Hello Everyone! It’s a joy and a privilege to be bringing you a brand new devotional series from the Word of God! I believe this teaching series is going to lay the foundation for where we are going as a body of believers, and I’m thankful to be starting the final quarter of 2018 by getting back to doing what God has called and anointed me to do, and doing it on the original blog home of Christlike Ministries NWA.
Christlike Ministries NWA has been the main vision since God gave it to me all the way back in 2001, and birthed it in 2012. Pastor B’s Ministry has become more of a personal blog that is going to continue to be used, but I really haven’t been able to get that blog off the ground like this one. Pastor B’s Ministry has really kind of defined what it is I’m doing on Facebook nowadays, and that includes changing the name of the Facebook Fan Page to Pastor B’s Ministry, and opening a brand new Facebook Closed Group named Pastor B’s Family.
But, it’s great to be back to using the main blog, and I’m really excited to actually have clear direction as to what God wants me to write about, and how we’re going to lay the foundation for where we are going as a body of believers. The truth is both Christlike Ministries NWA and Pastor B’s Ministry are really interchangeable because they’re both the same thing, the same calling, and with the same vision and mission.
What is that mission or vision that God’s given me? This…
My main mission is to serve the Lord by using the ability to write for glory of God. It is my desire to help my readers to ENCOUNTER God’s presences, EQUIP them to walk with Him, and ENCOURAGE them to step into their God-ordained vocation.
And with that, it’s time to get into the first of seven messages in our new teaching series titled “Seeking The Kingdom”!
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33 (KJV)
Lord Jesus. I pray that you would make my fingers as that of a pen of a ready writer, writing only of the oracles of You. I ask for the supernatural ability of the Holy Ghost to help me to write with boldness, clarity, power, and purpose. I ask that You would give those who read this ears to hear and hearts that will receive and respond to what You are about to speak through this message. It is my hope that You receive the glory and honor and praise. In Jesus name. Amen & Amen.
Top Priority. Period
When I think about what Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 (KJV) He could’ve just stopped at “Seek ye first the kingdom of God.”, and that would’ve been good enough. However, it comes after He talks about how we as believers need not worry about whether or not God is going to provide for us because we’re more precious to Him as His children than the birds of the air and the grass on the fields and the flowers.
What was the big deal about the point He was making about the birds and the grass and the flowers? That if God provided everything that they needed to prosper and grow than He can certainly do that and more for those of us who are citizens of His Kingdom.
The announcement that was made when Jesus was on the earth was that the “Kingdom of God was at hand.”, and of course we know from the model of what we call “The Lord’s Prayer” that one of the things we are taught to pray is that things would be done right here on earth as they are in Heaven…or in other words…as they are done in The Kingdom.
My pastor over at Ignite Church in Rogers, Arkansas (yes, friends I have a pastor that I am submitted to and that God speaks to my life through) has said a few times something that I really love. He said; “Jesus didn’t come to establish a religion…He came to establish a Kingdom.”
Friends, when you really read and study the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John you don’t see any mention at all about being a good Christian, but you see a lot of talk about the Kingdom of God. You read about how there are going to be people (goats) who think they’re really good Christian people, but the King is going to tell them that He never knew them because it’s never been about being good religious people…it’s always been about the reality that we can establish a relationship with the King of kings. The sheep that He will be welcoming into His Kingdom are the ones that truly desired to encounter Him…the ones that cultivated the relationship with Him…the ones that served Him with love in their hearts not just for the people they were serving, but out of a love for Him.
You see, the whole reason I am doing this isn’t to make myself famous or to make myself look like some godly man who has it altogether. I’m doing this because I love God and in a very real way every time I sit down to pen a message not only am I fulfilling my calling, but I’m doing it as an act of worship. I’m worshiping Him by using the very gift He gave me to serve Him. That’s what the point of doing all that you do for God’s glory and not your own is all about.
In the interest of being honest, I like to see people liking and commenting on my posts. I like seeing the growing numbers of people coming to the blog. I am like anyone else in the sense that I wanna be liked, but that isn’t the reason for my having the blogs and Facebook page and group and continuing to pour my heart out of social media.
It’s all about Jesus. It’s all for Jesus. It’s all for God’s glory. God gave me the ability to write, God gives me the topics to write about, and it’s the Holy Ghost that gives me the words to write…so there really isn’t anything that I do other than allow my fingers to do the Holy Ghost’s talking.
Yes, I put some personal testimony and thoughts into these messages. However, if you go back and read some of the first blog posts, and you read the ones I’m writing now…you’ll find that I’ve become a much better writer. Do you know who gets the credit for that? Not me, friends. It’s God that gave me the gift and it’s God that’s helped me to develop the gift…and no matter how you slice it…all of this is truly for His glory and His glory alone.
