After the Lord Jesus was tempted by the evil one in the wilderness, He started preparing for His purpose here on earth. Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15 NKJV
Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee. And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.”
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:12-17 NKJV Keep in mind, when something is at hand, it is very near in place or time. Jesus came to reintroduce the government of the Kingdom of Heaven. Only when He returned to His Father could the Holy Spirit come to live in our body, when we are submissive to His Word. That is why the King said "Repent", meaning to turn around, to turn away from. When the Lord Jesus was here on earth, He was the living Word, so everyone who saw Him were viewing and listening to God's Word. So the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John 1:14
Those of us who have never seen the King in His fleshly form, we have the written Word and we are required to accept it through faith. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of His Son while we were still His enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of His Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. Romans 5:6-11
Faith in the King and His written Word is the key to living a victorious Kingdom life in this present world. With all of its chaos, the end has been drawing to the final stage since the ascension of our Lord to His Father. His return has been growing near. By the way, this is why the evil one has been causing so much chaos in the air on earth because he knows that his time isn't long.
Why do I keep emphasizing the Holy Spirit--our Governor in the Kingdom? He is your key to becoming a citizen of the Kingdom. It is because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that we live in God's Kingdom while residing on earth. The Governor, the Holy Spirit, gives you power to walk in the Spirit and have the benefits of a Kingdom citizen. Without Him, you will always do what religious people call "backsliding". So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another. Galatians 5:16-26 I'm going to stop right here until next week. I want to encourage you to meditate on these verses in Galatians. Hold them up against your daily life. Do you see more of Kingdom living, being guided by the Holy Spirit? Or do you see more of the world reflected in your life? Be very truthful with yourself. We cannot truly repent without seeing what we are repenting for!
Until next time, remember that your faith in His Word is your greatest asset in the Kingdom of God!
All NLT except where noted
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