Oops, I Must Have Left the Kingdom of God

The branch cannot bear fruit by itself. (Photo by Dr. Steve Greene )

When the Pharisees asked Jesus to tell them when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus answered their question with power. His response has provided guidance to generations of followers:

"When He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them, 'The kingdom of God does not come with observation. Nor will they say, 'Here it is!' or 'There it is!' For remember, the kingdom of God is within you'" (Luke 17:20-21).

We won't find the kingdom of God to our left or right. It's not just down the street. We cannot observe it.

But God's leaders have His kingdom principles within them.

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The overarching guideline for leaders is to measure our leading by kingdom principles.

"Was that conversation godly?"

"Did I seek to understand?"

"Was I only concerned about being right?"

"Did I demand 'my way' or God's way?"

"Did I love the unlovely, as Jesus would?"

A pastor told me once to gauge the effectiveness of my leadership by how often I left the kingdom. I know this:

When I leave the kingdom of God, and behave such as a man of the world, I stagnate my growth and the growth of the team I lead.

If I call myself a leader, I must fight to remain kingdom-minded. Rationalizing that no one can get through a day without man "stepping out" is simply not good enough.

In Romans 7, Paul laments that "I do the very thing I hate." 

In verse 19, he summarizes our tendency to flip between kingdoms:

"For the good I desire to do, I do not do, but the evil I do not want is what I do."

Unfortunately, I hear this verse quoted too often as if to excuse a continuing behavior. Paul asked, "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of this death?"

The grace of Jesus abounds for kingdom-flippers. Yet, we must repent and cling to the cross.

Kingdom-minded leaders abide near the cross. 



Today's Scripture

"Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, neither can you, unless you remain in Me" (John 15:4). 



Platform Tip No. 150

Make your message great.

Don't settle for good. Or even "done."

The quality and growth metrics of your audience will reflect the quality and greatness of your message.

The Lord will help you. He will lead you to make it better every day.


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