Charity brings: kingdom

This is part three in my series on charity. (Here are posts one and two.)

Webster defines kingdom as “In Scripture, the government or universal dominion of God.” This is the kingdom I am referring to–God’s kingdom.

I’ve heard it said that love is the currency of heaven. I think it’s more like the air. Where God is, love is there. God chooses not to exist without love. We cannot live without His love.

Your kingdom is built on what is right and fair. Love and truth are in all you do. Ps. 89:14 NCV

When we extend our hands to the poor we bring God’s love to earth. We bring His kingdom here.

You will be doing the right thing if you obey the law of the Kingdom, which is found in the scripture, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” James 2:8 GNT

Charity, or love, enables God’s kingdom, His government, His way of doing and being right to exist right here with us. Charity opens the door to Heaven on earth.

Sell what you own. Give to those who are poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out. Put away riches in heaven that will not be used up. There, no thief can come near it. There, no moth can destroy it. Luke 12:33 NIrV

That’s where we belong–in heaven. That’s where our true possessions should lie. Charity brings His kingdom to us and us to His Kingdom. We are moved by what moves Him. His agenda is ours. We strive to please the King, even to our own discomfort. Love begins to motivate us to do more, to reach higher and to advance His kingdom.

Government is, in a nutshell, “who or what is in control.” I want to always choose God’s government over my own. My own government is lazy and self-serving. His is generous and full of unselfish love (charity). He is patiently waiting for us to prefer His government, His kingdom, so heaven can visit us here in the everyday.

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Mt 6:9–10 NKJV

The most powerful creative tool

The most powerful tools you can have in your homeschool arsenal is–are you ready for this–a schedule. Many creative types see that word and run the other way. Before you write the idea off hear me out.

Why do I say a schedule is a tool? Because it gives you control of your time. Because it helps you. It helps you keep on task and lessens frustration. That’s one handy tool.

Why do I say it is powerful? Because it controls time. Well, your time anyway. It’s an amazing little tool with slots for all your tasks, big and small. A schedule seems to magically create time out of thin air, giving you time to create guilt free–time to think and explore and experiment.  And it can transform your day from chaos to calm and that is powerful.

Why do I say it is the most powerful? Because everything else rests on this. You don’t get enough rest without it. You don’t have all your supplies ready without it. You don’t have a clean workspace without it. You don’t have school without it.

A schedule is the single most important gift you can give your family. Maybe you call it a routine. Maybe yours is written or maybe it’s just in your head. However you do it, if you will commit to using a schedule you will see that your creative time is used more wisely, that you are more productive and less distracted when doing a creative project. Your materials and supplies will be ready. Your workspace will be ready. Your mind will be ready.

There are a thousand ways to do a schedule. Find one that worls for your family and try it out for 6 weeks and see if I’m not right. See if you aren’t more creative and less stressed.

step 8: principle 6–How the Seed of Local Self-Government is Planted

Of course local self-government begins–where else–with the individual. Then it moves to the family, the church, the city, the state and the the nation. As the seed is planted in the individual, all other spheres will reap the rewards of it.

As I stated in the last principle, America is the only country in the world with the balance of powers between state and federal governments. Local self-government is unique in its form here in America, creating unique communities all over the country, with their own laws and economic environments. This is individuality in another sense–each community as an individual is distinct from all other communities. And we have the freedom to change our communities or to move to a more desirable area.

What exactly is the “seed” then? It is the principle of self-government, planted in individuals by educating them (internally), and then externally expressed by demonstrating the principles.

What makes self-government “local?” A defined geographic area who govern and finance themselves exclusive of any other area. They choose their own leaders and govern their own affairs, having little dependence on taxes and people from other areas.

