I know the popular view of church is you have yours, and I have mine. Even if we share parking lots I don’t know your name, and you don’t know mine. We may even share a sanctuary, a pastor yet we don’t really know each other, do we? We may hold hands and say the Lord’s Prayer, and we might take communion together, but when was the last time we did life together?
I have neglected writing blog posts, one because I am short on time and two because frankly my views sometimes take a lot to digest. I decided tonight to write about being Kingdom Minded. What does it mean?
Being Kingdom Minded is not something so easily explained, so I will begin with Matthew 6. In it we see that God clothes the fields with beautiful flowers and grass, He feeds the birds and the various animals what they need to survive. He tells us not to be anxious in life, or decisions. and finally verse 33-34.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:33-34 NASB (Lockman Foundation)
We can examine this cautiously, however if we take it at surface level, Jesus commands us to seek first His Kingdom, and His Righteousness, and by doing this everything we need will be provided for us.
Humanity is fickle, we are a social bunch. Even when we tell others we like to be alone, we feel the need to let people know socially that we want to be alone. But, just as we are social, we are also tribal. We stay to our own little groups, we have our own social constructs that we stay in because that is what makes us comfortable.
We began being more imperial, in that we broke away from our tribal habits to create great nations like Rome, the Byzantine Empire, British, etc. We did that as a race because we were kingdom minded, we believed our way of life was better than those that we conquered, so we grew and grew until and even bigger empire swallowed us up. Yes I know that is an oversimplification of history, but truth indeed. We are a social people living in an antisocial world.
All of this combines to create a socially awkward, antisocial imperial tribe. I know… a mouthful… but its true. We have done it in our jobs, we don’t socialize with employees from competing businesses. I remember in the nineties when I worked at Target, I refused to go into Walmart, much to the chagrin of some of my best friends at the time. We don’t affiliate with anyone whom we disagree, God forbid the person is gay, or some other publicly shameful sin. Jesus didn’t agree with the prostitutes or the tax collectors or the others He went around, He didn’t authorize their sinful lifestyle, He loved them and said to sin no more. Thank God He loved them (me) lest I still be in a lifestyle that brought shame to Him.
This brings me back to the beginning of this blog post. What does it mean to be Kingdom Minded?
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect”
Romans 12:1-2 NASB (Lockman Foundation)
What is good, and acceptable, and perfect?
Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.
Philippians 2: 1-18 NASB (Lockman Foundation)
There it is.
Do you see it?
Being Kingdom Minded is being of the same mind, in one Spirit, sharing in Faith, as one, in unity, all while placing other’s needs before our own. Could it be that by putting other’s needs above our own we are potentially relieving the anxiety of the one who Christ told not to be anxious?
Wait, didn’t He say that to me too? Absolutely! You see if we place others above ourselves, their needs as higher than our own, and the other does the same the circle is complete.
Being Kingdom Minded is being of one mind, in unity.
This is as much advice to myself as it is for anyone, we should never be self serving to the degree we wait for another to say hello to us. More times than not we should be inviting different people out to lunch with us after service. We should do life together. I believe that is what it is to be Kingdom Minded!
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