Don’t Get Cheated!

How would you feel if I told you that someone cheated you out of your last paycheck?  You would be mad, right?

What if I told you that you had been cheated out of an entire kingdom?  If you believed me, you would be ANGRY BEYOND WORDS!!!

Did you know many Christians have been cheated out of the kingdom of God?  Look at this passage of scripture in Colossians 2:

9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

The fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus.  And we are complete in Jesus.  This means the fullness of the Godhead dwells in us. The minute we give our lives to Jesus, the fullness of His kingdom dwells on the inside of us.  Luke 17:21 verifies this.  It says:

21 “For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

The benefits of the kingdom of God include righteousness, peace, joy, favor, healing, prosperity, and wisdom.  These rights or benefits are features of the way our king – JESUS – does life.  This is how He did life when He dwelled on the earth and this is how He wants to continue to do life as He dwells in our bodies.  

I’ll admit, what I’m writing sounds almost too good to be true, but the word gospel literally means almost too good to be true news. The gospel is the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. It is amazing news! This means if the gospel we are hearing doesn’t sound almost too good to be true, it isn’t the gospel of Jesus’s kingdom!

So how are we cheated out of this kingdom Jesus placed inside of us?  Colossians 2:8 gives the answer.

8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

We are cheated through the traditions of men and the principles of the world.  Paul calls this a philosophy, which simply means a system of thought.  These worldly systems of thought that get subconsciously ingrained in us make the word of God of no effect in our lives.  

I need to make a point that many of the traditions and worldly principles that cheat us out of the kingdom aren’t exclusive to what Christians would classify as sin. Certainly living a sinful life can hinder the effect of the kingdom of God in our life and many of us already know this.  Many of us don’t realize that much of the commonly accepted wisdom of the world that modern Christianity has embraced is absolutely contrary to the way God’s kingdom operates.  Here are a few examples:

If you don’t look out for yourself, no one will!  Jesus said He didn’t come to be served, but to serve.  He said the greatest in His kingdom was the servant of all.  Jesus constantly put others first and didn’t demand His rights.  He laid down His life to serve people.  He served people who rejected Him, mocked Him, and ultimately put Him to death!  

Don’t get your hopes up.  People say this because they don’t like being disappointed when they get their hopes up and something bad happens.  I totally get that.  I hate getting disappointed too, but Romans 15:13 says He is the God of all hope!  We need to get our hopes up and keep the up!  If we don’t think positive thoughts, we won’t expect God to do good things in our life and even when He does, we won’t be able to receive them.

Alcohol, drug, gambling, porn, addiction runs in my family.   People say this to explain sinful patterns of behavior that have run in their family for generations.  I want to be clear, our lineage and genetics do affect our body chemistry and the way we process life.  With that said, when we get saved, we get new spiritual genetics. If we put God’s word in us and renew our mind to our new spiritual genetics, we will begin to change the way we do life.  For example, I know many people who grew up in homes where there were four generations of alcoholism and they put the word of God in themselves and were delivered.  

Whatever is meant to be will be.  People often say this to feel good about whatever happens in their life even if they don’t like it. The problem with this line of thinking is it can make us passive.  In Matthew 11:12 Jesus said the kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force.  We have to be aggressive with the promises of God.  If I wouldn’t have been aggressive with the promises of God in 2008 when the great recession hit, I would have gone broke.  My business lost many customers because they didn’t have the money to buy.  I didn’t sit passive, however, I got in the word and proclaimed (often screaming) the promises of God about financial prosperity!  As I did this, God changed my business and brought many new customers to me.  My income quadrupled between 2008 and 2011!  Why?  Because I didn’t sit passive taking life as it came.  

The examples I listed above are just a few of the way Christians are cheated out of the kingdom that has been offered to them in this life.  There are dozens more.  The key to walking in the fullness of God’s blessing now is to renew our mind to who God really is and who we are in Him!  

Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.

The day you got saved, you became a citizen of a new kingdom!  Learn the benefits of your kingdom and don’t let the devil cheat you out of them anymore!  If you’d like to learn more about who are you are in Christ, check out this message I taught at Grace Life Church.

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Grace Life Church of the Triad