Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Present Reign of Christ

This week my small group curriculum stays in the red letters and highlights the importance of Christ's Lordship and His reign in the very present and real Kingdom of God.

Big Idea:
Everyone wants to be blessed, but not everyone is willing to bow their knees to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and lay down their lives for His Kingdom purpose. It’s much easier to call Jesus Savior than it is to know Him as Lord.

Jesus is Lord and He has brought His Kingdom. There is no middle ground for the Christian: unless you acknowledge Jesus as Lord of all, you can’t claim Him as Lord at all. He is called Lord over 600 times in the New Testament. You can't make Him Lord; He has already claimed the title. What does the lordship of Jesus Christ mean to us? It means that we must recognize Him for who He is, we must offer Him total obedience, and we must give Him the honor that He is due. He has earned it; He is worthy of it. So, will you recognize His Lordship and will you submit to it?

Let’s remember that as Lord, Jesus brought with Him the Kingdom of God. Simply put, the Kingdom of God is the way things should be. It is the way God originally intended things to be before sinful man messed it all up. But, when do we get to begin experiencing this kingdom? When will things be as they were intended to be? Some religious people tell us it happens in the “sweet by and by” when we die. However, Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is at hand. Not once did Jesus ever subject the Kingdom of God along with all of its promises and possibilities to a futuristic millennial age. He threw wide open the door of Heaven’s provision for our lives today. He demonstrated the presence of His Kingdom as He performed miracle after miracle. You see, not only did He declare the Kingdom to be “at hand”, but He performed miracles to show them just how close it was.

We must be careful not to miss the Kingdom of God due to ignorance, disbelief, or because we don’t understand the signs of His Kingdom. In our carnality, we must not look for personal signs to prove to us the reality of His Kingdom among us. Jesus is Lord and His Kingdom is here and now. In light of this reality, it’s time to change our thinking about everything. We can’t afford to miss the present reign of Christ.

Discussion Questions: (read the scripture & discuss)

Luke 6:46- 49
What does Jesus expect of those who call Him Lord? What does this parable teach should be the foundation of a life surrendered to Him? Contrast the results of submitting to His Lordship through obedience with not submitting.

Luke 19:11-27
What does verse 12 tell us about why Jesus came to earth? To whom does Jesus give kingdom responsibility until He returns, and what does He expect them to do until He returns? What is the difference between the outcome for the negligent servant and those who didn’t surrender to His lordship?

Philippians 2:5-13
We are to have the same attitude as Christ. How does this passage describe His attitude? In what ways do you see your attitude becoming more like Christ’s as you grow in your faith? Why will "all things" confess the Lordship of Jesus Christ? What is the relationship between Christ's attitude and His kingdom authority?

Taking Action: This week, daily ask God to reveal any areas in your life that are not subjected to His Lordship. Repent, submit those things to God, and ask God for His grace to walk in newness of life – free from compromise and treason.

Ministry Time

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