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Sermon Quotes

Kingdom of God

Frederick Buechner

They are prepared for a God who strikes hard bargains but not for a God who gives as much for an hour’s work as for a day’s. They are prepared for a mustard-seed kingdom of God no bigger than the eye of a newt but not for the great banyan it becomes with birds in its branches singing Mozart. They are prepared for the potluck supper at First Presbyterian but not for the marriage supper of the lamb.

Jonathan Edwards

The seeking of the kingdom of God is the chief business of the Christian life

 

Elisabeth Elliot

If we do anything to further the kingdom of God, we may expect to find what Christ found on that road – abuse, indifference, injustice, misunderstanding, trouble of some kind. Take it. Why not? To that you were called. In Latin America someone who feels sorry for himself is said to look like a donkey in a downpour. If we think of the glorious fact that we are on the same path with Jesus, we might see a rainbow.

 

Tony Evans

Every voting choice you exercise ought to be for the candidate, platform, party, or policy that will best represent the values of the kingdom of God.

 

Richard J. Foster

The needed change within us is God’s work, not ours. The demand is for an inside job, and only God can work from the inside. We cannot attain or earn this righteousness of the kingdom of God: it is a grace that is given.

Os Guinness

Jesus made clear that the Kingdom of God is organic and not organizational. It grows like a seed and it works like leaven: secretly, invisibly, surprisingly, and irresistibly.

Thomas a Kempis

Jesus has many who love the kingdom of God, but few who bear a cross. He has many who desire His comfort, but few who desire His suffering. All want to rejoice with him, but few are willing to suffer for Him. He writes; there are many who admire his miracles, but there are few who follow in the humiliation of the cross.

 

George Eldon Ladd

Jesus’ message of the Kingdom of God is the announcement by word and deed that God is acting and manifesting dynamically his redemptive will in history. God is seeking out sinners; he is inviting them to enter into the messianic blessing; he is demanding of them a favorable response to his gracious offer. God has again spoken. A new prophet has appeared, indeed one who is more than a prophet, one who bring to people the very blessings he promises.

 

William Law

If you have not chosen the Kingdom of God first, it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead.

David Livingstone

I place no value on anything I have or may possess, except in relation to the kingdom of God. If anything will advance the interests of the kingdom, it shall be given away or kept, only as by giving or keeping it I shall most promote the glory of Him to whom I owe all my hopes in time or eternity.

John Stott

Greatness in the kingdom of God is measured in terms of obedience.

Leo Tolstoy

The only significance of life consists in helping to establish the kingdom of God.

Dallas Willard

Churches are not the kingdom of God, but are primary and inevitable expressions, outposts, and instrumentalities of the presence of the kingdom among us.

Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ

Dallas Willard

This impotence of “systems” is a main reason why Jesus did not send his students out to start governments or even churches as we know them today, which always strongly convey some elements of a human system. They were, instead, to establish beachheads of his person, word, and power in the midst of a failing and futile humanity. They were to bring the presence of the kingdom and its King into every corner of human life simply by fully living in the kingdom with him.

Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ

 

N.T. Wright

The point of the resurrection…is that the present bodily life is not valueless just because it will die…What you do with your body in the present matters because God has a great future in store for it…What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God’s future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether (as the hymn so mistakenly puts it…). They are part of what we may call building for God’s kingdom.

Surprised by Hope

 

N.T. Wright

Far too many people, especially within evangelicalism, think that the individual is all that matters, and that the corporate dimension is a distraction or diversion. Of course Christianity is deeply personal for every single Christian; nobody gets lost in the kingdom of God. But you can’t play that off against the corporate dimension.

Oscar Romero

It helps, now and then,
to step back and take the long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of
the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete,
which is another way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about:
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for God’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference between the
master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not messiahs.
WE ARE PROPHETS OF A FUTURE NOT OUR OWN.  Amen”

 

C. S. Lewis

If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. 

The Weight of Glory

Lesslie Newbigin 

When the Church tries to embody the rule of God in the forms of earthly power it may achieve that power, but it is no longer a sign of the kingdom.

Richard Foster

It is not that God’s kingdom of love did not exist before Jesus, or that it had been postponed somehow. No. But before the incarnation its availability had, in the nature of things, been restricted and mediated through a special people and a special religious class. In Jesus’ person all that changed. In Jesus the doors were thrown wide open: “Whosoever will may come.” The kingdom of God’s love has been made available to all. Whenever, wherever, whoever. In Jesus’ person.

Streams of Living Water, HarperOne

Malcolm Muggeridge

Jesus’ good news, then, was that the Kingdom of God had come, and that he, Jesus, was its herald and expounder to men. More than that, in some special, mysterious way, he was the Kingdom.

Jesus: The Man Who Lives

 

C.H. Dodd

In what sense, then, did Jesus declare that the Kingdom of God was present? Our answer must at least begin with His own answer to John: “The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the Gospel preached to them.” In the ministry of Jesus Himself the divine power is released in effective conflict with evil.

The Parables of the Kingdom, Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Brennan Manning

The kingdom is not an exclusive, well-trimmed suburb with snobbish rules about who can live there. No, it is for a far larger, homelier, less self-conscious caste of people who understand they are sinners because they have experienced the yaw and pitch of moral struggle.

