Kingdom Focus

January 9, 2005
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

If you would, turn in your Bibles with me to the book of Acts. The book of Acts chapter one. The title of tonight’s lesson is “Kingdom Focus.” Kingdom Focus. Glory to God. Acts chapter one. When you reach the book of Acts chapter one, please signify by saying amen. And it reads as thus in verse one:

1. The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

2. Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:

3. To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

4. And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

5. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

6. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

7. And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

8. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank You tonight for Your goodness and Your mercy, Your love and Your kindness. Father, I humble myself before You. I thank You that You’ve anointed me, Lord God, to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. Lord, as I decrease, I humbly ask that You would increase, Lord God. And Lord God, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. In Jesus’ Name.

And the people of God said amen.

There are many things that led up to the day of Pentecost. And in verse three of chapter one, it said:

3. To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

In other words, that He showed Himself alive after His passion, His suffering in the garden and on the cross, by a series of many convincing demonstrations and unquestionable evidences and infallible proofs appearing to them during forty days and talking to them about the things of the Kingdom of God. Glory to God.

Jesus was leaving them with a Kingdom focus. Amen, somebody. In order for us to understand Kingdom we’ve got to get into the realm of what Kingdom actually means. You see, we have got to understand that here in the United States we’re not under a king. Amen, somebody. We’re under a president of the United States. But being under a king in a kingdom is totally different. Amen. And that’s why a lot of us cannot get the understanding of what it means to be under the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

I was listening to TBN before I walked out the door, and there was Miles Monroe on tv talking about the exact same thing that I’m talking about tonight. Amen. I had no idea that he was going to be preaching and talking and being interviewed about the Kingdom of God. Amen.

But God wants us to understand that even though we have not been in the realm of having a kingdom, we’ve got to learn kingdom principles. We’ve got to learn how to operate in the Kingdom, and we’ve got to understand what the Kingdom of God is. Amen, somebody.

Now, let me explain to you what the Kingdom isn’t. The Kingdom has nothing to do with obscure doctrine and difficult rules. It’s not a sheltered, careful life without risk and failure of achievement or excitement. The Kingdom of God is living at the highest human level, even in the midst of the lowest human experience. In other words, no matter what you’re going through, you got to understand that you’re still to operate in the Kingdom of God.

A lot of us think that the only way we’re operating in the Kingdom of God is if when we have the Mercedes Benz outside, and we have the big house (glory to God). Those things are just a part of operating in the Kingdom of God, but it is not what the Kingdom is all about. Amen, somebody.

God is speaking to us. Because God is shifting this ministry to a Kingdom focus. Amen, somebody. The term “kingdom” is used in the Bible in several ways. Sometimes it refers to the universal reign of God over all creation. And sometimes the Kingdom is a direct reference to the nation of Israel, because Israel was designed to be a nation ruled by God. Amen, somebody. And sometimes it refers to the coming reign of Christ and His return. But the Kingdom of God and what God is saying to us tonight is that it is the present rule of Christ in the lives of His people. It is the present rule of Christ in your life.

You see, God is trying to get our mentality to change tonight, because we try to live life in an earthly realm with an earthly mentality. We’ll never get to our destiny. We’ll never get to our destination. We’ll never enter the plan of God as long as we’re not operating with Kingdom thinking. Amen, somebody.

God is shifting us in this season. Because for so long and for so many years our focus has been prosperity. For so long, for so many years, our focus has not been understanding what the Kingdom of God entails for the child of God. For so long we have not even had a definition of the Kingdom of God and Kingdom focus and Kingdom rules and Kingdom reign. For so long we have not entered into that place where we can understand that He is the King over us (glory to God), and we dwell in (my God, somebody) a place where He dwells, and that we’re a royal priesthood. Glory to God. Because He is royalty, we are royalty.

And God wants you to change your mentality tonight, because you have got to understand that though your bills are due, you are still royalty, and you need to be treated as royalty. Come on. Give Him praise tonight.

The first century Jews, they better understood the concept of a kingdom, because they were accustomed to seeing kings and queens in position of authority. Do you hear what I’m saying? They were accustomed to waking up in the morning and not being in a democracy.

You see, we here in the United States are in a democracy. But they were accustomed to a king ruling and reigning over them. Can I get an amen in the house of God? Amen. So it was alright for them to wake up in the morning, and for them to have things to do and guidelines to follow, and them having to carry them out.

You see, here in this democracy that we live in (glory to God) we try to do what we want to do when we want to do it and how we want to do it. But that’s not how the Kingdom of God is supposed to be set up. Because God has given us what? Rules and revelations to follow according to the Word of God.

Kingdom focus. He’s shifting us. He’s shifting us. He’s shifting us to think as though we’re in the Kingdom, which we are. You see, there’s a big difference in a king and a president. There’s a big difference in a king and a president. You got to understand that. We got to pray for our president that he would understand that God is in control, and don’t nothing move but by the power of God.

The Kingdom. The Kingdom focus. You see, He saved you for somebody else. He didn’t just save you for you, so that you can sit there and say, “I’m saved.” He saved you that somebody else might get saved.

