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TTWMN 170: Kingdom Eyes

We’ve all done it at least once these days: you’re watching the news, reading the paper, checking your email or social media, and you start to feel your blood pressure rise, your stomach twist, your heart ache. Through the stark godlessness, the blatant hostility, the incessant demands to not be offended, you are confronted with the reality that the world is changing, and you no longer recognize it, let alone belong here. But as a believer in Christ, this is the point, isn’t it? Shouldn’t you be rejoicing at getting this wake-up call? This reminder that this world is NOT your home? We’ve grown accustomed to peacefully coexisting in hostile territory, quietly walking on eggshells and compromising our values and beliefs, going along to get along, and getting way too wrapped up in hanging on to our place in this world. We need to focus our eyes on our real home, our real mission, our real life—and to do that, we need Kingdom eyes.

 

Table Talk Notes

Colossians 3:1-3 | If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 

Kingdom Eyes – seeing things as God sees them, in the power of the Holy Spirit. You to actually have the Holy Spirit, who is only available in born-again believers of Christ…

John 3:3 Jesus answered him,“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

 

Seeing through Kingdom Eyes involves how you look at and interpret

1. Worldview

Do you see man as basically good or basically evil? If you don’t have this right, you CANNOT know God (His character). Belief in Absolute Truth—the Bible is the only place you can find it.

The alternative is Humanism. Humanism is an individual, subjective view of right & wrong, what is fair. It’s not twisting, softening & taking out of context the black & white teachings off the Bible to find “wiggle room” to live how we want, depending on our circumstances.

 

Christians not believing in Genesis as literal history.

  • Creation account (the Fall/original sin, need for Jesus’ sacrifice)
  • The flood and Tower of Babel (all one “race”, dangers of universalism)
  • Abraham’s covenant (source of blessing for all believers),
  • Sodom & Gomorrah (God’s wrath & judgment on wickedness/homosexuality)
  • Jacob/Israel’s covenant (Jews right to the Land vs. replacement theology)

 

It’s a slippery slope. Remember Gungor, the Christian singer who denied Adam & Eve etc were real? Now he disavows the atoning sacrifice of Christ.

 

2. Blessings

Do you look for material or spiritual, for your enjoyment or for stewardship? You might end up mistaking material wealth as indicator of righteousness.

 

Job’s 3 friends, the Pharisees and even the disciples with the Rich Young Ruler.

Mark 10:21-31 | And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to thepoor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is (for those who trust in riches) to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

 

The Rich Man and Lazarus the Beggar:

Luke 16:19-25 | “There was a rich man who was clothed inpurple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.

 

Parable of the Talents:

Matthew 25:20-21, 28-29 | And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master’… So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

The Widow’s Mite:

Mark 12:42-44 | And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

 

3. Suffering

Protection vs. Perfection. Continually praying for protection from suffering…

  • Stunts your growth:
    • Romans 5:3-5 | Not only that, but werejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
    • James 1:2-4 | Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
  • Shows a lack of understanding of our purpose:
    • 2 Cor 1:3-5, 9 | Blessed be theGod and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.
  • Leaves you vulnerable to “people-pleasing”:
    • John 12:42-43 | Nevertheless,many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
    • John 15:18-21 | “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.
    • Acts 5:29 | But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
  • Betrays a fear of the Enemy:
    • Romans 8:35-37 | Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
    • 1 John 4:2-4 | By this you know the Spirit of God:every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

 


Story of watching the Silversmith at work


 

4. Fruit

Feeding the poor and feeling good about your efforts? If you don’t give them the true Bread of Life, you are just “loving them into Hell.”

John 6:26-27, 48-51 | Jesus answered them,“Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”… I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

Matt 4:3-4 | And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

 

5. Obeying God

Jesus is not just your Savior, He is your Lord, your Sovereign King to be obeyed in all things. You can’t take the benefits without the responsibility.

John 14:15 | “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

James 1:22-25 | But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

 

Beware Religious acts

Matthew 7:21-23 | “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

James 1:26-27 | If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

 

“Short devotions are the bane of deep piety. Calmness, grasp, strength, are never the companions of hurry. Short devotions deplete spiritual vigor, arrest spiritual progress, sap spiritual foundations, blight the root and bloom of spiritual life. They are the prolific source of backsliding, the sure indication of a superficial piety; they deceive, blight, rot the seed, and impoverish the soil.”
― M. BoundsThe Complete Collection of E. M. Bounds on Prayer

 

What’s important to God is important to you (life, marriage, purity, Israel, etc)

Seeking Holiness, instead of Happiness

Phil 2:12-13 | Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Our Purpose: is salvation the goal or the beginning? We aren’t just saved for Heaven, we are enlisted in an Army.

 

Trained and disciplined for our work

Eph 2:8-10 | For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Eph 4:17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!– 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

 

Reactions to & treatment of other Christians

Are you myopic in seeing just your church, your family or even just church in America? “Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end…” (Isaiah 9:7)

 

Taking care of our fellow Believers

Matt 25:34-40 | 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 foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

 

Are you looking for (and rejoice in) the transformative power of being born again in others, or are you holding them to their past—or to a faster sanctification than YOU experienced? Consider the joy of instant recognition when you meet a “brother” for the first time—that Holy Spirit spark that ignites! Beware judging on the “negotiables”: labeling brothers as heretics or cutting off fellowship for disagreeing with you, using gossip and slander, harboring unforgivenes.

Seeing through Kingdom Eyes lets you see (and focus on) what God is doing in this world, and it lets you see through the deception of the Enemy.

 

So how do we get Kingdom Eyes?

Romans 12:1-2 | I appeal to you therefore, brothers,by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Eph 6:10-19 | Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel…

Ephesians 5:15 | Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.