The kingdom of God was the central message in Jesus’ earthly ministry. The Gospel of Matthew particularly highlights this aspect of the Lord’s teaching, mentioning the kingdom 55 times. Luke follows closely behind at 44 times. God’s move is to bring His kingdom to the earth. The book of Acts, a book on God’s move, begins and ends with the kingdom (1:3, 28:31).
So how does that actually happen? How does the kingdom of God come?
If we want to be involved in God’s move today then we should identify the factors of His move. What causes God to move? Do we influence when and how He moves?
All Christians agree that the book of Acts is a record of God’s move, but I wonder what they would say the channel of His move is. There’s probably no general consensus.
I recently read through Acts again and noticed some recurring key words. Witness and speaking are all over the place!
God’s move in Acts is through man’s speaking. Yes there are the miracles. Yes there are healings. But our natural preoccupation or curiosity in these outward things may blind us or leave us unimpressed with something as basic as the speaking of the apostles and all the believers. Normal believers in normal situations with their mouths open bring in God’s kingdom.
The kingdom of God does not come with observation. That’s Luke 17:20 and it means that building houses for impoverished people, feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless are not the coming of the kingdom or at least the main thrust of it. They are all observable and outward acts. God’s kingdom is spiritual not material and it comes in man’s heart.
God’s kingdom comes through man’s proclamation. The last verse in Acts makes this point so clear.
Proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness, unhindered. –Acts 28:31
Luke 8:4-18 shows that our speaking the word brings the kingdom into peoples’ hearts.
If man doesn’t speak then God doesn’t move. That’s an easy sentence to read but I think the implications need time to sink in. If you want God to move in your job, university, or family then someone needs to speak! Of course prayer and the Spirit are big components too but the bottom line is speaking. Paul was appointed a minister and a witness, both of which involve speaking.
The problem is, most Christians probably couldn’t speak more than a simple word on God’s love. Part of the Lord’s charge in the great commission is “teaching them to observe ALL that I have commanded you (Matt. 28:20).” If we want to play a part in this commission then obviously we need to be able to say more than “God loves you.” Paul assured the believers in Ephesus that he “declared to them all the counsel of God (Acts 20:27).”
If the truth stops with us, the Lord’s move stops with us. For example, it doesn’t matter how much you enjoy experiencing physics– throwing a football (trajectory), working out (force), coasting downhill on a bike (momentum)– if the study of physics stops, then the field of physics stops. You may enjoy the experiences of physics all your life but you have done NOTHING to advance the field of physics.
Knowing this is one thing, practicing to speak is another. Don’t wait until you know the whole counsel of God to start speaking though. Otherwise you may be waiting a long time.
What are some things that prevent you from speaking Christ to those around you?
I love it! Witnessing and speaking are all over the place. I’d be the first to confess how much I lack in these two matters: witnessing and speaking for God, forth God, and speak God into others. I have a question for you, Kyle. What’s the best way to be witnessing and speaking Christians?
That’s a big and involved question. One aspect (and one that is conveyed in the word “witness”) that Acts mentions a number of times is, “we can’t but speak the things we’ve seen and heard (Acts 4:20).” When you are a first-hand witness of something you are always more excited about relating the story. If Christians are just learning about doctrines and the teachings of Christ or about how to be a better person then I don’t think there is much drive to say something. But when you touch the living person of Christ for yourself, then there is a eagerness to tell others about Him.
Here is a quote I read recently along the same lines: “If you appreciate your salvation, you will preach the gospel.”
Let me know what works for you!
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Amen, brother, my thoughts and feelings are the same as you were writing above. If you see Christ, just like Saul (who later became Paul), you can’t stop speaking of Him – even at the cost of your life! Paul spoke of Christ and he defeated the Jews, so that the brothers had to send him away to run for his life….
Today as we see the Lord Jesus in His Word, as we spend time with Him, or whenever He touches us and we see Him – we can’t help it but testify and witness! Actually, the very fact that we don’t speak of Him shows really that we didn’t actually see the Lord, or that we are “mute Christians”…. I recently saw an accident happening around here on the streets of London – I talked about it for weeks, being impressed of what happened….
How much we need to see the Lord daily! He’s a real and living Person….
I think a lot of people can relate to your experience of witnessing an event and then speaking about it for weeks. In fact, some experiences are so impacting that we speak about them the rest of our lives. Shouldn’t that be the case with our experience of Christ? How can we act like nothing has happened?
1. Come let us speak till the kingdom of the Lord comes down. Yes, let us speak till the kingdom of the Lord comes down. Why hold your peace? The Word release. Let us speak until the kingdom of the Lord comes down.
2. Oh, loose the Word! It shall not return unto Him void. Yes, loose the Word! It shall not return unto Him void. Let’s sow the seed, This is our need; Loose the Word, and it shall not return unto Him void!
3. It’s gospel time! Let us spread the gospel all around. Yes, gospel time! We will never fear the people’s frown! God’s done His work; Let us not shirk; We’re but pilgrims here, and we’ll not fear the people’s frown!
4. If we will speak, Christ will witness in the hearts of men. If we will speak, Christ will witness in the hearts of men. Tell every man, Win all we can. Through our speaking, Christ is speaking in the hearts of men!
5. The harvest’s ripe! We are preaching the full gospel now! The fields are white! We are preaching the full gospel now! For this men search—Christ and the church! Let us reap the harvest, preaching the full gospel now!
Thanks David for the great hymn resource!
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