22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? 29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. 32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” 17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” 20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
I air a radio program called Dove Eyes. It started in Lagos, Nigeria then I moved it to Dar Es Salaam Tanzania when my family moved. My entire ministry draws from that name. I was praying for the program specifically asking for provision, open doors of ministration, growth in reach, salvation for listeners and for the women and men who listen to find courage to fulfill God’s plans for their lives. Just after praying, the Spirit of God dropped a word in my heart, ‘It is my pleasure to give you the Kingdom”. The Scripture sounded familiar, so I checked for the reference-Luke 12:32.
I did not understand what the things I asked for had to do with the Kingdom. He explained, that when we ask for shackles to be broken, lives healed and restored, men delivered and saved, beauty for ashes-That amounts to the Kingdom being established in peoples’ lives. To do these things is God’s greates pleasure.
I began to ask myself, ‘What is the Kingdom?’ I thought is the Kingdom was a place-heaven. That means that if Jesus wants to give you the Kingdom, He would have to take you to heaven, and that burst that balloon right there. Obviously, the Kingdom means more than making heaven.
Then I looked in the dictionary and found a definition that intrigued me-an area where a particular thing or idea is important, an area where a particular quality is important. It means that the Kingdom is not a destination or geographical location, but a way of life, a way of doing things, a way of thinking, a disposition towards God and life.
More questions-What is that way, what is that disposition? I found that being able to lay hold on what exactly the Kingdom is was tough but by elimination, I could say, what it is not.
? The Kingdom is not constantly looking for what you will eat, what you will wear and where you will live. Jesus said the nations of the world seek after these things. Our Father knows we have need of these things. Luke 12:22-31
? The Kingdom is also not being religious and keeping the Ten Commandments. The rich young ruler in the conversation with Jesus in Matthew 19, kept all the commandments but knew something was still missing.
So where does that leave us in trying to understand what he Kingdom is? The Key is in Luke 12:33-laying up treasures in heaven that do not fail. How do we lay up treasures in heaven? Jesus comes to the rescue when the rich young ruler was asking the same question. Matthew 19: 21
? Be perfect
? Go and sell all that you have
? Give to the poor and lay up treasures in heaven
? Come and follow me
At this point the young man had a crisis. He went away sorrowful. What was the problem? Was Jesus saying we should not have possessions? No. But He is saying we should prioritize things. Put Him before all those things because where your heart is that is where your treasure lies. You cannot place the same value on Him as those things. We must be willing to sacrifice those things in our walk with Him. The Kingdom is LIVING A LIFE OF SACRIFICE FOR HIM. Like Paul, we must count those things as loss that we may win Christ (Philippians 3:7,8).
It is easy to serve God when He provides stuff for you. It is easy to go to church and praise Him when all is well. However, are you willing to take a step further in your walk with Him and live the life of sacrifice, put yourself at the altar and let yourself die that he might live through you? It becomes a higher walk. You are moving away from milk and maturing into chewing bones. The gospel that we have today was delivered by lives that were sacrificed for Him.
When we get to this place, the boys are separated from the men, the girls from the women and children from mature people. Many people start the race but at this point of sacrifice certain dynamics come to play that it is no longer a function of having started but how much of yourself you are willing to let go of-the place of sacrifice, the last become the first and the first the last.
What shall we say of these things, what is the Kingdom? Living a life of sacrifice where you put God before yourself.
I wrote this sometime in 2009, at a time I was going through a phase in my walk with God. I had expectations and they were not coming. I had made my sacrifices and yet it seemed like God was not coming through. Things were slow and I was not really happy about that. So this message from the Spirit of God gave me reason to go on. This life of sacrifice never ends. There is always something that needs to be sacrificed. That is why it typifies the Kingdom. It is the way we live in this Kingdom. But I would like to add that The Kingdom sacrifice is not sacrifice as we know it where death is final. I would like to redefine it as Seed Sowing, where all the sacrifices we make are seeds we have sown into our future that bring the goodness of God into our lives in immeasurable proportions. It is this life of sacrifice that brings all of God into the lives we live. Even when that sacrifice is death, it is still a seed that yields great things for God. It has become obvious to me that that is the way it works. I am fine with it and I hope you are too. Ck