Kingdom Culture Series
The Webster Dictionary defines ‘Culture’ as ‘the shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterize a group of people’.
Now when you hold that definition up to the fact that our Church Community is made up of people that come from 50+ nationalities, the one culture that unites all the people groups that make up the Church is the Culture of the Kingdom.
OK so what does Kingdom Culture look like?
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.” Phil 4:8-9 NIV
When we take the first letter of each of these 8 words we can form the word ‘REPPLANT’ so that’s why we are using the term, ‘Kingdom Culture – REPPLANT’.
Right:- To show goodness and kindness without partiality, to seek the highest good without dis-honesty.
The same Greek word is used to describe the heart attitude of Joseph, the husband of Mary when he found out she was pregnant to someone else.
Joseph knew that the Jewish law required that his wife should be put to death for what appeared to be adultery, but he looked for another way to do the right thing guided by mercy not legalism.
And here’s how he proposed to do what was RIGHT…
Under the Jewish law of marriage, the husband had the right to divorce his wife privately without stating the reason so he decided to take that course of action.
Not only did Joseph decide to divorce her privately to save her life, he also knew that, after divorcing her, and she was found to be pregnant, it would make him look like a heartless pig that had used her then turned her out, but he was still prepared to take that upon himself.
So this is what Kingdom Culture of doing ‘Right’ looks like for us:
- Our Holy God declaring over us, ‘Your sin must be judged’ and then Jesus steps forward as our Savior to take our sin upon Himself and bear the judgment for us.
- It’s firm discipline given to those who are in the wrong not with the intent of punishment but with the intent of correcting our course for a better future.
The Kingdom Culture of doing ‘RIGHT’ is how we act when honesty, integrity and mercy blend together in our hearts.
For many Christians ‘Excellence’ has not been a value they associate with their Worship to God because it was over-shadowed by a confused understanding of humility.
The thinking was if we are humble then we are poor and if we are poor then we have to accept low quality of everything.
So the un-spoken thinking was:
“It’s messy, it’s late, it’s poorly resourced and badly done, (and we would never tolerate it in our own house…) but hey! We are a humble bunch of Christians just bumping along for Jesus!"
But that’s not humility - that’s messy, late and poorly done.
God sees our Excellence as ‘honoring Him for who He is in our lives.’
“The Queen of Sheba heard about Solomon and his connection with the Name of God. She came to put his reputation to the test by asking tough questions… When the Queen of Sheba experienced for herself Solomon's wisdom and saw with her own eyes the palace he had built, the meals that were served, the impressive array of court officials and sharply dressed servants, the lavish crystal, and the elaborate worship ….it took her breath away.” 1 Kings 10:1-5 THE MESSAGE
Look at the things mentioned here:- The facilities, the hospitality, the presentation of those serving, the elaborate worship – singing, musicians, generous giving to God... it all took her breath away!!
Pure:- Clean from contamination, i.e. unpolluted innocence.
The Bible lifts up the value of Purity as something of cherished beauty - this is the beauty of purity that we see in the face of a baby, or of a bride who has kept herself for her husband.
“I am anxious for you with the deep concern of God himself - anxious that your love should be for Christ alone, just as a pure maiden saves her love for one man only, for the one who will be her husband.” 2 Cor 11:2 TLB
The Kingdom Culture value of unpolluted innocence is extremely counter-cultural to the society we presently live in…
We are living in a society where innocence is thought of as ignorance so people are encouraged to lose their innocence as quickly as possible so they can ‘grow up’.
Yes we have lost our ignorance but we also lost our innocence and rather than a pure mind we now have a ‘polluted one’.
What makes keeping our purity so attractive is the beauty and wonder of life that it helps us maintain.
"Those who are pure in their thinking are happy, because they will be with God." Matt 5:8 New Century Version
So how does that work? Well whatever has your mind… has you.
Thus you are experiencing the world not as it is but as you are – or, as you are conditioned to see it.
Our purity of mind doesn’t draw God to us, it enables us to see where He has been all along. He didn’t go anywhere we just looked away to other things.
Praiseworthy:- A person’s ability to recognize the value and worth of a person and thing.
Do you know that as we embrace a Kingdom Culture we will become a praising people. What does that look like? Of course it means we’ll be free in our worship of God, that praise will flow easily from our hearts and find expression in words and movement.
And it also means we’ll be generous with our praise when we see our brothers and sisters doing great things.
Let’s not dwell on the disappointments of the past, but bring to remembrance the good things, the praiseworthy things that God has done in your life. Revisit your God-stories, which are your testimony.
Lovely:- Inspires acts of love within us.
Loveliness is not about what an object looks like on the outside, but what it does to us on the inside.
Things that may look nice on the outside are capable of inspiring greed, lust, jealousy, disappointment and anger.
When we think upon God's love shown to us by His gift of Jesus, we are inspired to act in love.
Admirable:- Thinking the good report of God over our circumstances.
'Thinking of things of good report' is you and I embracing the word of God in Jeremiah 29:11, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” NKJV
The good report that you need to think on is what God is speaking over your life and the life of others.
Thinking on the good report draws to you the fulfilment of what is spoken.
This word also takes in how we are to honour one another in Kingdom culture, not by the evil report of gossip and back-biting but by me speaking the good report of God over you so that I give you what you deserve and receive the gift of who God says you are.
Noble:- Serious, ‘things of consequence’
This is us being able to identify things that are worthy of our attention and not getting caught up in the petty and trivial.
“We are a chosen people, royal priests, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession.
You were chosen to tell about the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9-10 NCV
We are not to be a bunch of self-absorbed air-heads, we are to be like -
“…the sons of Issachar who understood the times and knew what to do.” 1 Chronicles 12:32
When our minds are given to thinking on noble things, things of weight and consequence, we become bigger people because our world-view is expanded beyond our petty, self-absorbed interests.
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4 NIV
• Do you walk in the truth?
• What do you believe about yourself?
Have you allowed the devil to define your reality for you?
Has he whispered a lie into your soul that you are now basing your expectations of life on?
Jesus said, “You will know the truth and truth will set you free”. John 8:32
The TRUTH is:
“God did not give you a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
God created you for success and victory so anything other than that is a false image – reject it for the lie that it is!!