We are finishing week one of our Incense Rising Study with days 4 and 5 in the book. The Holy Spirit spoke to me through my own words today. We must desire God’s kingdom, not our own kingdom. Life is crazy now. I have a 22-month old guide dog, much like a baby, and a 14-year old sick cat, much like an aging parent. If that is not enough, try to find a contractor during hunting season. No wonder, my prayers have been short. Possibly, God led me to write this Bible study to get my eyes back on Him. Amidst all this craziness, I never prayed about She Speaks 2017. God called me to speak, but the phone isn’t ringing. I must attend the conference this year!
Sounds good! Sounds right! My kingdom includes She Speaks, but what about God’s kingdom? My first clue was that it doesn’t fit into my budget.
It is so easy to think God’s plan includes your service to Him. Until we pray long and hard about something, we will not know what God has planned for us.
It would be great if God sent us an email detailing the specific steps He wants us to take. However, we have that message in the Bible.
Without prayer, God does not reveal His plan. He wants us to spend time with Him. He insists on it. parents of grown children, how does it feel if they only call when they need something?
How do you think God feels when we only pray when we want something?
Day 5’s reading is found in Romans 14:17-19. Verse 17 tells us two things about God’s kingdom. This is not a complete list, but let’s take a closer look.
What is not included in the kingdom of God?
What makes up the kingdom of God?
The things that are not of the kingdom of God are physical such as food and drink. The things of the kingdom are spiritual. They are not tangible. What does that indicate to you?
What things should we pursue (v. 19)?
It is just days prior to Thanksgiving as I write today. Verse 19 almost sounds like a Christmas card. There is much emphasis placed on peace and helping others during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. Although Christmas is a time of giving, let’s consider this thought; Since we discovered the emphasis of the kingdom was spiritual in verse 17, the edification of others should be spiritual in verse 19. Yes, people need help. Many people genuinely need money, food, or a ride to the doctor’s office. Please do that! However, everyone has a spiritual need. No matter how rich or how poor, each person needs personal edification.
What does that look like? Here are some examples:
- Prayer, especially praying with them
- Share the gospel
- Share your testimony. Someone needs to hear what God has done for you.
- Be an encourager, not a discouragement.
- Check on someone with a text or phone call
What are some ways you can pursue peace and the edification of others this week?
Prayer is the channel through which peace flows.
Lord, help us begin edifying those You bring into our life today and every day. In Jesus’ name, amen.