[Podcast] The Kingdom Now!

Heroes02

So often, we ourselves are the biggest hinderance to what God really wants to do in our lives.  He may just want to do something incredible in our lives right now, but we tend to get caught up in the “wrong now.”

Lifegroup discussion questions after the jump!

Jesus was pretty clear that the Kingdom is happening all around us… It is now.

One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?”
Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you.”
Luke 17:20-21

When we talk about being “saved,” we usually talk about it in terms of the “Not Yet” phase of the Kingdom.  We tend to treat it as if it were something we made a payment on at some point in time, then we can cash in on it for the afterlife. Why is that?

When we focus on our relationship with Jesus in these terms… When it is about the NEXT life… What does that do to the value of THIS life?

Scripture describes BOTH phases of the Kingdom… The “not yet,” and the “now” phases.  Both are important.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:10

When our primary focus is the “not yet” phase of the Kingdom, the result will usually be blatant hypocrisy. Being focused in the wrong directions causes us to lean into having the NAME of Jesus, but not take on the PERSONALITY of Jesus.

Jesus was very upfront about his expectations for our focus here in this life. His assignment to us was to bring His Kingdom. Read these points that Jesus made and discuss them with your group.

“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?
Matthew 16:24-26

“Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.”
Luke 22:26-27

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me…  I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,* you were doing it to me!’
Matthew 25:34-40

With this in mind, how should we respond?

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