You see, without a Kingdom focus in our church there can be no great commission in operation. Do you hear what I’m saying? Without us focusing in on the Kingdom and the things of the Kingdom there can be no great commission; there can be no, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.”

We have got to begin to shift our thinking and stop worrying. I’m not going to get there, but . . . I’m not going to go there like that, but I need to say this. Stop just worrying about yourself so much that when you come through the door you’re so consumed with your problems that can’t nobody get saved, because they can’t see the Christ that’s supposed to be operating on the inside of you.

Physician, heal thyself. Physician, heal thyself. This is a part of the benefits of the Kingdom of God. I have the ability (glory to God) to direct traffic in the spirit realm. You see, when I understand that I live in the Kingdom of God, I have the ability to direct the things that go on. I have the ability to change the atmosphere of a location, of a territory, of a city, when I operate in the Kingdom of God.

And this is the shifting in the body of Christ. Because we’re still trying to get blessed. I gave up trying to get blessed. I found out that trying to get blessed just don’t work. I had to come to the understanding that I was blessed already. Amen, somebody.

You’re already blessed. You’re not trying to get blessed. You are already blessed. He said that you were blessed. And He has blessed you to be a blessing.

Focus. He’s talking to us tonight. Because He’s shifting our attitude. He’s shifting our attitude in the body of Christ. He’s bringing us back to the book of Acts. He’s bringing us back to a Kingdom focus.

The Bible said that Jesus spoke to them about the Kingdom of God for forty days. They had walked with Him. They had talked with Him. But He felt the need to continue to talk about the Kingdom of God to them, to make sure that they understood what was actually supposed to happen with them as being a part of the Kingdom. As being a part of the Kingdom, He said to tarry here in Jerusalem until you be endued with power. Why? Because what? Power of the Holy Ghost is going to come on you, that you may be able to be a witness.

You see, this is how we get a Kingdom focus. You see, when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, it’s so that you can be a witness. It’s not that you can just go out there and just be blessed, that you can get money. He has anointed you for a work.

When the Holy Spirit comes on you when you’re out there in the grocery store, there’s a work to be done. When the Holy Spirit comes upon you when you’re in the hospital, there’s a work to be done. You got to understand the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon you. You see, the Holy Spirit upon you is to do the work. The Holy Spirit in you is to work on you. Amen, somebody.

How many of us have had the Holy Spirit come and rest on us? He rests on us so that we can work for the Kingdom. He can’t rest on you if your mind is consumed with your day-to-day problems. Sometimes God can give us a word, and we won’t let go of the pressure; we won’t let go of frustration; we won’t let it go until we see the manifestation of something that is tangible. Oh, you don’t have to get mad at this. We’re waiting on something tangible, instead of blessing God for it right now before we can have it in our hands.

He’s shifting our focus. Because before He went back up to heaven, He did not tell them, “Now, wait here until you get your house.” He didn’t say, “Wait here until you get your car.” He didn’t say, “Wait here until you dress in Armony.” He said, “Tarry here until the Holy Ghost comes upon you, that you may go out and do the work.” Come on, somebody.

And this is where God is shifting our ministry. Because I found that . . . And I want you to understand this, that I’m not the type of person, I’m throwing off and all that. I don’t do that. But I found that a lot of the gist of my conversations on the phone or whatever is about our problems and not about, “Pastor, what would be the best line to give somebody, so that they can possibly get saved?”

We’re so consumed with “me.” We’re so consumed with ourselves and “how can I get blessed?” than somebody going to hell sitting right next to us on our jobs. I’m saying this because we’re shifting our focus. We’re shifting our focus in this season, that we would open up our mouths and declare the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I gave an assignment Sunday, I believe. And I said I wanted you to witness to somebody about Jesus. I’ve talked to two people so far, both of them men. And both of them told me the experiences of their witnessing, of their ministering. The one that I talked to today, he’s never witnessed before in his life. But he heard a sound from the pulpit. He heard a sound. He heard an urgency that somebody needed to get saved.

On Sunday we leaped and jumped and shouted and shouted “hallelujah” and clapped our hands for the Word of the Lord. And I want to know by this Tuesday, did you hear the sound? How many people did you witness to? Glory to God. How many people did you . . . Glory to God. I see hands going up. How many people have actually said, “Lord, I know I got hell going on in my life right now, but You told me to open up my mouth. Im going to lay aside my weights and my sins that so easily beset me, and I’m going to tell somebody.”

I’m not talking about your prosperity tonight. There’s a shifting back to the book of Acts. Because the Holy Ghost has been upon us. And in a lot of cases we’ve done nothing with Him. We’ve silenced Him. This is not a word of condemnation. This is a word to examine ourselves.

He’s taking us to another place in Him. I’ve read so many different books about how people grow their churches and different programs that they have, and this, that, and the other. But I found that there’s such a turnover with the programs, that the programs will be like this month or this three months, and then next three months, it’s a shifting with another type of program. Because it’s not truly Kingdom focused. It’s to satisfy the flesh for the moment.

