Thy Kingdom Come: 40 Days of Hope for Hamilton
PWPNT Desired Outcomes:
1. Building relationships with non-PMC folks whose commitments we share (e.g., artists, educators, doctors, etc.); building bridges between us and them
2. Creation of new ministries that mobilize us to meet the needs that surface during this series
3. A vision for PMC - articulating what it would look like to see our mission being achieved. (Broad understanding of who we are and what we are about and why, all in the shadow of the cross)
4. Discovering new ministry leaders
5. The end of some ministries that don’t effectively address needs
Sermon Series Big Idea: 3”
Christ taught us to pray with the words, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done - on earth as it is in heaven”. But what are we really asking when we pray this way? As we study the Scriptures, some of the answer comes as we consider the examples set by various human kings. Viewing these kings from God’s perspective will reveal how strikingly different God’s Kingdom will be.
In this series, our goal is that as we grow in our understanding of the Kingdom of God, we will more passionately engage with the ways God has already begun to establish that Kingdom all around us - even here in Hamilton. It can be hard to see, but make no mistake - His Kingdom is coming.
I. Introduction to the 40 Days Big Idea of this 40 Days Initiative: 5”
a. We're all aware that Hamilton is a city in great need. Fewer of us know the degree of need, our own share in the cause of it, or the many opportunities we have as God's people to bring restoration to our community and this city. When Jesus taught us to pray Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, he was inviting us to dream about what it would like if God’s Kingdom were to come fully to our city, to our world.
b. If we were to focus that prayer on Hamilton, what would we see? Well, God’s Kingdom is closer than we think. All of God’s people are called and have been equipped to participate in God’s Kingdom project in Hamilton.
c. That project is already well under way and we all have a part to play. Have you found yours?
II. Introduction to this study PWPNT A Kingdom of Grace 7”
Big Idea: King Saul ruled as though everything depended on his performance. God’s Kingdom is different. In it, our performance doesn’t make Him love us more or less. When that Kingdom comes fully, we’ll serve God and each other out of joy. Inasmuch as we help others experience that joy here and now through the Gospel, God builds His Kingdom - on earth as it is in heaven. That’s the Hope of Hamilton.
III. The Story 8”
a. Context: Israel, chosen of God as His voice of Hope to the nations, has endured hard times in the Land of Promise. After tough times responding to their aggressive neighbours, Israel began to cry out to God to provide them a king. God had a king in mind for them, but he was not yet ready. Nevertheless, God relented then pointed out the best, but seriously-flawed candidate.
b. Backstory is troubling—charged by the family with finding donkeys that were lost. He searched for them but was ready to give up when his servant insisted they not give up; they inquired of the prophet, Samuel who then anointed Saul. Saul showed early signs of a lack of courage and persistence; he was more fearful than vigilant.
1. Saul was “handsome” and taller than all around him; they followed him into war to defend the nation against its attacking enemies.
2. Pointed out as king by God through “lot”, though he was found “hiding” among the baggage. AS THE DONKEYS HID THEMSELVES FROM SAUL, SO SAUL HAS HIDDEN HIMSELF FROM THOSE WHOM HE WOULD SERVE. The narrator seems to be guiding us through his character PWRPNT
3. Competence questions with the family donkeys; Saul knew the truth about himself, he just didn’t want to face it.
4. Courage-failure in seeking out the lost donkeys and AGAIN in hiding among the baggage while the nation was seeking him to be king, and AGAIN when Goliath challenged the nation and its God, he sent David.
5. Lying to Samuel the prophet when he’d been caught making sacrifice in the face of a deserting army; “I forced myself” as if there were more than one person inside him!
6. Jealous over David’s successes in contrast to his own.
a. Saul sent David out to fight for him; when David succeeded…
1Sam. 18:7-8 The women sang as they played, and said,
“Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.”
Then Saul became very angry, for this saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?”
b. Attempted to kill David with a spear and failed. 18:10
c. Samuel’s role
i. Instructed Saul to prepare him before going into battle.
