The Kingdom Man
If you listen closely, you can hear the cry for real men to stand up. It can be heard from single moms abandoned to raise their children alone. It can be heard from principals and teachers manning the front lines of our educational system. It can be heard from police officers and judges fighting to maintain order. It can be heard from pastors during counseling sessions. It be heard from employers wanting to maintain productivity in the workplace. Do you hear it?
Where are you—the men? It’s like the abominable snowman. There are evidences all around. Footprints. Sightings. A cryptic photo here and there. But the man himself is nowhere to be found.
In Ezekiel 22:30, God said, “I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.” If God Himself couldn’t find a man, then a real man must be hard to come by.
It seems the same is true for today. There are plenty of males around, and plenty of boys can be found, but there is a lack of men. Which leads to this conclusion—there’s a big difference between being a male and being a man. But let’s take that one step further. There’s still a big difference between being a man and being a realman—real men, according to God’s definition of Biblical manhood—kingdom men, who understand that God has created them to be great, to rule and to better all those under their influence. When men learn how to rule under God, we will see God fulfill His plan for our lives, and through our lives, we will impact our families, churches and communities.
If there is a difference between being a male and a man, how would you define manhood?
Each of us is created and designed to have an internal guide to allow us to be successful no matter the circumstance. With this internal guide I call our instinct or the Holy spirit, we have a greater responsibility to bide by it's instruction when prompted.
Understanding the Kingdom Of God
Rule and ReignI think the most important thing I could say about the kingdom of God that would help people make sense out of all the uses is that the basic meaning of the word kingdom in the Bible is God’s reign — R-E-I-G-N — not realm or people. The kingdom creates a realm, the kingdom creates a people, but the kingdom of God is not synonymous with its realm or its people.
“God decided the kingdom of God would be most gloriously revealed in a crucified and risen king.”
For example, consider Psalms 103:19: “The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.” You can hear the basic meaning of the word kingdom as rule. It doesn’t mean that his kingdom rules over his realm; it means that God’s reign or rule governs all things.
He sits as king on his throne of the universe, and his kingly rule — his kingdom and his reign — governs all things. The basic meaning of the word kingdom in the Bible is God’s kingly rule — his reign, his action, his lordship, his sovereign governance.
Saving SinnersSince God’s purpose for the world is to save a people for himself and renew the world for that people, his kingly rule implies a saving and a redeeming activity on their behalf. This is why the coming of the kingdom in the New Testament is called good news.
In and through Jesus, God, the king, is coming in a way — a new way — into the world to establish his saving rule. First, in the hearts of his people and in their relationships by triumphing over sin, Satan, and death. Then by the exercise of his reign, gathering a people for himself in congregations that live as citizens of a new allegiance of the kingdom — not of this world. Then Christ comes a second time and completes the reign by establishing a new heavens and a new earth.
Already, but Not YetThe picture you get in the Gospels as Jesus unfolds the teachings of the kingdom is that it is both present and it is still future. In fact, this is what he means when he says that the mystery of the kingdom is here — presence without consummation.
For example, you can hear the future dimension of the kingdom in the Lord’s Prayer: “Your kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10). We should pray that every day. Bring the kingdom, Lord. It’s not here the way we want it to be. Bring your kingdom. Bring your reign fully in people’s lives, in my life, in the world.
“The lordship of the crucified and risen Christ should receive the emphasis today.”
In Luke 19:11, Jesus proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem, but the people supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. But Jesus knew it was not coming immediately. The kingdom of God is not going to appear immediately, and yet repeatedly, Jesus says, “The kingdom is at hand. Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.”
In fact, he is more explicit than that in Luke 11:20: “If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” Even more explicitly, Luke 17:21 says, “Behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
How can the kingdom of God be both not yet present and already present? He says, “Pray for it. It’s coming. It’s not yet here. It’s not going to be immediate, and yet already, it’s present in your midst, upon you, at hand.” How can he say all that?
The answer is, the kingdom of God is God’s reign — his sovereign action in the world to redeem and deliver a people and then at a future time finish it and renew his people and the universe completely.
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