Principles by Which
Children of the Kingdom Live
(The second of several parts following "The Sermon on the Mount")
IN THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT the Lord Jesus laid out principles by which children of the Kingdom live (Mt 13:38). These are at work in those who know His Lordship now. They will be requirements for those who share His inheritance in the age to come.
JESUS LAID OUT FOUR PRINCIPLES BY WHICH A CHILD OF GOD’S KINGDOM WILL RESPOND TO HIS ENEMIES. We find these principles in one verse (Mt 5:44; many modern translations, with the exception of the New King James, have only two principles laid out in this verse).
DAY 1—The first Kingdom Principle about loving: love your enemies.
Matthew 5:43,44a Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies...
Proverbs 25:21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat: and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink.
· LORD, I need help here. I am prone to leave those alone who have done evil to me. I have said in my heart that I love them, but Your love is convicting me I cannot continue doing only this. Show me how Your love can become active in me toward them.
Under both the Old and New Covenant, love even for one’s enemies, prevails—Ex 23:1-7; I Cor 13:4-7
DAY 2—The first Kingdom principle about blessing: bless those who curse you.
Matthew 5:44b …bless them that curse you...
Romans 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
I Peter 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing: knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
· LORD, I have never liked being cursed. It is a painful thing. Please give me the help of Your Spirit so I can return a blessing on whoever might curse me. As I wait before You, I remember, with pain, these certain ones. Even though I can’t see them today, please bring Your blessing upon them.
We have Jesus as an example—I Pet 2:21-23
DAY 3—The first Kingdom Principle about doing good: do good to those who hate you.
Matthew 5:44c ... do good to them that hate you....
Psalm 9:13 Have mercy upon me. O LORD: consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me. Thou that liftest me up from the gates of death.
Galatians 6:l0a As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men...
· LORD, show me how I can perform some tender act of goodness toward these people around me who seem to hate me. Because of Your mercy, I am ready to rise up out of my need, to help them in their need.
Doing good is a mark of those who will inherit the earth—Ps 37:1-7
DAY 4—The first Kingdom Principle about praying: pray for those who persecute you.
Matthew 5:44d . . .and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you
Luke 23:33,34a And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do....
· FATHER, these people have acted wrongly toward me. That does not excuse my hatefulness toward them. Set me free from the attitude that makes me not want to see Your goodness poured out on them. Move in me to love them enough to pray from them.
We also have Stephen for an example—Ac 7:59,60
THE STANDARDS FOR A CHILD OF THE KINGDOM ARE SET BY GOD, NOT THE WORLD. Receiving these standards directs us toward the character traits of God Himself.
DAY 5—When we take on the attitude toward others that Jesus taught, we’re on our way to becoming like our Father in Heaven.
Matthew 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Philippians 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world:
· LORD, as the world around me is evils, help me take on more of the qualities of Your Kingdom. Help me learn from You to love without prejudice. Make me into a light, to shine right where I am, even to those whose manner of life I cannot condone.
As children dear to God, we are learning to follow Him in The way we live—Lk 6:35; Eph 5:1
DAY 6—The standards for a child of the Kingdom are far higher than those set by the world.
Matthew 5:46,47 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
Jeremiah l0:2a Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen...
· LORD, help me walk as a child of Your Kingdom, even in the midst of people who disregard You. Show me any of the ways of the world I have embraced that don‘t fit in Your Kingdom. Please grant me the grace and the power to change.
When a child of the Kingdom is doing God’s will, he is touching on eternity—I Jn 2:15-17
DAY 7—Through the Lord Jesus we come into the perfection required of a Kingdom person.
Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Hebrews 13:20,21 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ: to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
· LORD, I have no hope of perfection in myself. Show me my perfection in You. Stir it in me to press toward this mark, even today.
A child of the Kingdom forsakes all to reach for his/her high calling—Phil 3:12-15
DAY 8—A Kingdom person can give without anyone knowing he’s the giver.
Matthew 6:1-4 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
· LORD, here are these people I know who are in need. I hold them before You. Please bring them to know Your goodness. Use me to show them Your goodness, whether they ever know it comes from me, or not.
Those who do religious things to be seen by others will be judged like the Pharisees—Mt 23:1-13
DAY 9—A Kingdom person has a secret life of prayer.
Matthew 6:5,6 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
· FATHER, teach me to abide in the Secret Place. Though no one may ever know I’m praying, teach me to continue in unbroken communion with you. Teach me to enter into my "closet" of prayer even in the midst of others who don’t pray.
From David and from Paul we learn we can abide in unbroken communion with God
—Ps 27:3-5; I Thes 5:17
DAY 10—The prayer of a Kingdom person, though persistent, is full of meaning.
Matthew 6:7,8 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him.
· LORD, I have already renounced the meaningless, repetitious words I used to pray. Teach me now to pray like You taught the Disciples to pray in Luke 11:1-13. I need the help of Your Spirit. Oh but I do!
Jesus took an unusual example to teach His disciples about praying—Lk 11:1-13
JESUS GAVE A MODEL PRAYER FOR THOSE WHO LONG FOR HIS KINGDOM. This prayer covers the essential areas of living for a child of the Kingdom.
DAY 11—A Kingdom person longs for the Name of the Lord to be exalted above all.
Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
I Chronicles 17:24 Let it even be established, that Thy Name may be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel: and let the house of David Thy servant be established before Thee.
