When CRUSHED by life, what comes out, RADICAL GENEROSITY or SELFISHNESS?
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body." 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
In the KINGDOM of GOD, Love, God’s LOVE is the only source of LOVE, and it has been given to us as a free gift by Grace.
"But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many." Romans 5:15
We RECEIVE LOVE to BECOME LOVE to be CALLED to LOVE others, including ourselves and our neighbors.
"As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." 1 Peter 4:10
In the KINGDOM of GOD, we have been equipped to LOVE WHAT GOD LOVES and then actually LOVE.
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also." 1 John 4:7, 21
Being BORN of GOD, we are BORN of LOVE, in LOVE, and for LOVE.
"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;" Ephesians 5:1
When PERPLEXED by life, what comes out of you in your response, SELF-DENIAL and SERVICE TOWARD OTHERS or SELF-CENTEREDNESS?
"Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1 John 2:15
When YOU don’t get YOUR way, what is YOUR natural response?
"Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law." Romans 13:8
When YOU are betrayed, forgotten, overlooked, or taken advantage of, without thinking first, how do YOU normally respond?
"Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him." John 14:23
What comes out of your heart when YOUR prayers are not answered, when YOU face injustice, or when YOU watch others get what they don’t deserve? GOODWILL for them, or DISDAIN and jealousy?
"equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen." Hebrews 13:21
THE WORLD’S BEST TRAINING: “ATTACK and WITHDRAWAL”
From the beginning, from the very moment the serpent tricked Eve into creating and stepping into her “SELF-WILL,” she stepped into SIN. The serpent still uses the same exact TRICK today. As a matter of fact, he used the same tactic against every single generation - UNTIL JESUS CAME, that is.
"and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake." Philemon 1:6
Satan and his world use “ATTACK and WITHDRAWAL” to get things done. If you are IN THE WORLD, whenever people stand in your way, defy you, ignore you, or even reject you, you ATTACK them! That’s the way of the world. Life in the Kingdom is much different.
"Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow." James 1:17
If you are IN THE WORLD, and others don’t agree with you or they oppose you, your best answer is to attack them. The world teaches us to be vicious and DESTROY, take no prisoners.
"life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever." 1 John 2:15-17
To win or be successful, those IN THE WORLD are taught to BEAT and DESTROY and to CONQUER their opponents. The world says, “Show no mercy!”
"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:22
We are taught to raise questions about our opponent's integrity and destroy them by fibbing about their motive and character and casting doubt over their reputation.
"If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you." John 15:18-19
In the World, we STEP ON OUR OPPONENTS, and WE CRUSH THEM as we are taught to DESTROY our ENEMIES.
"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 12:2
If ATTACK does not work, we are taught to use WITHDRAWAL! Those trained by this world will call upon WITHDRAWAL to do the job when in doubt. Yes, for those TRAINED BY CULTURE, if ATTACK does not work, we should switch to “contempt,” “disdain,” and “harsh judgment” to get our dirty work done!
"You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error." 1 John 4:4-6
In other words, if ATTACK fails, we use REJECTION. We’ll reject them and then isolate them from ALL good things through SHAME and CONDEMNATION. Sadly, in the world, when we don’t get our way, we often withdraw our affection, concern, and love.
Jesus destroyed “ATTACK and WITHDRAWAL.” Jesus CHANGED EVERYTHING. Jesus removed FEAR, replacing FEAR with GRACE, therefore REMOVING ANY and ALL REASONS to use “ATTACK and WITHDRAWAL.”
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also." 1 John 4:7-21
Through the Cross, Jesus removed all the POWER behind “ATTACK and WITHDRAWAL.” He taught us to LOVE OUR ENEMIES.
"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1
Whereas GOD’s WILL is based on GOD’s ABUNDANT GRACE, “SELF-WILL” is built upon one’s own abilities, apart from God.
"For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ." 2 Corinthians 1:5
“SELF-WILL” is built upon and supported by the deception of SCARCITY and FEAR.
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10
The world’s way of successfully operating and navigating this LIFE requires MASTERY through SCARCITY, FEAR, and LOSS. The world is successfully training and equipping generation after generation to use the “ATTACK and WITHDRAWAL” theme inherent to SCARCITY and FEAR.
