THEME: Living in the Kingdom
This week’s lessons teach us about God’s faithfulness in settling each of Israel’s tribes in their territories, and what our response needs to be toward his directing of our lives.
There’s also personal holiness. That’s not something that just falls upon us like a mantle. That’s something that is achieved by small decisions day by day. You have to enter into holiness step by step, act by act, obedience by obedience. Another possession are the gifts of the Holy Spirit. According to the New Testament, every Christian has been given a gift. And yet, many people aren’t even aware of what their gift is. Or if they are, they don’t always use it very well. We have to possess that gift in a personal, practical way.
I think all of that’s very valuable. And yet when I look at this and I think in terms of application, my mind goes to that great verse in the eleventh chapter of Revelation. In v. 15 an angel blows a trumpet, and all the hosts of heaven cry out together, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign for ever and ever.” As the land of Canaan was given to Israel for them to possess, so we now have a responsibility of possessing the world for Him. That’s where evangelism comes in, where we actually go into the territory and present the claims of Christ and win men and women to Him.
So if we’re lawyers in the practice of our law, we ask, “How would Jesus practice law?” And we begin to do it that way and so claim a small portion of our culture for Him. If we’re doctors we ask, “How would Jesus conduct Himself if He were a doctor here?” And so we conduct our medical practice that way and so claim a portion of our culture for Him. This is true for teaching, keeping a house, running a business, and all of the other things that we do. But let me say this one thing: if you’re going to possess these possessions, you first of all have to be possessed by Jesus Christ. You have to be His because you can’t do it of yourself. You can’t drive out the giants of the land because they’re stronger than you are. You have to be possessed by Christ. And He has to be working through you. And I ask the question, are you Christ’s? Are you His? Are you following Him? Is He really your Lord? Is He directing what you think, and how you act, and what you say? If that is not the case, you really can’t find a better example of what it means to follow Jesus in that way than this great example of the Old Testament general.
In yesterday’s lesson and today’s, Dr. Boice mentioned different possessions God has given to Christians. What are they? Can you think of any others?
What are some ways you can apply Revelation 11:15 in your own vocation?
What do you feel are the spiritual gifts and abilities God has given to you? In what ways are you using them in Christ’s church? If there are any you are not using, what steps do you need to take to be a better steward of what God has given to you?