1. Saul grew fearful when Samuel was delayed and his own army began leaving in fear, so he offered sacrifice on his own.
ii. Samuel showed up immediately and reprimanded Saul for his impatience,
1. Samuel was apparently waiting nearby to see how Saul would react to looming enemy, scattering army, urgent need for prayer.
2. v.12—offering NOT required for prayer!
3. 1 Samuel 15:22—obedience better than sacrifice
4. JUDGMENT: You have FORFEITED YOUR KINGDOM.
IV. The Kingdom lessons 18”
a. Saul’s worldview was one of Performance rather than Grace.
1. Performance Worldview Rules—power and privilege are essential; everything is contingent upon Performance, Correct Clan membership, Wealth & Power, WHICH LEAD TO ACCEPTANCE AND RESPECT; superiority (let me prove I belong here)
a. Can’t be wrong.
b. Can’t be overshadowed; his rivals rejected him.
c. Can’t be rejected by anyone; unpreferred—people preferred David (Saul has killed his thousands and David his ten thousands)
d. Relief may come, but never joy; fear may rise and fall, but paranoia is permanent.
[Always winter, never Christmas.]
2. Grace Rules—Joy, servanthood, truth-telling, humility
News what will transform Hamilton is not fear or performance but GRACE. As churches that understand and live out of GRACE, something that the city has never seen.
We are here to establish a KINGDOM OF GRACE, rather than a human kingdom of performance.
b. Saul’s priority was self-preservation & power.
c. Unlike Saul, Jesus will be a King who GIVES LIFE.
Big Idea: When God’s Kingdom comes fully, it will get rid of all INJUSTICE & DISCRIMINATION.
It’ll be a place of total JUSTICE.
1. Everything in our culture is conditional, just as Saul was religious, all rewards are conditional on our performance.
a. Jesus said the first shall be last;
Mark 9:35 Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”
b. PWPNT Phil. 2--Jesus did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped-- set it aside to obey the Father and to purchase us as His own.
2. Saul’s quest for power and influence required squelching all rivals.
a. God’s kingdom will not include such preference and favouritism. As the kingdom is deepening now, discrimination’s ending is a sign of the arrival.
b. Kingdom work is not merely not being racist, but being opposed to racism.
As often as we, His people are involved in getting rid of all DISCRIMINATION and helping people experience JUSTICE, we participate with God in the building of His Kingdom.
V. Bringing it home to Hamilton 28”
a. God is doing it now all around us; it’s already begun—WHEN CITY STAFFERS AND POVERTRY ROUNDTABLE KNOW ABOUT THE TRUECITY MOVEMENT AND ASK US TO INTERVENE, THEN WE CAN BE SURE THAT GOD IS AT WORK IN RECOGNIZABLE WAYS IN OUR CITY.
b. Urban Ministries outreach through a craft class & a cooking class; these immigrant women expect us NOT to accept them; as we become friends and behave as friends, we show them acceptance.
5” Conclusion: 30”
1. We can learn much from King Saul’s glaring weaknesses. We need a King to serve who shows Himself to be COMPETENT, COURAGEOUS, FULL OF TRUTH, SACRIFICIAL.
2. Whom do we NOW serve as King? A king reflecting our own impulses and character, or One whose character calls us to something greater than we can imagine? Do I love my city strongly enough to have this hope for Hamilton?
3. Violence, fear, poverty, contrasting with wealth and apathy. God’s not happy with the way things are!
4. We cannot transform the city by hating it.
If I don’t love this city, should I move to a city I can love? What is there about a city that we could love? Buildings? Landscape? People?
5. BUT, IF I Love the King of the City—my love for Him will influence my care for the city He reigns over. His reign is not yet fully realized; he will come AND SHOW HIS COMPETENCE, COURAGE, TRUTHFULNESS AND HE HAS SHOWN US HIS SACRIFICE.
Meanwhile, he has called us here to love this city and to set the table for his return in love and justice, in mercy and power…
Has this awakened something in you that you didn’t even know was there…
1. I don’t actually care about this city—they did this to themselves!
2. I don’t actually care about my neighbours—they made their choices.
3. I don’t want to be connected to a losing enterprise!