Kingdom culture is a taste of Heaven on Earth: God's truth put into daily practice. Kingdom culture is synonymous with wisdom, which is truth applied. But, kingdom culture takes wisdom to the next level because of the word "culture." Culture is beliefs so ingrained into daily life that the cultured person may not even be aware of why s/he feels and acts.
Jesus is hope against demonic bondage. Jesus defeated the power of Satan 2000 years ago. As Jesus enters communities and families, He brings individual people out from under the authority of Satan. He makes them citizens of His kingdom and members of His family. As soon as Jesus changes a person's allegiance, that person is free from the power of Satan. He/she will begin the process of living in freedom. This is an organic process called discipleship.
Satanic bondage manifests itself in broken families, addictions, uncontrolled emotions, abuse, domestic violence, and broken self-identities. Freedom in Christ is found by renouncing the evil we've been involved in and living out the identity that we have as citizens of Christ's kingdom.
Here in the Philippines, people openly consult witch doctors and essentially pay for demonic spirits to pour into them and their children. This creates a cycle of sickness, fear, and darkness. Our authority against this is Jesus Christ. He is the only one who can set individuals and families free from spiritual bondage. God uses our prayers, His gospel, and discipleship as an avenue for pouring out freedom for those in captivity.
As soldiers in Christ's light-force, we wage war against the demons and Satan. Our fight is not against people, but against Satan and evil angels. Jesus Christ hung on the peak of human evil 2000 years ago, and bought the right to take back humanity. About a month later, Jesus stood on a mountain and commanded His people to spread His kingdom across the entire planet.
If you look around you, you'll see the scattered remnants of humanity. Broken, twisted, hurt, sick, spiritually dead. As you walk among the dead, speak Life - speak Jesus. The job of the Holy Spirit is to raise dead people and rescue them into the Kingdom of Christ. He uses the words of Life that we speak. Jesus said, "The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life."
Pray for God to speak life through you, as you befriend the lost, lonely, lustful, and not-so-lovely. Start thinking of yourself as a soldier of Life! All Christians are commanded to be on mission! Armed with our weapons of love, justice, truth, prayer, church, and LIFE, we are formidable. Speaking in authority of Jesus Christ, we carry the power to bring freedom and break the chains of bondage. Look around you, will you take the risk? Will you spend your resources, time, and life to join in God's rescue mission?
If we are looking for a place to start, we can go where Jesus went... to the church people, to the prostitutes, to the outcasts, to the poor, to the corrupt officials, to the common people. What's holding us back?
Bring the words of salvation, bring radical healing, bring compassion. Don't limit the power of Christ to rescue people spiritually and physically from the bondage of Satan. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father." The question that remains to be answered is: What greater things than Jesus did will you do?
"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Jesus Christ
Who are the least of the siblings in God's family? We meet them all of the time, but they are difficult to recognize. I believe that the least are those who are at a disadvantage to their fellow Christians due to an external or internal factor.
The least of these don't ask for much from you. But, to serve them, you have to be willing to do a few things:
1. Give up your schedule to spend time. A greatest-of-these sibling will carefully avoid imposing on your productivity. A least-of-these wouldn't think of intruding. Time is currency... especially in the economy of helping the least of these. Spend it cheerfully!
2. Step out of your comfort zone. The least of these may not want you to come into their personal lives because they are embarrassed or shy. When you extend the hand of friendship and stop in for a cup of coffee, you have to intentionally navigate the awkwardness.
3. Be misunderstood by others and be okay with that.
4. Equip yourself to walk with broken people into freedom and wholeness.
Look around you! You'll see several of your Christian siblings who qualify as "least of these." You'll find brokenness and trauma hiding beneath the surface. Or, you'll find child-like innocence. Make the personal and social sacrifices to bring kindness into the lives of God's children who need your attention, but will probably never ask you for it. When you serve and invest in the the least of these, you are doing it for your big brother, Jesus Christ.
Education is an important companion to evangelism and discipleship. Some may wonder why we invest so much into education.
It comes down to two Biblical beliefs:
1. The purpose of each student is to glorify God through his/her unique giftings and talents.
2. God has created each student with a specific career path in mind.
The Bible does not separate spiritual from the physical. A young person's spiritual purpose to glorify God and enjoy Him is lived out in the context of his physical activities. The purpose of ACTS is to equip and prepare each student for a life of glorifying God after high school graduation. For some, that will mean being equipped to glorify God in college and then as a successful engineer, doctor, teacher or other professional. For others, our responsibility is to prepare them for trades and jobs that may or may not require additional training.
We have the privilege of discipling students spiritually and training them mentally, physically and emotionally. With ACTS as a springboard, a generation of young people will grow up to be godly fathers, godly mothers, godly professionals, God-honoring tradesmen, Biblical business owners, and God-glorifying employees.
One of the critical pieces that Swanson Mission plays in this process is by bringing knowledge of what it takes to be successful in the global community. Combined with this knowledge is our ability to coach educators to equip students for work either at home or abroad.
About 80 students are enrolled at ACTS to engage in a high-quality education. Our purpose is to teach, train, disciple and prepare them to glorify God and enjoy Him within the context of the careers that He's created them for.
Thank you for being part of God's plan bring salvation and life-purpose to the village of Aninuan. Together, we are God's co-workers, privileged to launch a generation of young people into their purpose to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
We're a family on mission to bring the good news of Jesus to the Philippines.