God offers a two-fold quality of life in this world with an amazing freedom to be better persons and to prosper in his promises as “a people.” Too often, we see our life under God’s magnificent guidance as merely a personal value and relegate His Kingdom purposes to another time. God intends for His Kingdom to bless all people. How does this happen?
While God desires to be very personal, He wants everyone to understand that His purpose includes us as “a people.” His blessing on us as individuals is expected to spread into our families, communities and nations. God blesses our faithful response to His love so we, as a people and nations, can be extensions of His love and care to others.
His invitation to the first believers, as a group of people coming out of Egyptian slavery was; If you will…you shall be a special treasure among all the peoples of the earth…a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (a) [see end notes for Scriptures]. Read on to see how this applies to us today.
God blesses our response to His love so we can be extensions of His love to others.
Ongoing Invitation to Bless
After generations of Israel’s success and failure as a nation, prophets began to tell of a coming One whose followers would bless all people and nations (b). The new clarification of “my people Israel” would be as foreigners and strangers to the old guard, yet be called priests and ministers of the Lord God (c). Notice how these prophecies mirror God’s invitational promise to be “a special treasure, priests, and holy nation.”
When Jesus Christ appeared as The Anointed One, his life and ministry declared a fresh clarity; God does not desire the ritual of sacrifices and offerings (d). The established old order was even told God’s Kingdom experience was transferring from their restrictive ways to people who would be fruitful witnesses of His grace (e). Then as now, God wants us to make repentant efforts, personally and as nations, to improve our behavior (f).
After Paul’s first-hand experience with the risen Jesus, he proclaimed the Good News is for all people. Paul became a witness to the nations of this renewing Kingdom experience: To open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light…that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those…sanctified by faith (g).
As it was with them, so it is with us today. God-in-Christ enables us to turn from darkness (repentance) and receive the blessed inheritance of becoming Christ-like people (h).
God-in-Christ enables us to turn from darkness and receive the blessed inheritance of becoming Christ-like people.
Good News or Restricted Religion?
Multitudes responded to the Good News and became powerful witnesses. Daniel’s vision of a new Kingdom reality that would eventually fill the whole world was now spreading (j). The energizing message, “God is with us,” spread like wildfire without any centralized oversight. The reality was not hampered by different ideas, beliefs or cultures.
You may be surprised to learn the biblical ‘last days’ had begun. (See my blog: Are We Really in the Scriptural Last Days). Sadly, the spread of this fresh reality was obstructed by leaders from many areas who assembled in 300 AD to congeal official beliefs. Arguments lasted several days because cultural perceptions were so different. Eventually, a centralized religious order confiscated all copies of sacred writings and restricted public reading of Scripture to Latin.
A thousand years later, the newly invented printing press began publishing Bibles in common languages. Access to the written message of God’s desire for our life in earth, once again began renewing minds and hearts. During the Protestant Reformation of the 1500s, God revealed afresh; forgiveness is by faith and salvation is not restricted to one belief system.
Sharing the Good News: “God-in Christ is with us” renews minds and hearts.
Knowing God’s Favor
Then, in the Great Awakening revivals of the 1700s, God revealed His desire for closeness. The central message was, we can “feel” His cleansing presence and know His favor is with us. This was the same message Jesus proclaimed; “You can be born again (from above) and begin life anew” (k).
This renewed confidence inspired people to produce many new services and products that resulted in unheard of prosperity. A new middle class began to arise out of the two class system.
Through the 1900s, God further revealed His desire for intimacy with us. Each time the spirit of life in us experiences an immersion in God’s presence, we can absorb (like a sponge) aspects of His character, attitude, and personality (CAP). It is His anointing presence that gifts and enables us to prosper as Christ-like people!
For 500 years now, God has progressively revealed His desire to be an intimate part of our lives, personally and as nations. Our closer walk with God brings significant benefits to our families, fellowships, communities, and improves public life as well.
God’s anointing presence gifts and enables us to prosper as Christ-like people!
Prospering in God’s Promises
So we ask; what is God seeking to reveal to His body of believers today? Research by the late British Economist Angus Maddison (1926-2010) found that historically up until 1820, 94% of the world’s population lived in abject poverty, yet in 2015 only 9.6% were still poverty stricken. God blesses people of faith and everyone benefits.
I’ve often asked, what would believers from two thousand years ago think if they were transported into our day and observed our ability to travel, communicate, enjoy health, and over-all prosperous life? Possibly, the Kingdom has come!
What a remarkable gift—to be included in God’s activity and plan for our world. As people of faith, we are the living body of Christ in this world (m). God’s invitation to this generation of believers is the same as in ages past. “If you will,” we can function in our different communities and nations as extensions of God’s blessing (n). How diligently are we sharing the prosperity of God’s blessings?
As people of faith, God blesses us to share the prosperity of His blessings with everyone.
a) Exodus 19:5-6; b) Daniel 7:13, 18; Isaiah 61:6; 62:12; c) Isaiah 56:3, 6-8; d) Psalms 40:6-8; Hebrews 10:5-8; e) Matthew 21:43; f) Micah 6:8: Jeremiah 9:24; Matthew 22:37-40; g) Acts 26:15-18; h) 1 Timothy 1:5; j) Daniel 2:34-35; 44-45; k) John 3:3, 7, 16; m) 1 Corinthians 12:7-27; n) Colossians 2:16-17