So, if we’re going to get to seeking the Kingdom of God then I guess we need to answer this question…
But what is the Kingdom of God? And how should we go about to seek it?
How can we seek something if we don’t know what it is or how we should go about seeking it? As many of you know I’ve kind of used devotionals on YouVersion to help me write these messages, and that’s going to continue here in this message. From this point on the things you see in the quotes will be from the devotional, and if you’d like to follow along with you can do so by clicking right here –>Seeking The Kingdom.
And now with that out-of-the-way let’s get back to this message and answer those questions.
The Kingdom of God is the rule of King Jesus which He has now brought into the affairs of men and nations. Throughout the Old Testament God ruled all creation and its peoples. Yet He kept His distance and allowed Satan, the Father of Lies, to blind the world and shroud it in the darkness of unbelief and sin. Satan was always God’s servant during those many years, and could only do what the Father allowed him (cf. Job 1, 2).
So, the Kingdom of God is the rule of King Jesus. We all know that Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus told us in His Word that His Kingdom was not of this present world.
We also know from the Word of God that the Kingdom of God is far beyond the heavens as we think about this let’s think of a few passages in the Bible. Think first about when Jesus was baptized, the disciples saw the Holy Spirit decent upon Him like a dove. The Bible talks about the rapture in that when the trumpet sounds the dead will rise first, and then those who are alive in Christ will “meet Him in the clouds”. Of course, the final time Jesus was on earth, the disciples saw Him ascend to Heaven.
So…we can conclude that the Kingdom of God is well beyond the heavens. There’s a reason that we like to think that those who have passed and gone to heaven are “looking down upon us”, and we think about God doing the same. Of course we also know from the Word of God since it’s brought up that satan who was basically Heaven’s worship leader, and of course the moment he had a thought that he was equal to God the Bible said that he fell to the earth like lightning.
So, again we can conclude that when we look up and raise our hands towards the Heavens we’re aware that the Kingdom of God is beyond the heavens, but if we really want to be honest the Kingdom is within all of our hearts. Those of us who have made Jesus Christ our Lord and King know that He’s established His Kingdom in our hearts…and I would hope we know that doesn’t mean our physical hearts…but the heart of who we are…the very depths of our soul.
Which brings us to the most important question we have to answer. Hopefully everyone that’s reading this message has made Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior. However, the first step in seeking the Kingdom first is making Jesus Christ your King, and if that hasn’t taken place yet it’s really easy to do. You don’t have to say some great, long, drawn out religious prayer. The Bible says that if we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that we believe what Jesus did on the Cross was for us, and we take that believe and we call upon the name of the Lord we shall be saved. That means if you simply say something like…
“Jesus, I believe in my heart and confess with my mouth that what you did on the Cross was for me. I receive You as my Lord and Savior by grace through faith in the finished work of the Cross. Thank You for saving me. Please fill me with the Holy Spirit, and help me to live for You all the rest of my days. In Jesus name. Amen & Amen
If you took a moment to pray that…you’ve completed the first step…you are now a citizen of the Kingdom. Jesus Christ is you Lord and Savior and King. The next step is to ask Him to help you find a good Bible preaching, teaching, and applying church. Let them know that you’re a new believer, and they should be able to help you get started in your walk with Him.
By the way, keep praying, and don’t worry about cleaning up your life. God will take care of all of that stuff, but keep praying. Don’t worry about praying some fantastic, religious sounding prayers…just talk to Him.
Get yourself a good study Bible. I recommend that you get one in the New King James or New American Standard translation. Those are a lot easier to read, and they don’t leave anything out like other easier to read translations do. I’m not bashing any Bibles, but there are definitely translations to avoid for new believers because they leave things out that completely changes the context of the Bible. So stick to NKJV or NASB if at all possible for your first study Bible…and then get yourself on You Version they have a mobile app and a web address (www.bible.com).
So, we seek the Kingdom by reading His Word, talking to Him in prayer, finding a solid Bible teaching and preaching and applying church, and that will lead you to discovering worship which will usher you into His presence. The cool thing about worship is that you don’t have to wait until you get to church to worship Jesus. You can do it in the car, in the shower, and in a place many of us call the secret place where just you and God hang out. For some it’s the car, for some it’s the shower, for some they literally clean out a closet, for some it’s taking a quiet walk early in the morning or late at night…it doesn’t matter where the secret place is…what matters is that you have a place for you and God to hang out in.
Eventually it gets to where God will invade your space anywhere. I’ve had God call me into moments of worship with Him many different places, many different times, but the only reason I know to respond is because I spend time seeking Him…because the bottom line is seeking the Kingdom is really seeking the presence of the King. So, those are some actual steps you can take to seeking the Kingdom, and I hope that helps you.
