by Willie Thomas Butler
This blog is about to become more radical in its scope of issues and author’s views. That is because “The Kingdom Life Approach is not for the faint at heart!”
This statement is a quote from my latest book, The Kingdom Life Approach: A Purpose-Driven Strategy for Living Your Best Life (c.2011). Since publishing this book, I have also written numerous blogs and articles for my charitable organization, the LifePlanning Institute, its website and their Tip of the Week section; and I have been producing chapters for my next book about Marketplace Ministry to be published this Fall.
During this period, I have also published The Kingdom Life Approach Course Workbook (c.2012) designed to facilitate training in an eight-week workshop—that I also developed—to teach the Kingdom Life Approach and provide biblical stewardship principles and practical skills training in Christian financial planning.
Why am I telling you this now? Because it is time to be radical in promoting Kingdom Life and show the world what true commitment to living God’s way might look like.
It's Time To Stand-Out
While Christians are supposed to be different than non-Christians, truth is the average person would have difficulty telling the difference between each. That is because in almost every way, Christians emulate the world and its behaviors: its morality, its self-serving interest and its overwhelming zeal for wealth, fame and pursuit of personal ambitions. Just observe any street in America, where living across from one another could be a Christian and non-Christian family whose homes, cars, careers and activity-schedules mirror one another with the exception of where each may go for worship.
The Bible teaches that Christians are bought with a price, which means that when they accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, their lives are no longer their own to manage and orchestrate as they please. (1 Cor. 6:20) Does this mean they lose free-will to choose their own path in life? Not at all… But it does mean they have the ability to surrender or lay down their personal agenda and need for gratification, and instead can accept a path that God may have in mind for them. That is the path of discipleship, a well accepted concept that most people associate with pastors, priests and other deeply religious types. But few ever think that such a concept applies to them as well.
Well, not true! Christians are defined by Jesus as “Being in the world but not of the world,” or its systems. (John 17:16) As such, Christians have the ability to serve God in the earthly realm in a myriad of ways: first and foremost as servants--also known as stewards--as ambassadors, emissaries and Good News messengers. In other words, as one whose life is no longer their own, and as one who seeks first to fulfill God’s purpose, Christians have the special privilege of showing the world that Jesus died for all, and that God loves them as much as He loves His own.
The issue is not whether the opportunity exists to serve Him; the issue is who will surrender their own agenda to live for God in this day and age? And, if living for God means changing how I manage those things He has entrusted to me, such as my time, my talent and my material resources, then am I willing to do so?
This is the radical side of Christianity that I lovingly refer to as Kingdom Life. When you choose to live according to God’s plan for your life, then you must make a conscious decision to subordinate your personal plans and assume His plan instead. This is a radical view to some and it requires a radical decision, but it is absolutely crucial if you truly want to live according to God’s plan. After all, it was Jesus that taught His disciples that it will only be “those who do my Father’s will that will inherit the Kingdom of God.” (Mt.7:21)
So, you see, in the end the person who does good works because they chose to, or the person who gives somewhat generously but only as they choose, will not be among the true candidates for God’s eternal kingdom. Only those, according to Jesus, who do Father’s will, that is, fulfill His plan and purpose. Given this truth, just where do you fit today?
I launched this blog as a conventional site offering the same general advice and counsel that others in my profession offer who are Christian. I mean no offense, but the truth is, I am not nor are any Christians meant to be like everyone else. Nor are God’s principles and Kingdom strategies like anything the world offers. So, why not let the world see how the two should be distinguished? As such, this is the mission of the LifePlanning Institute.
That is my new agenda; an agenda the Lord has been developing in me for almost twenty years. And the books, articles and other things I produced are merely the fruit that comes from the seeds He sowed in me many years ago; seeds sown that I might bring forth fruit that will nourish many in the years ahead! Said another way, I have no choice but to be myself in my attempt to communicate with you on behalf of our Creator, our Father, and our Lord and King, Jesus Christ!
He has taught me and shown me that the Kingdom of God is different and operates differently from the world, and that it is time that His people, the Christian Church, learn that these differences are available for us to operate within here and now. Referring to Jesus' sayings again stated more than 2,500 years ago, He said that “the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,” or with us. And while still among us in the earth He taught us a prayer we have all come to know as the Lord’s Prayer. In it, Jesus underscores the importance of God’s Kingdom objective when He prays “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” (Mt. 6:10)
Accordingly, I imagine hearing Jesus praying to the Father to let your kingdom reign in the earth Lord, just as it does in Heaven. How? Through those you gave me as disciples who now populate the earth and are there as your ambassadors and emissaries of Your Kingdom!
In this context even how one chooses to manage their wealth or function as God's earthly steward matters greatly. So why not learn what strategies work best to fulfill God’s will and plan and to advance the Kingdom of God—as Jesus prayed—throughout the earth?
Please Join Me!
Will you be counted among those He can rely upon to serve Him? If so, the LifePlanning Institute is here to help you every step along the way.
This is the content you can expect in future editions of this blog, but shorter. Again, it may seem radical, but it is no less truth. I trust that God will enable my writings to reach an audience of His choosing; that is, an audience with ears to hear and hearts ready to transform as they are led by His Spirit. I can ask no more nor expect any less as I seek to fulfill my purpose in Him. And I pray that you will too!..