On 20th of June, Pastor Peter Tsukahira shared about our unique purpose in the Kingdom of God in the second session of the SOM Conference 2015 held at PJ Evangelical Free Church (PJEFC).
In 1 Cor 3, Paul called himself as the master builder, which is ‘arxitéktōn’ in Greek. ‘Arxi’ means master. And ‘téktōn’ means builder. But Paul did not own the building. God owns the building. And Paul built the building according to the Plan, Blueprint, Resources, and Vision of God. The building (or really the Church) is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, whose words written are preserved to be the Bible we have today. (Eph 2) And Christ Jesus Himself is the cornerstone. (Eph 2) No one can build another foundation other than this foundation that Jesus and the apostles and the prophets can build.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)
In Christ, we are too being built together to become a dwelling, in which God lives by the Spirit. We are called to be part of the Church of Christ, one building of Christ. (Eph 2) Yet, as individual stones, we are individually called as the temple of Christ as well. (1 Cor 6:19) In other words, the Kingdom of God comes to live in an individual believer, and also in Church of Christ made out of many believers.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own (1 Cor 6:19)
He shared that the Kingdom of God is whenever and wherever God truly rules as king. Hence, whenever and wherever we give God the authority to rule over our deepest desires, secret plans, lifelong ambitions, and greatest hopes, His Kingdom is in us.
Jesus said, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:20-21) The Kingdom of God is in us.
The Kingdom in our ‘midst’ means that it is among you or in you or both. Hence, if God’s kingdom is truly reigning in us, we will ask God for His Will in our lives. It exists in our day-to-day walk with God – how we make our decisions, who rule our life, and how we behave.
Pastor Peter and his wife would not move until they arrive to a consensus in making major decisions. And in their 40 years of marriage, they have never missed making right major decisions such as ministry work or relocation. The Kingdom of God comes into their marriage because God rules their marriage.
“The Kingdom of God comes when we decide Jesus to rule us. When you make this practical decision – Jesus is going to rule my work, my family, my church, and my life – you start to make right, courageous decisions that would change things… You see the fruit of good judgment,” said Pastor Peter.
One of the reasons we over-spiritualize the Kingdom of God is because we perceived that the His Kingdom only begun when Jesus came into the scene of the New Testament saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matt 4:17) There are good reasons to think that the Kingdom started from Jesus because Jesus is King and throughout His Ministry, He had made many references to the Kingdom of God.
However, the Kingdom of God actually began much earlier – in the book of Exodus – which should be the foundation to our understanding of His Kingdom. Israel started with one man Abraham who begat Isaac, and who begat Jacob. And out of Jacob’s 12 sons, the family multiplied from a family of 70 members in Egypt to over three million people after 430 years.
Without a government or a job, these people were probably one of the most dysfunctional, corrupted, and mismanaged societies at that time. Yet, this is the place where God met them. In Exodus 19:5-6, God said to them, “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” The Kingdom of God was mentioned even before Jesus came.
“It’s clear that from God’s point of view, from the start, His Kingdom was never meant to be just a religion. If you are going to be a holy nation, religion is central on how to pray, how to do offering, and how to build the tabernacle.
“But they are only a part of God’s Kingdom. From the start, God’s Kingdom was a society. And sometimes, we have spiritualized the Kingdom and reduce it to just only its religious aspect. It’s almost we only relate to God religiously,” said Pastor Peter.
God’s Kingdom covers all aspects of the society include business, healthcare, law, education, real estate, banking, and other areas, where He rules over all of them. This explains why only some of us are called to serve God in a religious way such as being apostles, prophets, pastors, and teachers.
“People like me are here to equip people like you. And if we do well, in everything you do, you will bring the Kingdom of God (to your area of influence). Jesus didn’t call you to change the world. But He is to be King of your life… The Kingdom of God comes when the society changes,” said Pastor Peter.
We may read the Bible and think that the saints in the Bible such as Jeremiah, David, and Paul, are the chosen and elite group of saints who had extraordinary calling and gifs from God. But the truth is that all of us are made special, unique, and different. If God made every snowflake and every blade of grass to be new and different every time, why do you doubt that you are not special? You are the one and only kind in the past, at the present, and in the future. There will be no one exactly like you for eternity. Does that not make you very special?
“When God made humans, He makes something special. ‘Humans, I make in My own image…’ God designed us with a plan in His Mind a dream in His Heart for us individually before the day you were even born… But He’s never going to twist your arm to live the plan and destiny He has for you,” said Pastor Peter.
Since we are born, we are burdened with the expectations of our parents, and then our teachers, our friends, our employers, the society, and the culture. In the modern world today, millions of adults learn and survive to only please all kinds of people. But most of them do not know who they are because they do not know what God, their Father and Creator in Heaven, designed them to be. Every one of us has a unique gift and calling.
“You hear a call from God. There’s a God who made you and love you. I believe God calls everyone in his world… Many are called but few are chosen. How do you go from those who are called to chosen?
“You become aware that there is a God who is calling you to a relationship and you are aware of that relationship. You say, ‘You know what? That’s me.” And you start making those decisions – it’s a series of decisions – that begin turning your life to the one who is calling you,” said Pastor Peter.
You go from being called to being chosen by making God your king. How? To let God reign in our lives, we need to know His Character, His Way, and basically, who He is. And that can only be done by spending quality and quantity time with Him. When we began to personally know God – as in have a relationship with Him – He will reveal to us out gift and callings, some of them, which we may be unaware of. And when we use our gift and callings for His Purpose for us in His Kingdom, we will do well with His added anointing over us for our trust and obedience in following Him.
Realizing that God created his innermost being, Pastor Peter thanked God for discovering and using his gift to equip saints for the Word of God. Remember… the Kingdom of God comes when He is King over you.
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