Kingdom Principle: Kingdom Fruit grows from Kingdom Root
Key Words: Reverence, Perseverance, Motivation, Rewards,
Exodus 20:20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.”
Matthew 21:43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.
Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.
The Pharisee’s knew the right answers about the Kingdom but it was taken from them, the Tenants of the Vineyard knew how to produce the fruit, but they didn’t fear the King. So true today, many know the right answers of what the church is about and its power and yet they do not see Thy Kingdom Come, and many today actually serving only to give up wondering why the fruit never produced. How can it be that the right answers are given, and the right actions are taken, but these efforts altogether miss the reality of the Kingdom of God. The reality is that we must dig for the root, not reach for the fruit.
The 10 commandments are an act of gratitude not a means to guilt. When I live a life of obedience to the King and expect to be rewarded for that – I have reached for the fruit, without the root. Obedience is to be motivated by thanksgiving and result in compassion. Serving and knowing God is to be its own reward not a requirement. If I love my wife because I made a vow – then my love is rooted in obedience (and yes it is right), but if I serve my wife because I love her – then thanksgiving is my motivation and compassion is the result. When thanksgiving is the motivation, the compassion will never run dry. So often we never look at what motivates us to action we simply justify our actions and conclude it was good enough. Where this becomes most obvious is the revelation that serving the King is not only a reward it produces new resources that replenish the Kingdom rather than being a drain on society. Have you ever stated serving in some capacity only to burn out with it a short time? I would encourage you to look at your motivation; it may be that you were looking for a reward that never came. The same is true when we serve the King in obedience yet looking for a reward that was never intended for us to have. Therefore when you serve the King in the following of the 10 commandments – you are both enjoying the reward of walking with the King as well as placing renewal resources back in the community. This act moves you from being a consumer to a contributor. As you look at your life, are you finding that your efforts are contributing and increasing the resources of the Kingdom?
Do you get tired of serving and following the King? If so – I am going to suggest you may be reaching for the fruit. In the Parable the fruit of the labor is for the landlord, not the tenants, but what happened is that tenants saw the fruit and said “we want the fruit for ourselves” (this goes back to the garden….and being a consumer rather than a contributor) Compassion is a renewal resources that is produced when the elements of the Kingdom are merged in our lives. We as servants are the factories/vineyards that produce such fruit. Our reward in the Kingdom is being in the Kingdom with the King. We don’t produce compassion for our own good; it is for the good of others.
If you want to be more compassionate – begin to search for the things in your life to which you are not thankful. Ask God to show you why they are in your life and learn to be thankful for them. Then in obedience ask God what to do about those situations and your willingness to respond will result in compassion – maybe not to the situation in question but as a by-product in other areas of your life which will increase thankfulness… and the cycle continues.