THE KINGDOM


INTRODUCTION

There was a land which had given itself over to evil and lawlessness. Brute force, selfishness, seduction, self-indulgence and envy were the way of the land. But there arose a king who was devoted to truth and righteousness. The king spent his life determined to establish a society based on kindness, selflessness, self control and love. Many from the land desired to be a part of this new kingdom. Therefore the king established the boundaries of his kingdom with a great wall and commissioned a devoted army to protect its subjects and property. He also established the law of his kingdom and the oath required of anyone who chose to be his subject. The oath was very simple, “I submit myself to the law of this land and the sovereignty of its king.” In truth, once someone took the oath, they became a slave to the king (his rule was absolute). But the people loved him and gladly submitted to him. The people recognized his love for them and the freedom and protection from the outside world provided by his power. They also strived to obey the laws of the land in acknowledgment of the personal sacrifices he made to establish the kingdom. Nevertheless, they lived freely within the kingdom. If they obeyed the laws of the kingdom, they flourished. If they broke the law, the king determined the punishment. Yet they would always be a part of the kingdom and afforded the protection and benefits of living within the great wall. Each adult had to take the oath for themselves. The king established what was called, “The Time of Decision” for children. This was determined based on the kings assessment of the child’s maturity and understanding of the oath. A child could enter the kingdom with their parents without taking the oath if they were not yet mature enough to understand the oath and its implications to their life. Once the king established that someone had reached The Time of Decision, if they refused to take the oath they were removed from the kingdom. Outside the great wall was freedom from the king’s law. But there was no law at all. Outside the wall you became a slave to evil (You didn’t have the option of being honest or just. If you did, you would be taken advantage of, mistreated or killed). Despite the horrible things that happened outside the wall, the first law the king established was, “Anyone from outside this kingdom, regardless of what they have done, may enter at any time if they take the oath. Once they take the oath and enter the kingdom, they start a new life subject to my laws and my authority. I will no longer view them as one from the outside world, but as one of my children.” There was always a line of people outside the gate waiting to enter. But when it came time to take the oath, many would turn and walk away. What would you do? Would you chose to live as a slave to the evil outside the wall? Or would you chose to take the oath and live subject to the rule of the righteous king?


SCRIPTURE

Focus Verse: Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Additional Verses: John 8:34, 2 Peter 2:19


DISCUSSION

The story above certainly cannot fully describe the love God has for us, His sovereignty or His plan for the world. But the key point should be clear. We all have a decision to make in our life: do we want to be slaves to sin unto death or slaves to obedience (God) unto righteousness? You cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). Once you have made a decision to accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, you should strive to be obedient to Him and His commandments out of love for Him and appreciation for all He has done for us (John 14:15). However, making the decision to accept Christ (never forget that we are saved by God’s grace through faith, Ephesians 2:8) is really just the first step. As you mature as a Christian and grow to love Christ more each day, you will begin to understand what His sacrifice for us really means, how God the Father views us now that the Lamb of God has been sacrificed for the sin of the entire world (1 John 2:1-2), how the Holy Spirit frees us from sin and that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8).


PRAYER

King of kings, Lord of lords, Savior, Master, Father: my heart is full of praise for You. May my life reflect my love for You. By Your grace, may Your strength be made perfect through my weakness. I am humbled and honored to know I am a slave to You and Your righteousness. I submit myself to Your will and sovereignty over my life and the world and chose to serve You out of love. May Your Holy Spirit fill me, teach me and comfort me. I am Yours. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.