I have had the privilege over the past 20 years to preach to various congregations of a variety of sizes, denominations and expressions.
I love to preach God’s word, watch His Spirit move upon the people and see them touched, changed and encouraged. For me, it is one of the most fulfilling parts of my life that brings great joy. Preaching to those who come from a more expressive church culture can be particularly enjoyable; hearing a gusto filled amen or a “Preach it Pastor” is wonderful!
But those of us who are charged to speak God’s word must be vigilant never to use those moments to manipulate God’s precious people for wrong motives. The purpose for preaching the Word of God is simple: It is to bring people who do not know Christ into a relationship with Him, and it is to bring those who already know Him into a deeper relationship with Him that will ultimately result in all of them becoming more like Jesus on the earth.
When I stand behind a pulpit and ask “How many people here today want to be like Jesus?” I usually receive a good amount of hearty “amens!”. I imagine the responses are fueled from wonderful mindsets of a Wonderful Savior wrought from the Bible. Pictures of a Christ who walks in wisdom, power and might, fearlessly preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom with signs and wonders following each sermon.
What believer wouldn’t want to be like Him? I know I do — He is my hero, the benchmark of what it is to be a normal Christian.
It is my opinion that to be trusted with the power of God’s Kingdom you must walk in the love of the King. Today’s column is titled “The Profile of the Kingdom is the Other Cheek.” This, my dear friend, is when being like Jesus can be difficult, but great is the reward!
One thing we all have in common: We all have enemies, those who speak against us and do us wrong. Many times they are the ones who have been closest to us, those you have given much to. Here is God’s principle to free you from the pain:
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” Matthew 5:44.
Over the years I have put this into practice with great generosity and commitment. The return has been blessings, winning over a foe, being set free from the hurt and always pleasing the Father as He sees me acting like His Son.
That’s the Kingdom Perspective!
Don Sturiano, pastor of Kingdom Life Christian Church, can be reached at 776-0026. For more information, visit www.kingdomlifechristianchurch.org. Faith Matters is a regular feature of Saturday’s Herald, written by local clergy members.