Faithlife Sermons

Building the Kingdom of God

Rebuild, Renew and Restore  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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How God continues to build his kingdom through vision, possibility and inspiration. He does this through his people living who have died to self and live as he lives.

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Introduction

A couple of weeks ago when we spoke of the ten lepers we saw how God wants to have a relationship since the beginning. I mentioned God walking in the garden, his dwelling in the tabernacle, temple and the flesh. We ended by remembering the fact that God is building his kingdom with people like you and me, sinners saved by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Last week Major Peabody blessed us with the reminder of how sometimes we need to be broken down so our pride does not get in the way of our relationship with God. Well, after God breaks us down of our pride and we come to know Him more closely, God can build us back up with a desire to build his kingdom. He quickly shows us we can build his kingdom through vision, possibility and inspiration.
Transition: Firstly, let’s look more closely at the Scriptures to see a contrast in vision.

Through vision

Interesting observation while reading (contrast)
Lack of vision
Pharisees (religious people of influence)
Luke 17:20–21 NLT
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.”
When will the KOG come?… already among you.”
Disciples (Followers of the Way)
Lk 18
Luke 18:15–16 NLT
One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him. Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.
Disciples scolded the parents while Jesus said “Don’t stop them!”
Desire for vision
Luke 18:35–40 NLT
As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind beggar was sitting beside the road. When he heard the noise of a crowd going past, he asked what was happening. They told him that Jesus the Nazarene was going by. So he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” “Be quiet!” the people in front yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” When Jesus heard him, he stopped and ordered that the man be brought to him. As the man came near, Jesus asked him,
Lk 18.35-40
What was his response?
“Lord, I want to see!
What did Jesus respond?
“God bless you, I will be praying for you.” NO
Luke 18:42 NLT
And Jesus said, “All right, receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.”
And here the true mark of someone’s life who has been transformed by Jesus...
Luke 18:43 NLT
Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus, praising God. And all who saw it praised God, too.
All of the glory is for God!
When God gives us vision we do not just stay sitting where we were when we were blind. We respond like the man who received his sight and praise God. Others respond by praising him as well.
Transition: But as I kept thinking I wondered: Why does the KOG belong to those who are like these children?

Through possibility

Luke 18:17 ESV
Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
Luke 18:17 NIV
Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
A child more often than not will try something beyond reach and sometimes even crazy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPOgvzVOQig
Because children had no social status during this time they depended largely on their relationship with their parents to receive everything they would need to live and survive.
I found it interesting that right after Luke writes about receiving the KOG like a child he writes this story
Luke 18:18 NLT
Once a religious leader asked Jesus this question: “Good Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”
Luke 18:20–24 NLT
But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother.’” The man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.” When Jesus heard his answer, he said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was very rich. When Jesus saw this, he said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!
lk 18.
Luke 18:21–25 NLT
The man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.” When Jesus heard his answer, he said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was very rich. When Jesus saw this, he said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God! In fact, 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!”
Luke 18:20–27 NLT
But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother.’” The man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.” When Jesus heard his answer, he said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was very rich. When Jesus saw this, he said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God! In fact, 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!” Those who heard this said, “Then who in the world can be saved?” He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”
EMPHASIS
Lk 18.20-27
Lk 18
Luke 18:25 NLT
In fact, 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!”
lk 18:
Luke 18:25–27 NLT
In fact, 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!” Those who heard this said, “Then who in the world can be saved?” He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”
I believe this is one of the reasons we need to be like little children to enter the Kingdom of God. Our trust needs to be fully in God and no one or nothing else.
When we trust God for vision he can also pair it up with the passion for possibility.
There is a story of a poor boy who...
There is a story of a poor boy who “opened a printing shop… a prosperous competitor said he would drive him out of town. [This boy] showed him a piece of black bread from which he dined and a pail of water from which he drank, and asked id he thought a man who could live on fare like that and work sixteen hours a day could be driven out of town.”
- S.L. Brengle in The Soul Winner’s Secret, An Undivided Heart
Does anyone know the name of the two people in this story?
The poor boy was Benjamin Franklin, one of the individuals of the Thirteen British Colonies in North America who led the American Revolution against the authority of the British Crown and established the United States of America. Otherwise know as the guy on the $100 bill.
Insert slide image for $100 bill
Transition: I find the response from the disciples very amusing...

