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Hebraic Definition of Kingdom (2 of 4)

Shane Willard

Page 9 of 10
Let me say it this way. Is there any place in your life where you want mercy for yourself, but justice for everybody else? Is there any place in your life where you're at the foot of the cross saying Lord, I've messed up, have mercy, have mercy, have mercy! But you look around the cross and you see other people who are asking for mercy and you go no, God get them - or if You don't get them I'll cut their ear off to make sure they don't serve You anymore. That's horrible. If we're going to establish the kingdom of God one of the first places we need to start is with our own and we need to make a habit of being people who put people's ears back on when possible, that we need to make a habit of putting people's ears back on instead of making it our first response to take people's ears off. Notice Jesus' response; what does Jesus say to Peter? Peter, put your knife away for if you live by the sword you will one day die by the sword. In other words if you make a habit of disqualifying people one day someone's going to disqualify you.

What was fixing to happen in a couple of hours? What was Peter going to do? Deny Jesus three times. Maybe Jesus was setting the precedent to save Peter's ministry as well, because if Peter carries out the judgement that he has to be judged by the same standard with which he judges. Jesus is like don't you understand? If you make a habit of cutting people's ears off one day someone's going to cut yours off and no one's going to be around to help. But when you have a reputation for mercy, then blessed are the merciful for they will obtain mercy. If we're going to establish the kingdom of God in this place and in our life we have to be people who look for opportunities to put people's ears on and not take them off. That will start our journey. Let's pray together.

Lord, You're awesome. We love You and we're humbled by You. We proclaim You are king. Lord Jesus. Would you right now in this moment, just in this moment would you to take a second and I want you to become aware of everything you've been forgiven of. Ask yourself this question: where would my life be today had God not touched it? Ask yourself this question: how many times has Jesus put my ears back on? Now I want you to ask yourself this: is there anywhere in my life, is there any person in my life that I can help put their ear on? Any word of encouragement, a letter, a reinstatement, something? I want you to ask yourself is there any place in my life where I'm forbidding things that are hurting people and I'm loosing things that are hurting people? Is there any place in my life that I need to identify with the suffering of others? Are there some kids I need to feed? Some orphans I need to clothe? Is there injustice that I need to bring justice to? I don't Lord want to be a person who's just on their way to heaven. I thank You for heaven, but I don't want to be a person just on my way there. Lord, would You use me as a vessel to bring heaven to every place there's hell.

If you'd like to join in on that prayer with me would you just put your hands out in front of you and say Lord, use me as a kingdom person. Lord, establish Your name over my life. The Bible teaches that the name of God can actually dwell over people or over a place, so let's begin to pray - let's do this actually. Let's get our head off ourselves. Would you begin to pray for the person on your left. Just say a prayer for the person whoever's sitting on your left; Lord, let the name of God dwell over them. Let the name of God dwell over them, the compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love God. Let the name of God, the environment of that name, let it dwell over them. Let it dwell over them. Let the kingdom be established right there in that person. May this person not be a person on their way to heaven, but rather be a person bringing heaven to everywhere there's hell.

Now would you begin to pray for the person on your right, begin to bless them as a dwelling place for the name. Let Your name dwell - the Book of Deuteronomy says the name can dwell a certain place. Let the dwelling place for Your name rest on this person. May they be compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love people. May the kingdom be established. May it be established right here. Now let's pray for this church. Lord, we pray for our church. Lord, let the kingdom be established here. Let this place be a dwelling place for Your name, the compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love God. May this church not be a people who are going to heaven one day, but also be a people who bring heaven to hell right here on earth. Lord, may we be an establisher of Your ways over the top of something that is hell on earth. Lord, we give ourself to You again in Jesus' name. Amen. [Amen.]