Seeking Jesus First - May 3, 2023

Seeking Jesus First - May 3, 2023
Photo by Aleksandar Cvetanovic / Unsplash

What was The message of Jesus Christ to Israel? “Repent, for the kingdom of God is here.” John the Baptist preached the same message as the forerunner of Christ. Repent means, ‘change the way you think’ or ‘start thinking the way God thinks’…

Both John and Jesus wanted everyone to see the kingdom of God in a new way. Jesus changed everything, including how people see and understand the kingdom of God. The LORD God, Himself, did not view the kingdom of God the way the people of Israel viewed it. Does this mean that the Old Testament view of the kingdom of God was incomplete or imperfect? The Law Covenant was not designed to reveal the kingdom of God. It was designed to reveal the presence of sin in the life and heart of humanity.

How would God shift humanity into thinking His way about the kingdom of God? A child would be born to a virgin and His name would be called,  IMMANUEL, God With Us. God demonstrated it Himself. Then He offered all who would believe a “new birth” that allowed spiritual access to the spiritual kingdom of God. And all who believed were translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dearly beloved son.

How do you reach a people bound in a kingdom of darkness? Sound. Words. This is why faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. “The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:130, NKJV)

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6, NKJV)

“Whoever comes to God must believe” because you can’t see Him from the kingdom of darkness. You hear His words and draw near to Him. His words enter your heart “piercing even to the division of soul and spirit”, faith comes alive and light enters. Embracing the light is “beam me up Scotty” and all of a sudden you are no longer in darkness.

Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance.” (Psalm 89:15, NKJV)

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7, NKJV)

Jesus changed everything. It is from darkness to light and from death to life. So, Jesus started by declaring truth about the kingdom of God. People heard the truth about the kingdom of God and started thinking about the kingdom of God in the same way that God thinks about the kingdom of God. Then the kingdom of God entered them and they entered it.

What will happen if you look at the kingdom of God through the prism of The Old Testament? You will war and fight in the might of the flesh to get it with no avail. But in the New Covenant, the kingdom of God is freely given to those who believe.

I believe the following Scripture is misunderstood by many: “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Matthew 11:12, NKJV)

If we keep reading this same discourse by Jesus to the end of the chapter, Jesus says the following: “At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”” (Matthew 11:25–30, NKJV)

What is Jesus saying?!

Jesus prays and THANKS THE FATHER FOR GIVING TO HIM what everyone else was violently struggling to get. Then Jesus revealed in this prayer that He has all authority to share it with whomever He chooses. Then Jesus said something incredible but amazingly true! ‘Come to me all you who labor (trying to take the kingdom of God by force) and I will give you rest from that struggle. Connect with me, walk with me, learn from me, and I will give you rest. I am not prideful about what The Father has given me and I willingly share it with you so that you don’t have to violently try to take it anymore. What I will teach you will not be a burden but rather it will give your souls peace and rest. And because we are completely connected and in harmony with one another, we will co-labor on everything going forward.’

SO there is no flesh struggle anymore in receiving the kingdom from Jesus who has all authority in heaven and on earth. We simply believe and come to Him and receive all that He has for us as we selfishly stay yoked to Him in all that we do. “Selfishly?” Well it does result totally in your favor! HAHAHA (But, truly, it also results in us becoming totally unselfish in life.) Have a blessed day and be “selfish” about staying yoked to Jesus.