"Now to Him who can do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21
No matter how great your parents are or were, they were forced to train you, their lovely child, with the best they had at the time. Their best is woefully short! But through your Heavenly Father, you lack nothing,
"and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus." 1 Timothy 1:14
Supported by the culture and other clueless humans, you were raised with the wisdom the world offers, mostly through “ATTACK and WITHDRAWAL.” Satan came to KILL and DESTROY. Satan has infiltrated every part of society and built his house upon “ATTACK and WITHDRAWAL.”
"in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." 2 Corinthians 4:4
Jesus didn’t use “ATTACK and WITHDRAWAL,” and doesn’t, and HE WON’T, ever! Jesus IS THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE of “ATTACK and WITHDRAWAL.” JESUS IS SELF-GIVING LOVE, always displaying RADICAL GENEROSITY.
"But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." James 1:5
Everything that is FLESH-BASED is SIN-BASED. All human wisdom, for example, is FLESH-BASED, built upon “human performance,” and driven by “ATTACK and WITHDRAWAL.” Do good, get good. Do bad, get bad.
"Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God." 2 Corinthians 9:10-11
“ATTACK and WITHDRAWAL” are all based on HUMAN PERFORMANCE and manipulating undisciplined feelings and emotions. “ATTACK and WITHDRAWAL” is used for self-protection AND to get what I want when I want it.
"Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy." 1 Timothy 6:17
The world is built upon SELF and everything related to self, such as self-concern, self-protection, self-desire, self-assured, self-confident and even self-willed. The world looks at SELF-GIVING LOVE as foolishness and folly. The world teaches RADICAL GENEROSITY is a joke and stupid even.
“Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written, “He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor, His righteousness endures forever.” 2 Corinthians 9:7-9
The world teaches humans to be SELF-RELIANT, SELF-INITIATED, SELF-MOTIVATED, SELF-DRIVEN, and SELF-AMBITIOUS. The world uses doubt, lack, offense, betrayal, disappointment, and hurt feelings TO MANIPULATE PEOPLE and INFLUENCE OUTCOMES.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Jesus taught us to SERVE OTHERS and to DENY SELF. Jesus was a FOOT WASHER. He taught His disciples to pick up their cross and FOLLOW HIM. What He meant was obvious and clear, to deny self, die to self, and be SELF-GIVING LOVE.
"We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." 1 John 3:16
Our choice is to DIE TO SELF and LOVE OTHERS, especially our enemies and those who spitefully use us and say all kinds of bad things about us. Our two choices are RADICAL GENEROSITY, or, LOVE SELF, protect SELF, and to SERVE SELF.
"But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another." Ephesians 4:20-25
We, BELIEVERS and FOLLOWERS of CHRIST, reject “ATTACK and WITHDRAWAL,” and instead, as imagers of Jesus, BY GRACE ALONE, we deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and we FOLLOW JESUS in RADICAL GENEROSITY and SELF-GIVING LOVE.
"But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." 1 Corinthians 12:7
As we conclude this exploration of Kingdom Living, let us reflect on our own lives. Do we default to self-defense, self-protection, and self-love, or have we embraced the radical call to selflessness and love for others, just as Christ exemplified? The choice is ours and extends beyond mere words; it requires a daily commitment to walk in the footsteps of the one who declared, "Follow Me."
In embracing Kingdom Living, we discover that love, grace, and generosity are not mere ideals but the very essence of life as it was meant to be lived. It is a life that transcends the world's limitations, for it is rooted in something far greater—our Creator's unending love and grace.
May we, as individuals and as a community of believers, be inspired to embody Kingdom Living in all that we do, allowing our lives to serve as a testament to the transformative power of self-giving love, radical generosity, and living by grace. In doing so, we not only fulfill the call of Christ but also illuminate a path of hope, healing, and reconciliation for a world in need of the Kingdom's light.
In a world marked by self-preservation and self-interest, the For GIVEN message presents a profound shift: Kingdom Living. This life is defined by radical generosity, self-giving love, and unwavering commitment to King Jesus and His heavenly Kingdom.
Jesus taught us to deny self, embrace selflessness, and follow Him, ushering in a lifestyle that starkly contrasts worldly 'attack and withdrawal' tactics. In Kingdom Living, our ultimate goal is aligning our will with God's, a life rooted in God's grace and love.
While the world may breed fear and scarcity, Kingdom Living calls us to reject self-centeredness and respond with self-giving love, even to our enemies. This lifestyle embodies the Kingdom's principles, one that transcends the world's limitations, shining the light of hope, healing, and reconciliation."