Keep It Clear

*Preface: This was written awhile ago and I'm just now posting it. Sorry for dated information.

I just heard that there was a shooting in Santa Monica, just a few days after last week's shooting that resulted in 6 people dead, 7 if you include the killer. It seems like these shootings and bombings are happening more and more often (Boston Marathon, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech), but I'm not always sure if that's the case -- these things have probably been happening since mankind started. As Reese Roper of Five Iron Frenzy put it, when speaking about the Columbine shootings, "Mankind is dark...and that, without God, people do things like that."

This sermon by Judah speaks about things being done on Earth as they are in Heaven, as prayed by Jesus in the Lord's Prayer. He asks an obvious, but seldom mentioned question: if things are supposed to be on Earth as they are in Heaven, what's it like in Heaven? He gives great insight into it based on scripture -- definitely worth the listen.

After I heard about the shooting I prayed with this teaching about God's will being done on Earth in mind, and I think for the first time I really prayed earnestly that God's kingdom come, and that His will actually be done on Earth.

In the past I've been hesitant to pray this because, in my mind, if God's kingdom comes, then this life is over and a new one has started. I like this life though and there are a lot of things I want to do in it still! I know God's kingdom is better and a life there will make the old one pale in comparison, but it's still my attitude as I have aspirations of career and family. I'm not saying it's right, but it's there.

However, when I keep seeing these awful things happening in our broken world, I can't help but ask God for His peace to come down. This teaching by Judah, plus a reminder of the darkness we exist in, has got me starting to believe that God's kingdom is worth praying for. That may sound like a no-brainer, but it's not my default emotion or motive if I'm honest.

Some notes:
  • John 3:13
    • Jesus making the claim that He lived on earth after He lived in Heaven
  • The more Heavenly minded you are, the more earthly good you will be
  • Luke 11 - "teach us to pray as John also taught his disciples..."
    • Jesus gives us an attitude in approaching prayer
      • Consider that we have a Father that is in Heaven
    • "Your kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven."
      • We become a portal for God's will to be done on Earth
    • " it is in Heaven."
      • How is it in Heaven?
  • Revelation 21: new Heaven and new Earth
    • Everything is "clear" - transparent
      • There is transparency in Heaven
      • The light of the Lamb permeates everywhere due to the transparency
  • " it is in Heaven" should affect and frame our entire lives
  • What is Heaven all about?
    • Beauty, nature, gems, awesome scenery, gold, etc.
      • These good things aren't wrong, for we will enjoy them in Heaven
      • The nature of these things is clear & transparent though
        • Nothing is an end, but a means to an's about Jesus!
      • Possessions are not the enemy, unless they possess us.
        • You can have nothing and be consumed with having more. You can have an abundance and be consumed with glorifying God
        • The way to overcome greed is not being broke, but by giving with the right attitude.
    • If your treasure is in Heaven, your heart will be there too
      • Luke 11:34 - "Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness."
        • "Healthy" here means "single" - you will be a whole person
        • If you focus on Jesus, He will illuminate our entire structure
      • If the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness (Matthew 6:23)
        • He's talking about legalism, where they thought they had light, but it was actually darkness
  • Matthew 6:33 - "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
      • He'll throw everything else in too, but it's about His RIGHTEOUSNESS
      • Jesus is the focus. Keep it clear.
  • Matthew 5:20 - "For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven."
    • Their righteousness was self-righteousness
    • We make it like that..."if you can do this, that, can be a part of the kingdom of God."
  • Galatians 5:22-23 is not the "Fruits of our discipline, works, etc."
    • It's the Fruit (singular) of the Spirit
    • It's not about good things like church attendance or character qualities
      • Like the transparent gold in Heaven, it's not about the gold but rather about revealing Jesus.
  • In Heaven, all things step aside and say, "Behold, the Lamb."
  • Jesus never offered complex relationships