How to live your life kingdom first part 4

If you didn’t get a chance to read part 3 you can read it here.

The fifth practical thing we can do to live our lives kingdom first is to encourage one another.

I think one scripture really sums this up well, and that is Ephesians 4 verse 29. It says 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

I will probably come back to Ephesians chapter 4 later in this series; however, for now I will just work with this one verse.

So when we look at this verse we can see that the only thing that should be coming out of our mouths towards, or about others is what will build them up/encourage them. We can also then define what unwholesome talk is, and that is anything that does not build up and encourage. If it tears people down, discourages, judges, ridicules, lies about, gossips about, curses, or anything along these lines then it is unwholesome. This does not mean that you never say anything that challenges someone, or holds them accountable as this will benefit them; however, I will say that for these types of things you should have a solid relationship with someone before you speak to them in such a way. In my opinion, if you do not have a solid established relationship with someone you will have a hard time bringing accountability.

If we are honest with ourselves about these things I would venture to say we all do roughly the same thing when we are on the receiving end of unwholesome talk, we turn those people off, we disregard what they say, or we let their words bring us down. With that we can say that a sure-fire way to NOT reach and connect with people is to speak in ways that discourage, judge, ridicule, etc. This is why preaching anger, fire, and brimstone doesn’t work. It may produce fearful, discouraged, never good enough people, but it will never produce relational, and healthy people.

How we talk to people has a huge impact on how they see us, and how they see God. It could be the difference in a person deciding to always run away, or always run to when they mess up. If they know you will judge them, they will always run away and be discouraged. If they know they can come to you and be encouraged, they will always run to you. It is the same in how they view God, if He is angry judge they will run away, if He is encouraging father they will run to.

It doesn’t matter what the life scenario is you can always encourage someone. You can always encourage someone in the hope that we have in Christ.

Every single one of us talk to people every single day; therefore, we can have an impact on people everyday. Let us do our best to keep unwholesome talk out of our mouths. Let us try to build up and encourage people every chance we get. This series is about living a kingdom first life. This is everyday life stuff, it really isn’t over complicated, you really can live your life kingdom first, and you really can make a kingdom impact everyday.

God is for you, and I am for you!

How to live your life Kingdom first part 1

This will be the first of many posts on how to live your life kingdom first. This is a journey for all of us, and just like you, I have yet to arrive. Let us be thankful we have a good, loving Father who is full of patience, grace, and favor toward His kids. With so many theological arguments out there, and thoughts about what’s most important, I just want to know God, His ways, and how I should live this life for Him. I believe the Lord revealed this series to me because He knows my Heart for it, and He knows my heart for you.

Most of you that read this blog know that number one we should love God with every part of our being, and seek first His kingdom, and His righteousness. I have already written several things that give us some practical things we can do to put Him first, such as not being autonomous in our life plan, but allowing His plan for us to be our plan.

But outside of this number one thing, how do I live my life kingdom first? What should I be doing in practical terms? Over the next several posts, I am going to present 6 other practical things we can do. In my thoughts, it is out of doing these things that your individual gifts begin to flow out of you.

So much is written and talked about in things such as eschatology, finances, authority, how to interpret, and so on. That is fine, and I like some of those conversations; however, it seems to me that so much of what God is trying to get through to us is our own internal transformation through Christ, and how we treat and deal with other people.

If loving God, and putting Him first is number 1, then the second thing we can do is to love other people.

The commandment that Jesus gave to his disciples in an intimate moment was to love each other as He loved them, and that this love is what would prove to the world that they were His followers. In John chapters 13 and 15, He gave them this command three different times.

In Romans 13:8-10 we see that it is an obligation to love others, that love does no wrong to others, and so it fulfills all requirements. If you love other people you will want to take the gifts that God put in you, and give them to others. This is why I say that your gifts will begin to flow in doing these things.

In 1 Thessalonians 3:12 we see Paul out of his own great love for these people ask the Lord to make their love for each other, and for all people not only grow, but even overflow. In chapter 4 he tells them he really doesn’t even need to tell them to love each other because they already do as the Lord Himself has taught them, but even then he urges them to love even more.

