Saturday, June 02, 2018


What do we mean when we say "Kingdom Living?"

It might be good to know because it is clear from scripture [Luke 4:43] that Jesus came preaching the gospel of the Kingdom. His life and message were all about what the Kingdom was like. So to be "Jesus followers," and more importantly, when we have Him as the very SOURCE of our very LIFE, we will have our feet firmly planted in “Kingdom living.”

So, what is the Kingdom of God? It is, in simple language, living life where what God wants done [His Will] is being done. That's what the simple phrase in the Lord's Prayer is addressing. "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven." It will be a “future Kingdom, of course! But until He comes with that "Future Kingdom" the "Present Kingdom" is ANYONE’S life in which the King truly rules and reigns right now.

The "Present Kingdom" looks like your life, whatever that entails. 

Whether it is simply going to work, playing, or going on vacation. Whether it's being married or unmarried. 
Whether it's going to a gathered meeting with your part of the Church, whatever you call that group, or NOT going to a gathered meeting. 
Whether it's seeing a child born or family member or friend die. Whether it's being young, old, or somewhere in between. 
Whether it's being married, divorced or being abandoned. 
Whether it's being healthy or sick. 
Whether it's being wealthy or living from pay-check to pay-check. Whether it's seeing the beauty of God's creation or being blind and seeing darkness all of your life. 
Whether it's being handsome or homely, beautiful or plain, or being ordinary in the looks department.
Whether it's having a College degree, a Master's degree, or even a Doctorate, or NOT having finished high school. 
Whether it's having traveled extensively or NEVER leaving the neighborhood.

It's experiencing any and all of these things with OTHER things that could be listed. It’s being a person, right in the middle of all of it, in whom God is real and is being responded to, in faith, while living out our unique journey with our eyes on Him and His Word, trusting His Spirit for life and strength, knowing His Son intimately and knowing that what He accomplished in His Cross and empty tomb experience is the "SOURCE" for what makes life, in any of the afore mentioned circumstances, absolutely worth living and celebrating. 

Add to all that knowing some truths that are ABSOLUTE for us as well, and you have THE KINGDOM OF GOD!.

Those truths are these! As we live in His "Present Kingdom" He is available to us and we hunger to know Him better. [Matthew 6:13/Luke 16:16] We keep on trusting that GOOD will come out of all kinds of things happening, GOOD or BAD. [Romans 8:28] And that NOTHING can separate us from His unconditional love and effective care. [Romans 8:35-39] Then, finally, knowing that one day HE WILL RETURN and the "Future Kingdom" will come with Him. We then will be found living in a new dimension, involving a New Heaven and a New Earth, called "Eternity."

THAT'S what is meant by "Kingdom Living" IMHO.

Paul B.

Saturday, May 26, 2018


I did something the other day that I seldom ever do. I listened to one of my own tapes. It was an old one. Thirty-eight years old to be exact. It was one preached in 1980 when I was pastoring Southcliff Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. I made reference in that sermon to another series of sermons I’d just finished. I remember that series too. It was on “Brokenness!” That old sermon got me to thinking about some truths that not much thought is given to today. One of those truths is about our “being broken.” 

No one is more grateful for the Grace of God and His ability to be our strength and life than am I. To exalt the finished Cross work of Christ and what His ensuing resurrection have accomplished on our behalf in my preaching, is what I LOVE to do. To know He not only died that we might live, but He has come to be our very life, is incredible as well. To live in light of all THAT is the point of faith and faith IS for us the victory as 1 John declares. HE is HIMSELF our life and our strength. It doesn’t get any better than that!

But the truth I’ve just set forth in words is NEVER experienced PERSONALLY, except in the experience of “brokenness,” and therein lies the problem. “Brokenness ” is a lost concept in our present day it seems to me. The beatitude found in Matthew 5:3 touches on this with the statement that says this, when properly translated, “Oh the blessedness of those who are poor [think broken or humbled] in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” 

Much is said today in our pulpits that could very well be glorifying the flesh instead of our Lord. “You are good, you are wonderful, you are capable, you can do anything you’ve a mind to when you are thinking correctly,” is being said with much enthusiasm. But such teaching may, in fact, be a stumbling block to the reality of Christ and his strength and life being real to us and in us. 

This is because “brokenness” PRECEDES genuine “faith” being exercised. Listen to a spiritually mature individual, [Paul] at the height of his journey with Jesus, cry out in brokenness, “Oh, wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24). 

Notice his “crying out” was because of his admitting his “weaknesses” in brokenness, [read wretchedness] and it’s THAT which catapulted him to the cry of faith, “But thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Someone said, “The greatest badge of honor for the Apostle Paul was NOT his giftedness, his intelligence, or his many accomplishments. His greatest badge of honor was his willingness to admit his own weaknesses! Nor did he merely endure them; he exulted in them so that the STRENGTH and LIFE of his LORD could and would be experienced and all that he gloried in.” 

He was so wise to be “Looking off unto Jesus” since that’s what true faith is, reflecting on the object of our trust, but that ONLY and ALWAYS follows an admission of a personal “CAN’T,” so one can really trust His “CAN” completely!

Being THAT broken over our weaknesses is, unfortunately, a thing of the past in many quarters today.

Paul B.