Any program that we do, any ministry that is birthed has got to be Kingdom focused. It has to have a Kingdom agenda to it. I don’t care if it’s song. I don’t care if it’s dance. I don’t care if it’s an usher at the door. It should be Kingdom based.

Now, where are you? You came in today probably hoping that I would prophesy to you, but I’m not, because I already did. He gave us the word Sunday that He’s moved for us over and over and over again. Now He said it’s time to pay up. Who are you going to serve? Who are you going to serve?

We have so much Word in this house, not just from me, but all the ministers will get up here and preach. We get so much Word. Every day there’s a new revelation about something. And we get up and we shout, whether it’s here, TBN, listening at the house, “Hallelujah. Well, I just got the revelation of the Brazen Altar and going behind the veil.” But who got saved? Who’s getting saved? Who’s getting saved behind your revelation? Who’s coming into the Kingdom of God?

I’m not talking about, you know, throwing off on Juanita and all. That’s powerful revelation. But I’m talking to us. When you get the revelation of all of that wonderful things, wait a minute. Did it cause you to go out in the street and declare that Jesus Christ is Lord? Or did it fill your belly? You began to rock back and forth and say, “Ooh, that word was good.” Talking to you. Talking to you.

This house should have been filled with True Vine tonight. Friday night we had a powerful service. Sunday morning we had a powerful service. They didn’t hear. They didn’t experience. I’m not talking about people that have to work and all that. You know what I’m talking about. People that just stay out just because they don’t understand the urgency. But when somebody dies that’s close to them, then they get an understanding. Sometimes experience gives us the hardest lessons.

It’s time to evangelize our families. It’s time to evangelize our community. It’s time to evangelize Columbus. It’s time to evangelize the nation. It’s time to evangelize other nations. Yes. Some people argue on it. And you know what I found to be the problem with a lot of us, and why we’re not doing it? Because we’re still waiting on our stuff. We’re still waiting on our stuff. But Lord, You promised that I was going to have this, that, and we’re waiting on our stuff. We’re trying to get comfortable. We want to live so comfortable before we open up our mouths about Jesus. We want the six figures before we do the ministry that He’s called us to.

Wake up. Wake up. People are dying that are close to you. Wake up. Wake up. We’re talking about Kingdom purpose.

Now, here’s your assignment. First of all, if you have not opened up your mouth yet, since Sunday, I bless you; I want you to open up your mouth and tell somebody about Jesus. Tell somebody that Jesus lives. Tell them that they can have eternal life. Tell them. Tell them. If you got to forget about all the things you got to take care of this week, let that be number one. You can do it. Who will do it? Glory to God. The Bible says don’t vow a vow and defer not to pay it. Because the Lord is looking for you to pay up.

Shift your thinking. Shift your thinking. Get out of that realm of, “I need a prophecy.” Get out of that realm. Get out of that realm. If God wants to prophesy to you, then He will. Get out of that realm. Start to focus on people’s lives, that you might shine. Don’t be mean. Don’t have an attitude. Have a pleasant look on your face.

Sometimes people need us to talk to them. There’s something different about us, but, you know, they don’t know how to come to us, because our faces are always like prunes. We sit there, “Oh, I’m a Christian.” Never had a stroke, but our face looks like it. Put a smile on your face. Put a smile on. Everybody, let me see your smile. Let me see who’s got the best one. I’m for real. Let me see. Let me see. Because we got some good-looking folks up in here. Amen.

And there’s no reason why nobody wouldn’t want to talk to us. I mean, there’s absolutely not any reason. And some of you look good enough where you really got to keep people from talking to you. That’s a blessing in itself. Because every time they come near, you need to say, “Yeah. You know what? The Lord really blessed me today. He blessed me with a word for you.” Amen. Amen.

So we’re going to shift our thinking, and we’re going to start shifting our thinking. Who came in here tonight . . . I mean, be honest. You don’t have to raise your hand, but be honest. Who came in here, you know, Kingdom focus, you know, ready to get the Word so you could take it back out there and share it with somebody else? You know, that’s what you got to do. When you come in here and get this Word, you take it back out there and you share it with somebody else.

I have people that buy tapes, and they don’t only get one for themselves, but they get like two or three tapes, because they want to give it to somebody else, because they know somebody else that needs the Word. How many of you know other people that need this Word? Amen. Amen. Amen.

Like I said to you all, this is the season where the pacifiers are taken; the bottles are taken; the diapers are taken. So now if you go, everybody’s going to see it, unless you put on some regular underwear. I can’t pacify you any more. There are basic prayers that we know how to pray, but we just won’t pray, and we just won’t believe God. You got to stop believing with my faith. You got to have your own. You have to. You have to have your own faith. In other words, you have to have your own relationship. You have to have your own relationship. How many of you are going to have your own relationship? Glory to God. I mean that. I mean that. Believe God. Believe Him. He’s true. He doesn’t just move for me. He’s going to move for you. Amen, somebody. Amen. Praise the Lord. Amen.

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