· FATHER, I want to exalt Your Name. I want my life to be a praise unto You. I want what I say to glorify You. Thank You for sending Your Spirit to help me honor You and obey You in all I do and say.
We take note of and learn from this unusual high prayer of David—Ps 72:17-20
DAY 12—A Kingdom person longs with deep yearning for God’s Kingdom to come.
Matthew 6:l0a Thy kingdom come....
Psalm 145:10,11 All Thy works shall praise Thee, O LORD; and Thy saints shall bless Thee. They shall speak of the glory of Thy Kingdom, and talk of Thy power.
· FATHER, I long for Your Kingdom. I have deep yearning to know its authority and power in my own life. I want it as a ruling force in me, conquering me, subduing me, holding me. And I long for Your Kingdom to come in the earth. O, how I long for that day!
The day will come when the saints take the Kingdom from the evil one—Dan 7:18-26
DAY 13—A Kingdom person longs with deep yearning for God’s will to be done.
Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Psalm 40:6-8 Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire; Mine ears hast Thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast Thou not required. Then said I Lo I come: in the volume of the Book it is written of me. I delight to do Thy will. O My God: yea. Thy Law is within My heart.
· FATHER, my greatest desire is to do Your will. But sometimes I don’t know how, or what, to do. Please lead me by Your Spirit. Help me know what is pleasing to You in all matters that come upon me.
Paul made earnest exhortation that we present ourselves to God to do His will—Rom 12:1-2
DAY 14—A Kingdom person can look to the Lord for his daily provision.
Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Psalm 33:18,19 Behold, the eve of the LORD is upon them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy: to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
Isaiah 58:11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
· FATHER, my expectation is from You. At this moment, I turn away from all other sources to which I have looked. Oh, yes! Right now, I look to You alone to discipline my soul to trust you completely. If the sources in which I have trusted should fail, I will still have You and Your faithful provision.
The Lord will not forsake those who seek Him—Ps 9:10; Ps 37:25
DAY 15—A Kingdom person learns both to give and to receive pardon.
Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive ("as we have forgiven") our debtors.
Luke 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.
Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
· LORD, you are my greatest example in forgiving. Thank you for forgiving me. I’ve been worthy only of hell, and You took me into Your love. I thank you again—and again. Now, release the grace in me that enables me to forgive everyone that has sinned against me. With some I have difficulty. Help me.
The Lord was very firm in this matter of our forgiving others—Mk 11:25,26
DAY 16—A Kingdom person will learn to overcome the tempter.
Matthew 6:13a And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (from the evil one)...
Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (dying, you shall die).
· FATHER, the process of dying is creeping in upon me. I find I am still drawn toward some evil things. The attraction for the world is still upon me. Oh, please change the inner parts of me to the point that I no longer even think of evil! I love You immensely!
We have much to learn from the Lord Jesus and how He overcame the tempter—Mt 4:1-11
DAY 17—A Kingdom person carries an assurance that the Lord God is Head over all.
Matthew 6:13b For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
I Chronicles 29:11 Thine O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine: Thine is the Kingdom, O LORD, and Thou art exalted as Head above all.
· GRACIOUS LORD, I acknowledge that You are Head of all things. You are my King. You are the Ruler of my life. Teach me now to live out of the resources of Your Kingdom and to acknowledge Your Headship in all I have to do.
All Things were created by Christ Jesus, and for Him, and He is our Redeemer —Col 1:12-19
THE INSTRUCTION JESUS GAVE REGARDING THE KINGDOM TOUCHES UPON DEEP ISSUES OF LIFE. A child of the Kingdom must be pure within and without.
DAY 18—A Kingdom person learns well to be a forgiving person.
Matthew 6:14,15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses. your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Psalm 130:3,4 If Thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared.
· FATHER, if anyone has needed forgiveness, I have. I see that all this forgiveness I need can come only if I will forgive. Oh, help me here! Again with pain, I recall each of these against whom I have held some grudge or resentment. As an act of faith, I forgive each one of them. Now I name them and ask Your blessing on them.
The Psalmist is ready to lead us in praying for forgiveness—Ps 130:1-8
DAY 19—For a Kingdom person, even the most devout religious activity will not draw personal attention.
Matthew 6:16-18 Moreover when ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head. and wash thy face: that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
· FATHER, help me never to draw attention to myself, in anything I do toward You, or for You. Let my life be a radiant light for You. And, please help me in the matter of fasting. Sometimes I feel too week to do this. But I do, indeed, need to fast, at least that the stronghold of my flesh might come into submission.
It is even better to undo the burdens of the oppressed than to fast from food—Is 58:6-12
DAY 20—A Kingdom person has his dearest treasures laid in heaven.
Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
· HEAVENLY FATHER, forgive me for being selfish and hoarding goods when others around me have need. Teach me where true wealth lies. Teach me how to lay up my treasures in heaven.
Faith in the Lord Jesus is of greater value than all other wealth—Jn 6:25-33
DAY 21—A Kingdom person has his/her heart single toward the Lord.
Matthew 6:22-24 The light of the body is the eye: it therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other: or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
· FATHER, I’ve had one foot in the world and one foot in Your Kingdom. I no longer want to be this way. This very day I lay my life before You. Search me. Try me. Find everything in me that is not acceptable for Your Kingdom. Bring me to full repentance.
We are learning to yield up all the unfruitful works of darkness—Rom 6:17-22
For the benefit you will gain from soaking in the Word, go back over the Scriptures for this month. Let the light and power of God’s Kingdom work their way into your inner man.
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