Applied educationally, this principle is planted in the students in the way we minister to our children as we educate them, elevating their Christian scholarship and the idea of free individuals. As I inspire my children and cultivate the Biblical intelligence that delights to answer to God and the Holy Spirit, I will begin to see that fruit evident in their lives. I make them accountable for their time, talents and property; help them to take dominion over their environment and become “Lord’s Freeman” and “Christ’s Servant.” (p. 68)

 There is much more he covered about church government and its role in shaping the country, but I could post all day about it, so I am cutting it short. :)

step 8: principle 2– Christian Principle of Self-Government

He knows not how to rule a kingdome, that cannot manage a Province; nor can he wield a Province, that cannot order a City; nor he order a City, that knows not how to regulate a Village; nor he a Village, that cannot guide a Family; nor can that man govern well a Family that knows not how to Govern himselfe; neither can any Govern himselfe unless his reason be Lord, Will and Appetite her Vassals; nor can Reason rule unlesse herself be ruled by God; and (wholy) obedient to Him.  –Hugo Grotius, 1654

This sums up nicely this principle. We are governed from within. It is our internal thoughts that determine our external actions. If we cannot well govern ourselves then how can we govern any other sphere? This is based on individuality because we are responsible for our own thoughts and actions. It is individual accountability.

God must be at the center or my will and appetite will be immoral (contrary to God’s laws). When He is placed front and center and we reason from His Word, that life and governmental philosophy will flow out to all spheres.

Educationally we apply this principle in that “God’s law is the requirement of the heart.” It is up to God to bring the changes needed for a child to grow into a proper citizen of His Kingdom. Ways we can manifest this principle:

  • accountaibility for property, thoughts and actions
  • requiring reasonable behavior
  • classroom (and home) environment control
  • all of the things that form the basis for a Christian Republic

To some Christians the idea of “self-government” may have pagan undertones. We are to be governed by Christ. And self-government is “me-centered”. But Christian self-government acknowledges the lordship of Christ and that He is the one aiding us in governing ourselves. He has given us dominion and over and over in His Word He instructs us on how to govern ourselves. He dedicated the entire book of Provebs alone to instruction on self-government. We are responsible for our own thought and actions (principle 1), so we must take an active role and be self-governed.

The key to Christian self-government

Along with the latest writings from Shannon, God has been revealing to me what it means to be internally governed. I have been listenening to a seminar by Ms. Katherine Dang and also going through the Rudiments of America’s Christian History and Government with Mrs. Smith from Pilgrim Institute. They have meshed together so well for me. God is using both of these women to speak into my life in such a profound yet practical way. What I am talking about here is what God has revealed to me as I spend time in His word.

Shannon did a fantastic job of breaking down internal and external. For that I will leave you to her entry. What I want to deal with is specifically Christian self-government, which is the intent and the expression of Christ’s government.

God moves progressively with His people. First we had the Old Covenant, with it’s commandments, ceremonies and celebrations. God sent the Law to help man. Adultery, sabbath rest and dietary restrictions were all external government that man needed. But God had a more excellent way.

In the fulfillment of the Law, Jesus came with His government–Christian self-government. He fulfilled the Law and he established a New covenant, one that requires more than simple behavioral compliance. Now He requires an internal control. In the Old Covenant man was not to commit adultery. In the New to look on a woman with lust was to commit adultery. In the Old Covenant one was not to have any other gods before Him. In the New we are to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Grace, internal government, is much more difficult to maintain than mere outward obedience. Now He is looking on the heart.

This new Kingdom Christ came to establish is that of Christian self-government, or self-government under the Lordship of Christ. He rules from our hearts, from the inward to the external. And since God is love, the more we become like Him the more love constrains, controls, rules us.

Mar 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all
thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first
commandment.
Mar 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love
thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

When He said that there were the two great commandments, they were both love. So that love, the love that is Christ, will control us. We will put God first, share the Gospel freely, care for the poor and orphaned, pray for the sick and more. Our needs will become irrelevant to us (and liberally met by God) as we seek first His kingdom.

Self-government will increase when we apply these love commands. If I view everything in the light of these two commandments, then I will always be exercising Christian self-control. It has to be the love of Christ that helps me because in myself I have no love to give. I am selfish and self-seeking. I must have His love to control me, to restrain me.

If I can show my children how those two commandmants hold the keys to Christian self-government, they can increase Christian self-government in their own lives and see the fruit of self-control flourish in their hearts.