The Ragamuffin Gospel

Martin Luther

The kingdom of God does not consist in talk, but in power, that is, in works and practice. God loves the ‘doers of the word’ in faith and love, and not the ‘mere hearers,’ who, like parrots, have learned to utter certain expressions with readiness.

Jen Pollock Michel

Kingdom is a signpost to the holy.

Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition & the Life of Faith.

Graeme Goldsworthy

The kingdom of God:

God’s people in God’s place under God’s rule and blessing.

Gospel and Kingdom, Paternoster.

Vaughan Roberts

The tower of Babel is a vivid symbol of our sinful desire to exalt ourselves and create our own kingdom independently of God.

Taken from God’s Big Picture by Vaughan Roberts. ©2003 by Vaughan Roberts.  Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove  IL  60515-1426. www.ivpress.com

Martin Luther

The kingdom of God does not consist in talk, but in power, that is, in works and practice. God loves the ‘doers of the word’ in faith and love, and not the ‘mere hearers,’ who, like parrots, have learned to utter certain expressions with readiness.

Malcolm Muggeridge 

The trouble with kingdoms of heaven on earth is that they’re liable to come to pass, and then their fraudulence is apparent for all to see. We need a kingdom of heaven in Heaven, if only because it can’t be realized.

C. Gene Wilkes

Jesus came to show us what life in the kingdom looked like, not how to modify how the world did things.

Gordon and Gladis DePree

Has God’s face ever been on a coin? We are the coin that bears the living likeness of God. Giving of ourselves with whatever that may include, is the only legal currency of the kingdom of heaven.

Henry Drummond

How many prodigals are kept out of the kingdom of God by the unlovely characters of those who profess to be inside!

Charles Spurgeon

Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the Kingdom.

N.T. Wright

Family and property, then, were not for the ancient Jew simply what they are to the modern western world. Both carried religious and cultural significance far beyond personal, let alone “individual,” identity and security. Both functioned symbolically within the total Jewish worldview. To both, Jesus leveled a direct challenge: those who followed him, who were loyal to his kingdom – agenda, would have to be prepared to renounce them, God-given though they were. 

Jesus and the Victory of God (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996), 405.

Brian Zahnd

The kingdom of God is an alternative arrangement of human society around Jesus which leads to human flourishing.

Alistair Begg

The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. It happens quietly. It happens inevitably. Don’t underestimate God’s power.

Brennan Manning

The kingdom is not an exclusive, well-trimmed suburb with snobbish rules about who can live there. No, it is for a larger, homelier, less self-conscious caste of people who understand they are sinners because they have experienced the yaw and pitch of moral struggle.

Don Everts and Doug Schaupp

Entering the kingdom is just like this: it’s a thing of great joy and great cost. The cost is clear, but nothing is compared with what is being gained.

Jonathan Walton

The dream so profoundly called for by Martin Luther King Jr. was not the American dream but a longing for the kingdom of God.

Taken from Twelve Lies That Hold America Captive: And the Truth That Sets Us Free by Jonathan Walton Copyright (c) 2019 by Jonathan Walton. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Jonathan Walton

Martin Luther King was shot because he preached and practiced allegiance to a different kingdom and rigorously opposed our present system.

Taken from Twelve Lies That Hold America Captive: And the Truth That Sets Us Free by Jonathan Walton Copyright (c) 2019 by Jonathan Walton. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

N.T. Wright 

What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into Gods future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether. They are part of what we may call building for God’s kingdom.

Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (San Francisco: HarperOne, 2008), p.264.

Dallas Willard

[The Kingdom of Heaven is] where what God wants done is done.

Thomas Keating

The kingdom is in everyday life with its ups and downs, and above all, in its insignificance. Such is where most people actually live their lives. The kingdom is thus readily accessible to everybody.

Meditations on the Parables of Jesus, The Crossroad Publishing Company, pp. 21-23, 2010.

Thomas Keating

The kingdom of God manifests itself in the modest changes in our attitudes and in the little improvements in our behavior that no one may notice, including ourselves. These are the mighty works of God, not great external accomplishments.

Meditations on the Parables of Jesus, The Crossroad Publishing Company, pp. 21-23, 2010.

Thomas Keating

“To what shall I liken the kingdom of God?” Jesus asked. The kingdom is manifested in ordinary daily life and how we live it. Can we accept the God of everyday life? If we can, then we can enjoy the kingdom here and now, without having to wait for an apocalypse or someone to deliver us from our difficulties.

Meditations on the Parables of Jesus, The Crossroad Publishing Company, pp. 21-23, 2010.

Thomas Keating

The kingdom is present not in grandiose accomplishments, but in showing practical love in humble ways, day after day, and in refusing to allow our failures and disappointments to hide God’s love from us. God invites us to share the divine emptiness. The divine emptiness might also be described as total vulnerability: the willingness to be hurt over and over again without loving less but more. That means never giving up on anyone, not even on ourselves. Of such is the kingdom of God.

Meditations on the Parables of Jesus, The Crossroad Publishing Company, pp. 21-23, 2010.

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