Living a with-God-life

April 7, 2021
By Leon Monroe, Member and Bible Study Leader

Join us for this in-depth study of “Following Jesus; Living a with-God-life: Life in the Kingdom Now.”

My limited interpretation of my limited observation (opinion) is that this is, possibly, the longest title for a Bible Study in the history of Mt. Bethel. We asked that it be published that way because every word is important and has significance.

Generally, the western church, with the exception of a few denominations, has done a poor job of making disciples. They have been very good at making converts, but showing people how, as a practical matter, to become like Jesus in their walking around everyday life, not so much.

The daily, practical application of what Jesus taught about living in His kingdom of the heavens as a functional reality has, for the most part, remained a gap in the Christian community for a very long time. This has to change. Followers of Jesus, His disciples, can choose to embrace the “now” of the kingdom as their internal operating system, while looking forward to the “not yet” when Christ returns to establish His rule and reign here on earth.

This might come as quite a shock to some people who have been brought up in the Methodist Church and have come to understand the “kingdom of the heavens as something you experience when you die; in the sweet bye and bye.”  We do not believe this to be the case. In Matthew 4:17, Jesus began His earthly ministry in this way.

From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life], for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. AMP Translation

Jesus brought the kingdom of heaven with Him, and He didn’t take it back with Him when He ascended. The last time His disciples saw Him in His visible form, He told them what He expected them to do. (Matthew 28:19-20) He sent the Holy Spirit as our Helper, Advocate, and Guide in kingdom living, right here and right now. (John 16:13) The purpose of this Bible Study that never ends is to help us all walk in His grace and at His pace each day; being in alignment with Him in all that we say and do.

This class meets each Tuesday night, 7-8:30. We explore ways in which we can practically and effectively do our part in “working out our salvation,” (Philippians 2:12) as God “changes us from glory to glory into His image.” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18) Jesus spoke about the kingdom of the heavens in the New Testament; it is in red letters. We can choose to activate the Holy Spirit’s power living in us – “the same power that raised Jesus from the grave,” (Romans 8:11) to live tangible, transformed lives daily. Jesus calls us to be “salt and light,” (Matthew 5:13-16) and His invitation is still open; “Come, follow me…”(Matthew 4:18-20) Where? Living in His kingdom-now.