Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A KINGDOM WITHOUT BORDERS

...and it's all about the King!

 
"Kingdom Without Borders" is the title of a book filled with amazing stories of ventures for God from around the world. God at work in the Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist and Western worlds; in China, Africa, Myanmar, India, South America and other countries. What captured my attention in these inspiring stories is the dedication of these brave pioneers and the way the Holy Spirit took hold of ordinary believers. They were were possessed by a passion to see the "gospel of the kingdom" advance, (Matt. 24:14) and to see the King released to reign in their lives and in their worlds.

The most important part of the kingdom message and activity is the KING! Having a Kingdom vision must be all about Jesus. We must seek his direction; his glory; his commendation. As ambassadors for Christ, we walk with him, listen to his voice, follow his directions and desire above all else that his will be done; his kingdom come on (our) earth - sphere of influence - as it is in heaven
 
I have heard and forgotten countless visions seen by Christians. But a vision I heard described around 50 years ago has never left me. It was recounted by evangelist Tommy Hicks and after all these years I am excited to see it coming to pass around the world today. WOW!! From memory, here is what Hicks recounted.....

"I saw the continent of Africa surrounded by gigantic red waves that were threatening to engulf the African nations. It was frightening; whatever could stop these approaching tsunamis? Then I saw a huge man stand in the centre of the continent, stretch out his hands to the east and the west and miraculously the waves subsided. (My interpretation: the Man was Jesus. Now comes the more exciting part). The 'Man' then dissolved into thousands of people. These people spread through the countries of Africa, performing signs and wonders, emptying hospitals of the sick, preaching the Good News and transforming whole nations." Yes, the Man was Jesus but we could also say, the Man was the body of Christ and the multitudes that dissolved from Him were the ordinary members of His body. Now, empowered through their relationship with Jesus, they could go and do His kingdom work.
 
Has the vision come to pass? No, not fully. But reading of what is happening in parts of Africa, proves that its fulfillment has certainly begun.
 
Was the vision given just for Africa? Seeing what is happening in China, India, South America and other parts of the world proves the answer is a resounding "NO!" A vast world harvest is being gathered by Christ-followers who have dared to step out of the boxes that have restricted and suffocated their gifts and ministries.
Who are these members of Christ's body? Theologians, Western missionaries, trained professional ministers? No, these miracle-working people are part of the army of ordinary people who have realised that they, as members of Christ have been gifted by the Holy Spirit to do God's will. 1 Cor. 12.

Is this vision of Hicks Biblical? Jesus said, "These (miraculous) signs will follow those who believe..." Mk 16:17; John 14:12. Peter and John were described as, "...ordinary men who had no special training...who had been with Jesus..." Acts 4:13. In Eph. 4:11 & 12 we read that the five ministries listed in vs. 11 are given to "equip God's people for the work of ministry..." In other words, every child of God is a minister, an empowered ambassador of the King of kings, sent, as Jesus was sent into the world to do the Father's will. John. 20:21.
 
In the light of the above, there are questions we must ask ourselves, like...."Is there anything that is hindering me from doing what God is calling me to do? Have I allowed restrictive teaching or religious traditions to hold me back? Is my concept of ministry wrongly focused on professionals and trained experts? What are the suffocating boxes I need to break out of - and when?
 
This new (ancient) kingdom perspective has called us to see that ....
  • All Christian service is sacred even though it doesn't directly bless or grow our church
  • All Christians are our fellow-priests in this kingdom and have been called and anointed to serve King Jesus. 1 Peter 2:9; Rev. 1:6
  •  All Christian work and workers are to be valued no matter what label they serve under. Even the falsely-called, much maligned para-church kingdom of God servants. 
  •  
  • Every believer is Christ's ambassador with a valid ministry of reconciliation. 2 Cor. 5:20
  •  
  • Kingdom 'yeast' may be a small, silent ingredient, but it has a powerful, far-reaching effect. Matt. 13:33.
 
Your feedback is appreciated and welcome.

You're welcome too to 'forward' this 'Simple Church' Letter.

Jack


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