Focused on the Kingdom
Nowadays, it's easy to see that more and more people are self-focused. You might say "Brother Brian, how could you be so judgmental?" The problem is, I'm not; our social media habits demonstrate how self-focused we are. We post pictures of our work-outs, our dinners, our accomplishments, our ups, our downs, our opinions, and everything else we feel like saying, and when someone says something we don't like in response, we crumble and get defensive. We are constantly seeking affirmation and attention, so much so that we've become addicted to it! The major problem with this "love yourself" attitude is that if we're focused on ourselves, we're not focused on our purpose: to love God, and love one another. Kingdom-focused people are less concerned with their needs than they are with pleasing God. And if kingdom-focused people are concerned with pleasing God, they are not about the affirmation, but about pleasing God, and seeking what He loves. And who does God love? People! So how do we get such a focus? We need to put the self to death. You hear med right: self-love must die. It is our flesh, our desirous and envious nature, that causes us to sin against God and others. It is our flesh that causes us to seek self-gratification at the expense of all else. So to be focused on God's will and God's way, we need to put the flesh to death so that we can seek God's work and God's will. When we are focused on the Kingdom like this, we're truly free in Christ.
Put down the selfie stick; put down the social media, and turn off the TV; focus on God's will, and love for all else. You won't merely see the Kingdom that comes after the world ends, you'll see God's kingdom in the here and now. Luke 9:23-24 -And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
Titus 2:11-15 -For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
Galatians 2:20 -I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 -But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
Romans 8:7-8 -For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Luke 14:26 -“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
1 Corinthians 3:16 -Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?