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FOCUS OF THE MONTH: THE KINGDOM OF GOD
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God is King. We pray, “Thy Kingdom come” (Luke 11:2), as Jesus Himself has taught us, but what are the implications of this for us, born-again children of God and citizens of this important Kingdom? It is especially important for parents to be ready to explain this to our children in the modern world, where democratic Western systems rarely provide examples of kingdom principles. God’s Kingdom becomes a more unusual, but hopefully even more exciting, prospect.
For week one, ask the first question over an unhurried meal. Let the children think about it and then offer their own answers. The children should talk more than the parents. Throughout the week, offer the different reasons highlighted and let the children discuss them. (Parents, read through the relevant Bible passages in advance.) Challenge the children to look up other verses addressing the question. Do the same for the following questions each week for the month.
QUESTIONS TO HELP YOUR FAMILY GROW
Why is God called Our King, as well as Our Father?
Read: Genesis 1:1-31, Psalms 20:9 and 24, Matthew 17:24-27, Hebrews 1:8
- God rules the world — He created it, and He alone knows how it should run and has the power to govern it in accordance with His Righteousness.
- God is Love, but His Love is holy — He must judge the world and purify it of all that has gone wrong with it. He protect and guides His followers.
- Earthly rulers often fail because they do not always know what is best for the countries they rule. God always knows what is best, and therefore is the only perfect Ruler. He has given authority to humans on earth, but that authority should be exercised under God, according to His laws.
- As our Savior King, God has a complete claim on our loyalty. The purpose of our lives is to follow, serve and worship Him.
What is God’s Kingdom like?
Read: Matthew 13:44-46, Luke 17:20-21, Romans 14:17, Revelation 19:1-22:21
- God’s Kingdom is full of beauty and order, as described in the book of Revelation — all the money and pleasures in the world cannot be compared to the overflowing riches and joy God is prepared to bestow upon us.
- God’s Kingdom is very active — there is a great deal going on with serving Him, both in worship and in carrying out His plans for building His Kingdom.
- God’s Kingdom is very strong, perfectly equipped to battle and defeat the devil and all his works.
- God’s Kingdom is not just up in Heaven – we can enjoy its blessings now and do its work here on earth, by following the commands of our King and Savior.
How can we work for the Kingdom?
Read: Matthew 25:34-40, Mark 10:14-15, Luke 9:62 and 19:11-27, 1 Thessalonians 2:12, Hebrews 12:28
- Use the gifts and talents God has given us to further His Glory and share His Gospel. Even in so simple a way as telling people that your talents all come from God when they congratulate you on them.
- Demonstrate in your behavior and attitude the kind of characteristics that exemplify inhabiting God’s Kingdom, being patient, kind, grateful, courageous, loving, and faithful.
- Work to make a Christian impact on society so that others can see a partial example of what God’s eternal Kingdom will be like.
- Pray and worship with reverence, demonstrating that we recognize God as Our King, so that others may also come to know Him as the Lord of their lives.
- Tell everyone you can about the Kingdom, and help other people discover the joys of living in the Kingdom of God!
How will our lives look and turn out differently as Kingdom citizens?
Read: Psalms 15 and 99, Matthew 18:3-4, Luke 12:31-37 and 18:27-29, Galatians 5:17-25, 2 Timothy 4:18
- We are not concerned with the same objects in life as worldly people: while they are trying to find meaning in this world alone, we know that the meaning of life comes from God and gives purpose to everything in this world as well.
- Accordingly, followers of Christ will attach importance to different things than people who are focused only on this world, and so we will frequently be considered unusual and even impractical, because our expectations and understanding are not the same.
- We will have more time to be kind and think of others rather than ourselves, for we know we have eternity with God, and that our future as His royal children is secure, so we do not have to worry about obtaining transient worldly glory.
- The most important thing in our lives is God’s Kingdom, so we will strive to obey His calling on our lives and make as large an impact for the King as possible — that is what the life of a Kingdom citizen is all about!