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February 19th

John 18: 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth”.


Since the Kingdom of God is central to the gospel, I thought I’d post some of today’s scripture and some others as well as a portion from Theopedia, investigating this “secret” some more. This is not an exhaustive treatment of the topic:

Colossians 1: 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to fthe kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.


Luke 4: 43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”

From today’s readings:
Mark 4: 10 And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, 12 so that
“‘they may indeed see but not perceive,
    and may indeed hear but not understand,
lest they should turn and be forgiven.’” (a reference to Isaiah 6: 9,10 - Jeffrey)


The presence and coming of the Kingdom of God was the central message of Jesus. For example, "his teaching was designed to show men how they might enter the Kingdom of God (Matt. 5:20; 7:21). His mighty works were intended to prove that the Kingdom of God had come upon them (Matt. 12: 28). His parables illustrated to His disciples the truth about the Kingdom of God (Matt. 13:11). And when He taught His followers to pray, at the heart of their petition were the words, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10)…February 19th

John 18: 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth”.


Since the Kingdom of God is central to the gospel, I thought I’d post some of today’s scripture and some others as well as a portion from Theopedia, investigating this “secret” some more:


Colossians 1: 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to fthe kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.


From today’s readings:
Mark 4: 10 And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, 12 so that
“‘they may indeed see but not perceive,
    and may indeed hear but not understand,
lest they should turn and be forgiven.’” (a reference to Isaiah 6: 9,10 - Jeffrey)
The knowledge of the Parable of the Sower is seen as the key to understanding the parables that follow. This is a parable of the Kingdom.

The presence and coming of the Kingdom of God was the central message of Jesus. For example, "his teaching was designed to show men how they might enter the Kingdom of God (Matt. 5:20; 7:21). His mighty works were intended to prove that the Kingdom of God had come upon them (Matt. 12: 28). His parables illustrated to His disciples the truth about the Kingdom of God (Matt. 13:11). And when He taught His followers to pray, at the heart of their petition were the words, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10)…

Graeme Goldsworthy has summarized a definition of the Kingdom of God as "God's people in God's place under God's rule."

Anthony Hoekema has described God's Kingdom as "the reign of God dynamically active in human history through Jesus Christ, the purpose of which is the redemption of his people from sin and from demonic powers, and the final establishment of the new heavens and the new earth." [Theopedia]


From today’s readings:
Mark 4: 21 And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? 22 For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light.


Romans 16: 25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.


1 Corinthians 2: 6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.

ESV Bible note on 1 Corinthians 2:7 secret and hidden wisdom of God. This “wisdom of God” is centered in Christ and includes all of God’s plans for the history of salvation from before the ages (“before the foundation of the world,” Eph. 1:4) to the unending future of eternity (1 Cor. 2:9; Rev. 11:15; 22:5). It includes everything Paul preaches, “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).


Maranatha! IC -|- XC

Prayer for Today:
Lord, may we be blessed to be citizens of Your holy Kingdom. May we bow before You, the King. All praise be unto You and Your holy name! Amen.

Leviticus 7:28-9:6

Let the elders who perform the duties of their office well be considered doubly worthy of honor [and of adequate financial support], especially those who labor faithfully in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain, and again, The laborer is worthy of his hire. [Deut. 25:4; Luke 10:7.] (1 Timothy 5:17-18 AMP)

And,

For in the Law of Moses it is written, You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the corn. Is it [only] for oxen that God cares? [Deut. 25:4.] Or does He speak certainly and entirely for our sakes? [Assuredly] it is written for our sakes, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher ought to thresh in expectation of partaking of the harvest. If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits? (1 Corinthians 9:9-11 AMP)

As I read today’s text, the thoughts that are expressed in the above verses came into my mind. God is concerned about those amongst us who are charged with Feeding His Sheep with Spiritual Food, the Word. No cheap pieces of meat were to be given for the support of the ministry and those assigned to minister. Only the best was to be offered, fine flour, the choice cuts of meat, fine linen.

Too often we give our leftovers, our rummage to those who are scraping together, working second and third jobs to provide for their families so that they can do what God has called them to do, minister the Gospel.

Jan, you speak of the compensation given to those who minister in so-called Mega-Churches. I don’t know of any church that at its roots, its beginning, started out as a Mega-Church. We speak of large churches as if we were walking by one day and, “Oops, where did that building come from with all those folks.”

I attend a church that 28 years ago began as a storefront with four members, the pastor his wife and two of their kids, membership is now 25,000 plus. It is a mega-church because the numbers showing up for worship began to exceed the number of seats available. Abuse of power or authority can happen in any church, even a house church. I live in Brooklyn, NYC, a borough that has as one of its nicknames, The Borough of Churches. I attend my church despite the cracks I see, the problem people, the things that “appear” to be abuse of power because the pastor is devoted to teaching the unadulterated Word of God. And like King David, if one is open for rebuke, God will send a Nathan to rebuke and correct, and if need be bring judgment.

Compensation is always a sticky item to discuss for ministry and paid staff because how much is too much or too little is all relative based on the person doing the evaluation point of reference and background. In the end the person will have to answer to God and those giving to a Church that is not a “Store-house” as stated in Malachi 3:10. The bottom line is this, no matter where you attend Church or have your fellowship, if you are giving to God He will reward you, if you are giving to the Pastor, the Church or a Denomination or Ministry, well, you will be looking toward them and not God for your reward.

There are great old edifices in NYC, magnificent buildings that once held thriving congregations over one-hundred years ago, that are now in disrepair because membership cannot sustain the ministry. Why? Why is it that a part of NYC known as the Borough of Churches, has a church where 25,000 plus people pass by on Sunday and Tuesdays on their way to worship? If you grow grass, the sheep will come, not grass no sheep or you have a congregation of week emaciated sheep. There are blocks in Brooklyn where every building on the block is a church, and across the street are three-four liquor stores. I dare say that people are looking for a “spirit” of some kind even if it is only “bottle spirits” but are they finding the true Holy Spirit?

If people are flocking to a church that is not of God, that is on them based on a passage in Jeremiah (14:16), because people who are being deceived are a party to their own deception. If one is looking for Truth, it will be found (Knock, Seek, Ask …). Truth cannot hang around deception or falsehood.

If leadership is demanding more then you think is appropriate, then walk, find another pastor. No one can do to you what you don’t allow. If you can’t see an accounting of how the monies are spent, run don’t walk to another sheepfold because the one you are in has a hireling for an overseer.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Thank you for sharing that, Ramona. It was edifying and informative. :)

Hi Mike, your question about compensation, I am not opposed to clergy receiving compensation. They have lives and mortgages just as we d9 and they come rain sleet sun or any to do the will of the Father.
The alter is a neat thing. I went and underlined in my book at alter. Pretty breakdown of it all.
Mark..always thought weird too a little.. the part of who is my mother. Brother sisters. I understand it better in part today vs so many years back then.
Its a neat lesson.
Psalm about waiting on the Lord. Sometimes that is the hardest thing to do. Wait. I believe God gives us what we can handle. The proverbs today made me think of mY class. Especially the sleepy ones. ;-) lol

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