Kingdom Principle: Kingdom Servants enjoy peace & prosperity as a way of life.
Kingdom Servants – Fulfill their Purpose of Love
It has been said that love is a verb : John Mayer put this to music, Jesus put this on display for the world. To be a verb means it is in action. If something is in action, we should be able to see it move and be expressed. If that is true we should also be able to see what it looks like when love ceases to be in action. Guilt, Shame and Fear are three of the most powerful expressions of the soul which cause us to freeze in our tracks and became prey of this world. Conversely; Faith, Hope and Love are the counter balance of these three, of which love is the greatest of all. 1 John 4:18 tells us that perfect love drives out all fear. 1 John 4:9-10 explains that God demonstrated His love for us by sending His Son to die on the cross, giving up his life for us. This is lays the defense for why in 1 John 3:16 it directs us to give up our lives as an act of love for our brothers and sisters. For an extra study – discover the roots of Guilt, Shame and Fear and why Jesus’ death was necessary as a redeeming action for all creation; it is recorded in Genesis 2-3.
The Scriptures this week paint a beautiful picture of love in action. Proverbs 31 depicts the role of a noble and wise wife and the impact she can bring to her husband. It certainly is the one highest displays of Peace and Prosperity one can find in the Scriptures. What we must know it is love that motivates her, not guilt, shame or fear. For in wisdom she fears the Lord only. We will return to this below. Psalm 1 demonstrates the results of a life lived in Faith on the plan of Hope – again Prosperity and Peace, rather than life wasted, leading to death. James 3 continues to highlight the expression of Faith in our lives and the Fruit which it bears. We shall be Peacemakers (as in Matt 5:9 – they will be called children of God). As children of God our love is pure and not corrupted by the world. Then Mark 9 ties this all together as Jesus highlights the lack of in the disciples – calling them to be servants and allowing the children to model the exchange of love.
Have you been called to child-like faith, expressing hope beyond hope only to live your life as a servant, sacrificing and giving to model the Love of Christ in you? If so, then you are to be known to the world as the church. The church is not a building, it is a people (often referred to as aliens and strangers) who are love in action. As the church we are to be set apart from the world, yet actively engaged in the world. We are set a part by our ways of belonging, believing and behaving, not for our benefit- rather for the very transformation of society. We engage the world, being both scattered and gathered. The Scattered Church serves and witnesses to all domains of society much like leaven in bread, or light illuminates a dark room. The Gathered Church edifies one another and is equipped so that the Scattered Church can “rise” and “burn” brightly.
When the Gathered Church attempts to be the light and the leaven in isolation from the very society to which it was sent, the church becomes driven by programs rather than relationships resulting in; conformity verses intimacy, productivity verses fecundity, and consistency verses ecstasy. In order continually focus our attention on intimacy with the King, fecundity in the Kingdom and ecstasy in Kingship, the Gathered Church must focus is attention on the Equipping and Edification of the Saints.
Equipping of the saints is to prepare and perfect the bride of Christ so that the King will be exalted and we will be identified as a transformed community to advance the kingdom throughout the world. Edification of the saints is the building up and strengthening of the body of the Christ, so that the King will be exalted and we will be encouraged as a transformed community to advance the kingdom throughout the world. The Church is scattered for Service and Witness which is a natural by-product of the gathered Equipping and Edification of the Church. All of this is only possible by the work and purpose of Love.
Let me return briefly to Proverbs 31 –if we read the text metaphorically as the description given to the Bride of Christ, How might we, the church, live into this description so that as we see in Proverbs 31:28 – Her husband (Christ) will be respected at the city gates and He will be given His seat among the elders of the land. This verse highlights the greatest shift and climax of the context of this passage and shows the purpose of wife/bride’s actions. It is not for one’s own benefit, rather that the King might receive the glory due his name.
How do you know if you are fulfilling your purpose of Love? 1. You will live a life of Peace and Prosperity. (this is marked by intimacy, fecundity, and ecstasy) 2. You will be filled with Faith, Hope & Love as opposed to Guilt, Shame and Fear. (This is made clear when your obedience moves from obligation or expectation to submission and sacrifice. This will be a future post – but I began to build the concepts here.) 3. You will hear the Spirit of Wisdom calling to you, revealing your identity, granting you authority and power. (This is made obvious to all through favor, character and credibility.)