Through inspiration

READ (if preaching in Spanish)
Luke 18:28–30 LP:EMD
Pedro le dijo entonces: — Tú sabes que nosotros hemos dejado nuestras cosas para seguirte. Jesús les dijo: — Les aseguro que todo aquel que haya dejado casa, mujer, hermanos, padres o hijos por causa del reino de Dios, recibirá mucho más en este mundo, y en el mundo venidero recibirá la vida eterna.
Luke 18:28–30 The Message
Peter tried to regain some initiative: “We left everything we owned and followed you, didn’t we?” “Yes,” said Jesus, “and you won’t regret it. No one who has sacrificed home, spouse, brothers and sisters, parents, children—whatever—will lose out. It will all come back multiplied many times over in your lifetime. And then the bonus of eternal life!”
lk 1.
Listen to some of the reasons why others would be inspired to build the kingdom of this Jesus...
Luke 18:40–43 NLT
When Jesus heard him, he stopped and ordered that the man be brought to him. As the man came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord,” he said, “I want to see!” And Jesus said, “All right, receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus, praising God. And all who saw it praised God, too.
lk 18.40-
Lk 18
Luke 18:7–8 NLT
Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”
Luke 18:1–8 NLT
One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’ ” Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”
Lk 18.1-
Luke 19:5–7 NLT
When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.
READ (if preaching Spanish)
Romans 8:33–34 NTV
¿Quién se atreve a acusarnos a nosotros, a quienes Dios ha elegido para sí? Nadie, porque Dios mismo nos puso en la relación correcta con él. Entonces, ¿quién nos condenará? Nadie, porque Cristo Jesús murió por nosotros y resucitó por nosotros, y está sentado en el lugar de honor, a la derecha de Dios, e intercede por nosotros.
Romans 8:33-34
Lk 19.5-
Romans 8:33–34 NLT
Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
Romans 8:
Luke 18:31–33 NLT
Taking the twelve disciples aside, Jesus said, “Listen, we’re going up to Jerusalem, where all the predictions of the prophets concerning the Son of Man will come true. He will be handed over to the Romans, and he will be mocked, treated shamefully, and spit upon. They will flog him with a whip and kill him, but on the third day he will rise again.”
God rewards, God heals, God listens! He wants an intimate relationship with us and gave his life so it would be possible!

Conclusion

Summary

Vision - Whether we are living a religious life wondering when the KOG will come or are sincerely seeking Jesus, but still getting in the way of his work it is essential we trust him to give us vision like the beggar did.
Possibility - God gives us the vision to do what is necessary in the building of His Kingdom even though it may seem as impossible as a camel going through the eye of a needle.
Inspiration - God gives us every reason to be inspired: He heals, listens and wants a relationship with us to the point where he gave his life being born as a human child and died on the cross to make it all possible.

Application

Call P&W group up (Preferably a song about trusting God)
Vision - When God gives us vision we do not just stay sitting where we were when we were blind. We respond like the man who received his sight and praise God. Others respond by praising him as well. We mobilize to bring this transformation to other blind, lame and hopeless people whom God wants to make a part of his kingdom.
After God gave William Booth the vision of suffering humanity he gave the founder of The Salvation Army the vision to reach for the impossible.
"'Not called!' did you say? 'Not heard the call,' I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters, and servants and masters not to come there. And then look Christ in the face, whose mercy you have professed to obey, and tell him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish his mercy to the world.""
- William Booth
Possibility - All the vision in the world is useless if we do not do what is necessary for it to happen. Sometimes we let doubt detain us from even trying to do what is possible.
"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."
- St. Francis of Assisi
This coming from a person who “went to Egypt in an attempt to convert the Sultan to put an end to the conflict of the Crusades.”
"In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd."
- Miguel de Cervantes
Author of the second best-selling book of all-time “Don Quixote” with over 500 million copies.
"It's kind of fun to do the impossible!"
- Walt Disney
Inspiration - Brothers and sisters, God has given us the every single reason to be inspired by transforming our lives and making us whole. On top of that he is willing to reward us for our faithfulness to him.
Are we lacking trust in Him? Whether it be trusting him for vision, possibility or inspiration you can make sure you will find them all at the foot of the cross.
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