On Sunday 13 September 2020, Apostle Sipho Mogane conducted the morning divine service at Sandton congregation in Gauteng. The divine service was conducted in Setswana and translated into English at the altar.
He was accompanied by District Evangelist Michael Rakgotla, a musical ensemble and a small NACTV crew. This divine service was made available on NACTV, Cape Town TV on DSTV channel 263, as well as Radio KC, Radio Teemaneng and SABIE stereo. Members could also listen to the divine service by calling in from either a mobile phone or landline. This divine service was also streamed live on the NACTV Facebook page.
For members who were unable to watch the divine service, please find a detailed summary of the sermon:
Opening hymn: Toiling bravely onward (EH:219)
Bible word: "Your kingdom come." (Matthew 6:10)
Dearly beloved children of God, brothers and sisters, and friends. This morning we once again come to surround the living altar. This is the place where Jesus Christ speaks to His children. We can sit down as children gather around their parents’ feet to listen to their words.
This Bible word of today speaks about the kingdom of God. This comes from a prayer which we all know that the Lord Jesus has taught us. This was from the longing of the disciples who asked Jesus to please teach them how to pray. Jesus taught them how to pray, but He also told them how they ought not to pray. He said, when you pray, do not pray as hypocrites do. We should come into our room, bow before God and pray to Him earnestly. In this prayer, He also teaches us to not be ashamed to call Him “Our Father” because He is our Father. We need to worship Him and bless His name. He also taught us that we need to come to Him and thank Him because everything comes from Him, He is the fountain of all things. We also need to come before Him with our petitions and tell Him everything that is on our heart. Again, in this prayer, He shows us that we shouldn’t forget about others, we need to pray for them too. This is the framework of the prayer which the Lord’s taught to His disciples.
Now we want to focus our eyes on the part where He speaks about the Kingdom of God. The message for today is that we need to pray for the kingdom of God. We need to have a desire within us to see the fulfilment of the Kingdom of God. During the time of Jesus Christ and His contemporaries, they are awaiting a coming of a Messiah who would come and free them from their sufferings. They were hoping that this kingdom would be a political one which would release them from the oppression. But Jesus shows them that this was not only the kingdom that would come but that this kingdom can be experienced today. We can experience the kingdom of God today. Yes, we are hoping that into the future it will be fulfilled and that we will enter into the kingdom of God. When we encounter Jesus Christ every other day in His gospel, we are able to see His kingdom. Because Jesus reveals to us the true nature of God. He reveals to us that our God is a God of peace, love, and righteousness. It is God of righteousness who doesn’t discriminate, and He is a God who loves all. This is a God who calls upon everyone to be citizens of His kingdom. Jesus once said that: “In God’s house, there is many places.” We are able to see the kingdom of God today when we see the mysteries of the kingdom of God because our encounter with Jesus would reveal the mysteries of God.
For us to live in this kingdom, we need to know how this kingdom works. Just like kingdoms of this world today. In the kingdom, there is one who is a king or the leader. In the kingdom of God, our King is Jesus Christ who is almighty. We have a constitution which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are those whom He has sent to encourage His children which are the Apostles. As the citizens, we are those who fulfil what Jesus demands of us. We must understand how the kingdom of God works in order for us to live in it so that we can develop the desire to one day see ourselves in that kingdom of God. I assured you that it is possible today to see and experience the kingdom of God. Perhaps our homes should operate just like the kingdom of God in that all who visit us should feel that here reigns a spirit of peace. We do not only talk about what we are expecting into the future, but we are speaking about what we live today. To meet with Jesus in the church of Christ also shows us and reveals the kingdom of God. When we enter His house, we also find offers of salvation. We have the opportunity to come in and praise Jesus Christ. This is what we will be doing in the future kingdom of God, we also do it today in this time. In so saying my dearly beloved children of God, let us have a desire that: “Your kingdom come!” When this comes into the ears of God, the Lord will hear our plea and shorten the time.
The coming of Jesus into this world was a way to show us how to live in the Kingdom of God. I will use a borrowed phased and say that: ‘He was a model citizen’. He was showing us how we need to behave ourselves and to go about doing things. He also showed us that there is no sin in the kingdom of God. Let us have the desire to live away from sin. This is how Christ lived, He was without any sin. Like I said, He is indeed the model citizen. Let us then grow more in the stature and nature of Jesus Christ. We also want to go out and invite others to come because in the kingdom of God there is room. Everyone is welcome regardless of one’s personal circumstances or which nation we come from. Whether you are rich or poor – that doesn’t matter. Everyone, the sick ones and healthy, all who are rich or poor, everyone is welcome. The kingdom of God is open to all. We need to have the desire that ‘let your kingdom come into completion and come to us’. We must pray that the Lord should shorten the time and send Jesus usher in the Kingdom of peace. This is how we want to live. This is what we are expecting in our future.
Oftentimes I think of ambassadors of different countries around the world. It doesn’t matter where they are stationed, but where they are, they run the embassy according to the laws of their land of origin. Whatever they do within the embassy is in accordance with the laws of the country of their origin. They are not swayed in a different direction because of where they find themselves. We are here on earth as pilgrims, visitors who are passing by. When we are here, we also need to remember who we are. Let us also remember who our King is. Let us know and master the constitution of the kingdom that we are of- it is the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is what we do, how we live and how we do everything. Our behaviour and daily conduct is inspired by the constitution of where we come from. We are mere pilgrims in this world. Let us avoid erecting and building for us to live here forever. This does not mean that we shouldn’t experience the beauty of this world. We can experience things and prosper and grow in our abilities. It’s okay, we can enjoy ourselves on this earth. What is important is to never forget who we are and where we are. Never forget where we are heading to. In so doing, our neighbour will respect the kingdom of God.
In this kingdom, we don’t also want for only us to be the ones who are saved to enter into the kingdom, we still want to invite others and say– come, my dear sister, come my dear brother, you also have a place in this new kingdom. Your kingdom come! – this is our daily prayer. I’m thinking that if we overdo things excessively, we can be in danger of not wanting to leave this world. When some people would hear our prayer “Father, shorten the time”, I suppose they don’t understand what we are talking about. Maybe they think we are trying to run away from something here on earth. It is not so, we are not running away from something but rather expecting everything in the future. We want to be with Jesus Christ and to be with our God, our Father.
When we summarize our divine service for this morning: the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ or God, can be experienced today and also in the future which is to come. We are able to experience living in the kingdom of God when we conduct our life according to the constitution of the kingdom which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Growing into the nature of Jesus Christ and endeavouring to learn about the mystery of God here in His house. We listen to those whom He has sent to teach and explain so that we may know about the things of the kingdom of God. In so doing, we will be showing that indeed we are expecting the kingdom of God and that we realise that the kingdom of God is not only for us, there is still room for others. Let us pray that the kingdom of God can be fulfilled. Amen!
Thoughts from Apostle Sipho Mogane