Oooo, the exciting conclusion to a topic I started weeks ago! Can you feel the excitement?
What we have to understand in order to grasp the benefits of being in a ‘Kingdom Community’ is that we are created to be in community centered around our relationship with God. Read Genesis before the Fall, the book of Revelation after the restoration of the world, and listen to what Jesus says in the Gospels and it becomes pretty obvious (at least to me) that for us to jump into the ‘Kingdom Community’ with both feet is a swift kick into Satan’s crotch. Sin pulls this community apart while Jesus restores it, therefore we should be working to restore it through Christ.
So if Jesus is restoring the ‘Kingdom Community’ we should look no further than it for the gifts and blessing that God offers to the world. There are the gifts that have become most prominent in many churches, that is the Word and Sacraments, which are normally associated with times of corporate worship. Such gifts are fantastic blessings and marks of the church but from them should be a waterfall of gifts there are easily overlooked or not practiced. I am going to list a bunch, feel free to ask for clarity on any of them:
Are you praying for the direction of God’s will in your life? Then ask for clarity from your ‘Kingdom Community.’
Are you short on money for groceries, or rent, or babysitters, or to visit a sick or dying friend/relative? Then allow your ‘Kingdom Community’ to tend to your needs.
Do you have a dispute with another Christian? Go through the proper channels for resolution within your ‘Kingdom Community.’
Do you have a dispute with a non-Christian? Ask your ‘Kingdom Community’ for guidance.
Are you feeling abandoned, marginalized, or taken advantage of? Immerse yourself in your ‘Kingdom Community.’
Have you hurt someone or broken a law or publicly sinned and want forgiveness and to start over? Run to your ‘Kingdom Community.’
Has God blessed you with something great, or just a time of smooth sailing? Celebrate the goodness of God and his creation with your ‘Kingdom Community.’
Now, as you read that far less than exhaustive list you will notice that living in the ‘Kingdom Community’ takes some vulnerability and willingness to not be self-reliant. Some of you are also probably thinking to yourself, “Not at my church.” Or some of you may be thinking that you can get those benefits from other places than your church. Please understand that the ‘Kingdom Community’ is larger than your local manifestation of the church and God works through all sorts of means, the point is that we need to be regularly involved and immersed in the Community of the Kingdom, in order to grow closer to King Jesus and reap the benefits of that relationship.
Can you imagine if we didn’t say “Not at my church” and started living in the Kingdom with intentness? Can you imagine what would happen if you let your guard down and let people in and cared for their needs without desire of compensation? Can you imagine what it would be like if the church was the place you ran to, rather than from, when you screwed up?