What if in the middle of the night, your house caught fire and you had to evacuate quickly and could only save one item. What would that one item be? What is the one thing you cannot live without?
What if you were stranded on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, what is the one thing you would miss the most?
What is more precious to you than life itself?
Everybody has priorities but often those priorities are not obvious and clouded by nonessentials. Most of our time we spend doing things that are not essential and we go to places that are not necessary. Many seem to be just caught up in the rat race.
This may be the reason this generation has been the most medicated generation ever.
If we could begin to eliminate from our life the nonessentials, we might rediscover the priorities of life that truly define us. Most people allow the nonessential things in life to define them, which only brings about burnout.
When it comes to spiritual things, it does not seem to be any different. Christians are so cluttered with nonessentials that they have really lost the priority of their life. And remember, priority is singular. That means there can only be one priority in your life. What is it? How have you defined it?
Kingdom Living is a life lived under the authority of a king. Accordingly, the king has absolute authority. His commands are not for our consideration but for our obedience. For us that King is Jesus. We are living under His authority and guidelines and we are being brought into harmony with the priorities of his kingdom.
The more I understand Kingdom Living under the authority of Jesus, I begin to realize the power available to me to live a life pleasing unto the King Jesus.
His priorities have become and are becoming my priorities.
To know more about this Kingdom Living, I need to know more about the King, Jesus. The kingdom is defined by the King.
The practical application of Kingdom Living is seen in the fact that the closer I get to the King, Jesus, the more abhorrent sin and evil becomes. The closer I get to Jesus the more uncomfortable I am with the world. We have lost the shock factor to our own sin.
If I am comfortable with sin, the world and the evil in the world, there is a definable distance between Jesus and me.
Many call themselves Christians, but are not living under the authority of Christ.
The parable in Luke 6:39-49, has to do with the priorities in Kingdom Living. The basic theme has to do with our relationship with others. What the parable is trying to teach us is that our relationship with others in the world around us clearly reflects our relationship with God.
This truth equips us with the power to affect the world around us in Kingdom Authority.
Kingdom Authority has three aspects.
The Basis of Kingdom Authority Is Discipleship (39-42)
The key to discipleship is in verse 40, “… when he is fully trained will be like his teacher…”
The reality of life is that you are becoming like your teacher. The question is, who is your teacher?
To answer that you need to look at what direction you are going. Jesus will be leading you away from the world. If you are going in that direction then your teacher is Jesus.
If, however, you are going in the direction of the world then Jesus is not your teacher. Jesus will not lead you into the world because the world is under judgment. If you are chasing the world, then you are running away from Jesus.
One of the obligations of discipleship is ministering to a brother or sister in the Lord. There is a way to do it, and there is a way not to do it. This parable is disclosing to us the proper way of ministering to our brother or sister.
Many have lifted these words out of context to make them say something different altogether. For example, look at Luke 6:37. Most people will focus on the first phrase, “Judge not, and you will not be judged…”
Of course, people use this to justify a life of sin and rebellion.
“Don’t you know,” people will say, “that the Bible says judge not and you will not be judged?”
It is not saying anything of the sort. Notice what Jesus says in this parable (6:42).
“First…” We need to take care of our personal life and our relationship to the Lord first. We need to make sure we are living in complete obedience to Kingdom Authority.
“Then…” Once we have taken care of our own relationship we are in a position and have an obligation to minister to a brother or sister.
The dynamics of Christian discipleship include the community of Christians. The most precious thing we have this side of heaven is our brothers and sisters in the Lord. How are we treating them?
The Evidence of Kingdom Authority Is Fruit (43-45).
Many people say they are Christians and yet in their life is no evidence to back up that boast. In fact, the whole tenor of their life says they are anything but Christians.
If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
Somebody once said, “maybe we are not supposed to judge one another, but we are supposed to be fruit testers.” The question that bears upon my heart today is simply this, am I bearing the fruit of living under Kingdom Authority?
It is impossible to be a born-again Christian living under Kingdom Authority and not bear fruit. Something is wrong somewhere. Either God’s Word is not true or something is wrong with my life.
As far as Jesus was concerned, and His concerns should be our concerns, the fruit your life produces is the evidence of your life.
The Foundation Of Kingdom Authority Is Obedience (46-49).
Jesus asked a very important question here. “Why… not do what I tell you?”
It’s one thing to give lip service to the Lord, but it is another thing to have your life in harmony with His Word. The thing that brings His Word into harmony with my life is my obedience to that Word.
The pursuit of my daily walk with Jesus is fueled by obeying His Word.
Obeying God is not a burden because the core of my obedience is His love for me and my love for Him. The very delight of my life is obeying the Lord. Daily I look for ways to obey Him because in that obedience I am pleasing Him.
The good fruit in my life confirms my discipleship and that fruit is a result of obeying God’s Word.
Understanding my position in God’s kingdom enables me to understand the power and authority I have through my life in this world. This is secret of overcoming the obstacles in my daily life.
This gives us an understanding of what our life is under Kingdom Living. We do not live unto ourselves, and we are not making up the rules as we go along. They do not change because God doesn’t change. We have submitted ourselves to the King and are under His Authority and His Word is what we strive to obey each day.
My journey as a Christian explodes in praise and adoration for the Kingdom under which I am living. Everything I do is Kingdom work and the King, Jesus, is pleasured by my life. Upon me rests the smile of the Father.