For those of you that already know Jesus as your Lord and Savior and King…then ask Him what He wants you to do. I would highly recommend that if you aren’t sure where your relationship with God is that you look into reading a book called The Journey to the Inner Chamber. I would also highly recommend that you don’t ask God to remove all the things that are hindering you from seeking Him and having the kind of relationship with Him that you and God would like you to have…because it will cost you.
In closing, I’m not exactly sure why I call these teaching series because I don’t necessarily know that I’m teaching anyone anything. I’m just writing what the Lord gives me to write, and leaving the teaching and the hearing and the receiving up to Him. It’s my job to obey God by doing the writing…the results are His job.
I do feel like the last few points of the devotional are important to include here, and so I’m going to post them. I’m not sure if the Lord’s going to give me anything to say about them, but I feel like it’s necessary to post them. So, here’s the rest…
But with the coming of Jesus, everything changed. A new order has broken into the lives of men and nations; a new King has ascended His eternal throne; and a new power, in the Person of God’s Spirit, is unleashed in the world.
The full coming of the Kingdom awaits the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. But now, and for 2,000 years, the rule of Christ on earth has been advancing against the wiles of the devil, the opposition of men and nations, and the lies and half-truths of the best of human thinking.
The Kingdom of God is advancing as the Church pursues her mission and her members take up the daily challenge of seeking the Kingdom of God as their highest priority in all their activities.
Where the Kingdom is advancing, righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit burst into bloom like spring flowers. No wonder Paul said that all who take up this calling will find favor with God and be a blessing to their fellow-men (Rom. 14:17, 18).
I will close this message by saying that knowing that God has called me to do this is truly an honor, but some times its terrifying at the same time. I’ve never been comfortable calling myself a pastor, but the truth is I haven’t taken a step with this ministry without God’s approval…and it was God Himself that anointed me as a pastor.
I’m thankful that God’s given me a gift to use for His glory. He’s allowed me to kind of minister within my personality. I’m comfortable in the background, and that’s the awesome thing about God…if you’re willing He will use you. Not everyone is meant to be in a pulpit with a microphone, but everyone has a purpose. Part of seeking the Kingdom is learning what He’s called and anointed you to do so that you can help advance the Kingdom in the earth.
And with that, I believe I’m going to bring this message to a close.
Thank You, Lord God, for Your Word. It’s always an honor to have You use me to pen these blog posts, and whatever they’re called I’m so thankful that You have chosen me and have given me the ability to do this for Your glory. Father, I ask that You would teach us and speak to us more as we go through this series about what it means to really be a Kingdom seeker. I pray that You would remove the religious mindsets we have, and replace it with a Kingdom mindset. Most of all, I pray that You would reveal more of Yourself to us, that You would remove the hindrances in our lives that keep us from truly making You the Lord and King of our lives and hearts. Speak to our hearts, transform our minds with Your word, and help us to become more like You. In Jesus’ name. Amen & Amen.
Final Word From Pastor B:
I hope this message resonates and does that which God sent it forth to do. I was about to sit down and study this devotional for myself when I sensed that God was wanting me to write this devotional into a series…and so being that I want to obey God and trust Him with the results…that’s what I’m doing.
So, I hope y’all enjoyed this message, and will come back for the second message in this series which will be titled: “Get Ready to Rumble!”. I have no idea what the pace of this series is going to be…but we’re getting to that place where we can start a year-end countdown by the number of weeks left.
It’s likely we’re going to do a Thanksgiving countdown series and possibly a Christmas countdown series also. I usually do a message a week, but I kinda feel like we’re going to get through this series a little faster than one message a week. I feel like there’s other things God wants us to get into, and I think the other blog is about to get a series too.
In addition to that, I believe that my Facebook posts are going to be increasing, and when I’m not writing my main goal is going to be studying. So, I don’t know what the rest of this series is going to look like, but I know that I’m excited to really be writing again.
Until then, there are lots and lots of messages here on this blog for y’all to read, and there’s quite a few over on Pastor B’s Ministry to read as well. There’s also lots of good stuff on Facebook to read.
Also, if you are interested in supporting the ministry on a financial level it would be a tremendous blessing to me and my family. If you’d like to sow into the ministry you can do so by going to https://www.paypal.me/christministnwa. For every one that is able to sow a minimum of $5.00 a month I’ll send a copy of my book 7 Hebrews For Praise. So, you’ll help my ministry and you’ll get a copy of my book. Thank you in advance to anyone that sows into the ministry.
With that, I believe I will finally draw this to a close, proofread it, and get it posted. I feel like I need to get back into the Word for a little bit before I call it a day. Thank y’all for all of your prayers, patience, and support. I am blessed with some awesome followers, and am thankful for every one of you.
I love and appreciate y’all. Enjoy the rest of your Labor Day weekend.
Blessings & Grace ~ Pastor B