and wonders He performed. This led those following Him to decide that He should be made king over Israel. Considering the fame and popularity Jesus had, in addition to the prophecies recorded in the Bible about the coming King, it seemed normal and suitable that He should be revered and honoured among the people. However, Jesus was not interested in the kingdom of this world; neither did He have interest in gaining glory, honour or fame. He was only concerned with seeking His Father's glory and doing His will (John 4:34).

There seems to be a misconception about the term "kingdom of God". The kingdom of God as defined by the Lord Jesus was quite different from the understanding of the people of His days. It was this lack of understanding that made them attempt to crown Him king by force, thinking that according to various biblical prophecies, He was called to sit upon the physical throne of David. This misconception continues among some Christians today.

Out of the multitude of references to the kingdom of God in the Bible, let us consider these three in order to gain some understanding. John 3:3c says:

"Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Salvation is the first step a person must take before they can have access to all the goodies of the kingdom of God. I welcome you to the family of God as you take the step of salvation today in Jesus' Name. Then Matthew 6:33a says:

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; ......"

It is important to note that seeking the kingdom of God as a first priority is important to God. Your personal needs and challenges must not be placed above the kingdom. And finally, Romans 14:17 says:

"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."

Many Christians live their lives as if the kingdom of God is all about fun and entertainment. The kingdom of God is a process that starts with righteousness, followed by peace, and then comes joy in the Holy Ghost. It's a wonderful experience.

Prayer Point: Father, please let me experience the fullness of your kingdom in my life from now on.

Bible in on year: Joshua 1-3; Job 34: 1-15

SOURCE: Open Heavens Devotional, Volume 14, 2014

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