It was a tease… an interaction with a good friend. This friend is a fiercely loyal citizen of his city and said that it was the centre of the world. (It is not the city I live in by the way.) But I teased my friend saying that God probably considered Jerusalem as the centre of the world at least at one time, and it would be again. While my friend considered a reply, I said, “You need Kingdom thinking, not personal thinking.”
It set me thinking.
How many of us need to develop Kingdom thinking? Most of us. Remember, even the disciples did not understand much of what Jesus was talking about at first. They believed he was unique, different from anyone they had ever known. When Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” he did not understand how different his own life would become.
It isn’t enough to believe that Jesus is extraordinary, or even to believe that he is the divine Son of God
So, what is Kingdom thinking?
It is a process, well, that is my opinion. It is a process where we learn to live like Christ. For some that has already meant death. In Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s famous book, The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer comments that “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” Although Bonhoeffer died in a Nazi concentration camp, not everyone is called to die physically. We have to learn to die to self. This is why I said it is a process.
Review comments from some of the people who read the books in the Apostle John Series …
“We are so lucky to be able to worship as we wish or choose not to without being persecuted.”
“It really makes you think deeply about the level of Christian commitment in the tense and troubling times of the first century church and wonder if it would be matched should we ever face similar circumstances.”
“Life in the early years of the Christian Church, when believers lived under Roman rule and faced tests on every side? Really made me think of how I would act in similar circumstances.”
To be honest, when I researched them, I wondered the same thing.
Jesus preached the ‘Kingdom of God.’
Matt 5 – When Jesus said ‘You have heard it said – He was talking about the teaching of Judaism.
v 21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment
v 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.
v 27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.
v 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
v 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’v
v 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
To successfully develop ‘Kingdom thinking’ we have to be committed to living as if fully in the Kingdom of God now, not discouraged by our failures, ready to repent when we have done something wrong, and to encourage others.
Remember we are called to be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ (Matthew 5: 13, 14) That is why I chose the top image.