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Monday, May 10, 2021

Living Above and Beyond

By Joe Chesser
          
    The people in God’s Kingdom are special. As Jesus described them, they are in the world but no longer of the world (John 17.14-16). Kingdom people have been given the unique ability to rise above and beyond the world while still living in it. Kingdom people have been rescued from Satan’s dark dominion and transferred into the Kingdom of Jesus (Colossians 1.13-14). Kingdom people have been born again into a living hope (John 3.3-5; Titus 3.3-6; 1 Peter 1.3-4). Kingdom people are special.
    Because Kingdom people have been rescued from Satan and the world, God expects His people to live above and beyond the world around them. Since we have been raised with Christ (Romans 6.3-4; Ephesians 2.6; Colossians 3.1), God’s people are no longer to have hearts set on earthly things, but on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Our focus is now to be on living above and beyond the world around us.
    Much of what this means is explained for us by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. He often said, “You have heard that it was said … but I say to you” (6.21, 27, 31, 33, 38, 43). Things have changed. Jesus gives us a new vision of what it means to live for God. Treasures are to be stored in heaven (6.19-20). Stop worrying about life (6.24-34). Turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, love your enemies, share with those who ask (6.38-44). These are things those who live above and beyond the world do because Kingdom people now have a heart for God, not the world (Matthew 6.33; 12.33-37). As new creatures, the old things have passed away and the new things have replaced them (2 Corinthians 5.17).
    The exciting thing about all of this is that we don’t have to do this by ourselves. Kingdom people have been given the power from God to rise up and live above and beyond the world. God not only saves us; He empowers us to live the new life. For the church He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3.20-21). He strengthens us with power through His Spirit in the inner man (Ephesians 3.16) to help and guide us (Romans 8.5-14). God enables us to know the depth of His love that goes beyond knowledge (Ephesians 3.18-19). He offers His people a peace beyond understanding (Philippians 4.7) and the ability to do what they cannot do by themselves (2 Corinthians 8.1-5). He gives wisdom and courage those who ask (James 1.5; Acts 4.31). He gives comfort when we are tired and burdened (Matthew 11.28-30).
    What a Mighty God we serve! He calls us to live above and beyond this world!   
    “I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called – his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe in him” (Ephesians 1.18-19 NLT).
- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO.  He may be contacted at joeandareva@yahoo.com


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