In 1 Peter 3:8 we see that we should love each other like siblings, and be compassionate towards others while at the same time being humble ourselves. Then in chapter 4:8 he tells them that most importantly they should continue to love each other deeply as love covers all.

In 1 John 3:11 we see that the message from the very beginning was that we should love one another. It says this same thing in 2 John verses 5 and 6.

In 1 John 4:7-12 we see that love is from God, that we should love others, and that this is what proves we Know God. If God loves us as much as He does, then we ought to love others. It goes on to say that if we will love others then His love will be perfected in us.

So this not only speaks to how we treat other people, but also our own internal transformation in becoming more like Christ. Loving other people perfects things within ourselves.

It is His command to us, it is evidence that we know Him, it lets the world know that we are His, it fulfills all, and it covers all.

If you want to live a kingdom first life, love others. Even if it is hard. Love covers all including you, for example, if you choose to love rather than hold a grudge, your own soul (mind, will, and emotions) will remain healthy.

Live your life kingdom first!

God is for you, and I am for you!

 

Where do I start?

This post is in response to several readers asking the question where do I start. Specifically they are born again believers that don’t know where to start in reading their bible, and they asked me where they should begin, and what they can do to better understand their bible. I suppose there could be endless responses to this question, but I am going to share with you my response and why. However, before I do that I just want to say that my brief summaries are in no way meant to be commentaries, or anything of that nature. They are just meant to be a simple, and quick view of the content.

My advice was to first read, reread, and study 8 chapters in their bibles with those chapters being Romans chapters 7 and 8, and the book of Galatians. This was my response because these 8 chapters are not overwhelming in content or length, and they will help you understand who God is, who you are, and what covenant you are in. Being confident in these three things will give you the lens that you need to look through when you are in other parts of the bible. It also paves the way for the kingdom first life. If you know who God is, who you are, and what covenant you are in, you can then begin to understand why you are here, what you are supposed to do, how you are supposed to do it, when you are supposed to do it, and where you are supposed to do it in order to advance His Kingdom on this earth.

Let’s take a quick look at the content in these chapters to see where I got my statements of knowing who God is, who you are, and what covenant you are in.

Romans 7

Sin makes you a slave, but in Christ you died to sin. The law makes you a slave, but when you are bound to Christ you are released from the law (old covenant/mosaic covenant). Who are you? You are not a slave, and you are no longer under the old covenant.

Romans 8 (maybe my favorite chapter in the bible, but I don’t know if I can pick just one)

There’s no condemnation in Christ as His spirit has set you free from the law and sin. All of the righteous requirements of the law have been met in you through Christ. Those that are led by His spirit are the CHILDREN of God, no longer slaves, but through adoption are now the CHILDREN of God who call on their FATHER. You are now entitled to the inheritance of your FATHER. As a child of God you have purpose, and your Father works everything in your favor, and He is for you all the time. God is the one who justified you; therefore, nothing can condemn you. You are now a conqueror, and nothing in all of creation can separate you from the love of your Father. Who is God? He is your Father who loves you so much words can not describe it. Who are you? A child of God.

Galatians

There is no other gospel except for Christ, and all He has done. You are justified by faith, and you must not fall back under the old covenant, or place others under the old covenant. You are dead to the law, and the life you live is by faith in the Son of God. Those that place themselves under the old covenant place themselves under a curse. Those that live by faith in Christ place themselves in grace and blessing. It is reiterated that you are no longer a slave, but a child who calls on their Father. In an analogy using the sons of Abraham Paul tells us to throw out the old covenant, and take our place as children in the new covenant. You are free in Christ, do not use your freedom to walk in the flesh as you will reap destruction. Walk in the spirit so that the fruit of the spirit is produced in your life, and you will reap life eternal.

God is your loving Father, you are his beloved child, and you are under the new (best) covenant. It is in my opinion so important to have this perspective as you go about studying the whole bible. If this were the couch to 5k program I would also say that being confident in these things will get you to the 5k much quicker.

Have questions? Feel free to ask, and your questions will never become posts if you want them to be kept private.

Live your life Kingdom first!

Levi