Upside Down Kingdom – give and it shall be given to you

In many ways the kingdom of God is completely turned around from what we would expect it should be. That’s why Jesus had to use so many different parables to help us get our minds around how things really work in God’s kingdom.

Most of Jesus’ teachings goes against every natural instinct and represents a reversal of the world’s values.

It seems the natural instinct for most of us when it comes to obeying the principles of God in the upside down kingdom is fear. We fear because instinctively we should respond to circumstances one way and Jesus is teaching us to respond in another. We fear being the loser.

But Scripture teaches us that the opposite of our instincts is the entry point into God’s kingdom. What is attractive to the world repels the kingdom of God and what is attractive to the kingdom of God repels the world.

Let’s look at some principles of the Kingdom of God that seem completely upside down from what we normally see in the world around us.

To Become a Leader, Be a Servant

Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Mark 10:43 (MSG)

The world defines greatness in terms of power, possessions, prestige, and position. If you can demand service from others, you’ve arrived.

However Jesus measured greatness in terms of service, not status. God determines your greatness by how many people you serve, not how many people serve you. Normally we look at great men and women as those who have authority, money and power. But Jesus said in the kingdom of God the truly great people are those who serve others.

God’s desire is to promote the servant hearted person because the “greater” you are in resources and opportunity “greater” is your ability to empower and serve others.

However this orientation to serve others begins when we are hidden and when we have nothing. Someone whose sowed servanthood into their personal culture will have an orientation to using all they have to leave others better off than when they found despite where they are in life.

On the other hand those whose focus is on themselves are always thinking of a new scheme as to how they are going to advance towards their promotion.

Once again, despite whether we have a little or a lot in life, if our orientation is focussed on our own promotion we can never be a servant and we won’t attract the kingdom of God.

The kingdom of God is so upside down that to truly find life, is to die to self.

There are a great many philosophies in the world that say we should look inward to find our true identity and answers to our life’s problems. Jesus said that doesn’t work. He says:

“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”– Matthew 16:24-25

The more we look inward into ourselves the further we are from finding what we are truly looking for.

Jesus teaches us that true meaning and purpose will be found through self sacrifice and self denial rather than looking inward.

Jesus went onto say:

Matthew 16:26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

God knows from the beginning that if you spend your life wading through the stuff that takes priority in the world then we will lose the true meaning of life that our soul craves.

The right way to prioritise our lives is to first seek the kingdom of God. Then God would add all the stuff we needed without us striving or stressing about it.

The kingdom of God is upside down.

Jesus’s teachings make no sense to our natural minds.

Today I want to focus a little on giving: Jesus teaches To Become Rich, Give Money Away

This one is a total mind bender. The natural way to get more money is to save and hoard what we have.

When we don’t have enough money to pay our bills, common sense would say that giving some of what little we have away would be stupid. But here is what Jesus says:

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”– Luke 6:38

Jesus is teaching us that, in the kingdom of God, the same things that we give away has a way of coming back to us.

It seems across the board God knows the keys to making life truly meaningful and powerful.

Somehow when we follow the upside down kingdom we actually make deposits into a spiritual account that keeps giving back to us. For example:

Matthew 6:19-20
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Those who make the necessary sacrifices grow in authority, gain the honour from God and man and develop in an anointing to produce both spiritually and materially and can never be stolen.

God sees how things work. He knows the patterns in life. The ways people think. He knows how to get us to where we want to get to. If we view life from a “totally material perspective” meaning that we don’t include the spiritual realities that are at work 24/7 in our lives then we will miss the point of this truth. Jesus is saying, ‘anytime you apply Kingdom principles you are building a spiritual infrastructure around your life that will keep bringing blessing into your life’.

Anytime you read the Bible, God is giving us the revelations that connect us with heaven.

Acts 20:35 ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Jesus knew that to increase in wealth is to give away wealth. Not the other way around.

We have full access into the Kingdom of God and most of the time we have to give something to access the blessings of the Kingdom.

The revelation of sacrificial giving is one of those things that changes the conditions upon which heavens decisions are being made. It is one of those things that God notices:

Tithes and Offerings Malachi 3:10-12
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.

The promise of giving into God’s house and His work is that He will open the doors of favour to you so that you will have the opportunity to advance in your dreams. More than that by giving according to His word we also get a type of covering and an insurance policy over our lives that protect us from losing things.

I remember having my moped stolen. I then went to God and told Him that I was a tither and this should not happen and the next day the mother of the kids who stole it rang me and told me to pick it up before they got home from school. Another time my glasses broke and I reminded God I was a tither and someone more or less immediately gave me a sum of money that I used to replace them.

There are many circumstances outside of the tithe and offering where we should use giving as a means to attract the kingdom of God.

Cornelius: Acts 10:1-4
There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!” And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.

Solomon: 1 Kings 3:4-10
4 Now the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place: Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?” 6 And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. 9 Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.

David: 2 Samuel 24:20-25

20 Now Araunah looked, and saw the king and his servants coming toward him. So Araunah went out and bowed before the king with his face to the ground.

21 Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”

And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, to build an altar to the Lord, that the plague may be withdrawn from the people.”

22 Now Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up whatever seems good to him. Look, here are oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing implements and the yokes of the oxen for wood. 23 All these, O king, Araunah has given to the king.”

And Araunah said to the king, “May the Lord your God accept you.”

24 Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 And David built there an altar to the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord heeded the prayers for the land, and the plague was withdrawn from Israel.

There are many circumstances outside of the tithe and offering where we should use giving as a means to attract the kingdom of God.

David gave to God when He was experiencing extreme difficulty. Solomon gave when he needed wisdom. Cornelius gave and his house hold got saved.

Jesus gave us the principles that attract the blessings of God and they can apply anywhere, anytime and anyhow:

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”– Luke 6:38