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We at the Ekklesia of the Lord Jesus Christ hope you enjoyed your holiday season!  We are excited about what the Lord has prepared for us this year, and we wanted to share it with you.
Beginning next Sunday, January 8, through the end of March, we will be studying Kingdom Economics.  This series is important to understand because just as God’s Kingdom itself is spiritual, so is God’s economy in his Kingdom.  It does, however, manifest itself in the earth.  But what does it look like?  How does it differ from a worldly economic system?  How will we know we are operating in God’s economy as opposed to man’s economy?  The questions will be answered during this powerful series.
Beginning in April, we will review the book A Glimpse of the Kingdom, which will be a five week series.  Upon the conclusion of this series, we will address the question Who was Paul?  In order to appreciate Paul’s writings, it is important to understand what perspective he wrote from, and why he wrote from that perspective.  We will consider various sources, including those who were critical of the apostle Paul in order to obtain a clearer picture of the man who wrote many of the letters in the New Testament.  After we conclude with this series, we will then read the gospels.  It is extremely important to remember that faith comes by hearing, and many times our learning increases when we hear the Bible, not just read it.
What can we look forward to on Wednesdays?  We will first conclude our teaching on the book The Kingdom of God by John Bright; then, beginning March 1, we will begin a very important series on Adoption and Significance.  If you know someone who has struggled with understanding their significance in Christ, or if you yourself have questioned your own significance, then you need this class.
Our service in the Kingdom of God is just as important as our learning about the Kingdom, so one Sunday a month, usually the third Sunday, we will put what we have learned into action.  We do not assemble for a service; instead, we perform service in the community.  This service is part of our discipleship – we learn, but then we prove what we have learned by doing it.  We are looking forward to what will be accomplished this year, and we pray that 2017 is a year of spiritual growth and maturity for you as well as you press into the Kingdom of God!

jesus-washing-the-feet-calvin-carter  As the Lord awakened me this morning, I was moved today to look up the definition of service.  Here are two that I found:
a) an act of helpful activity; help; aid
b) the performance of duties or the duties performed as or by a waiter or servant; occupation or employment as a waiter or servant.
As I looked further, the origin of the word is from a root word that means slave.  What does a slave do?  A slave does whatever the master commands the slave to do.  I was truly provoked to look deeper into this word as I read this passage from the book The Kingdom by George Dana Boardman:
“What is membership in a Christian church but washing one another’s spiritual feet?  What is belonging to the Christian brotherhood but the mutual helping each other to purity and saintliness and heaven?”  I was reminded of what our Lord Jesus said:
John 13:14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.
The Lord showed His kingship by exhibiting service, then told His disciples to follow His example.  If we are disciples of Christ, then by extension Christ Jesus is instructing us to wash one another’s feet.  I reflected back on my experience in church.  When I attended a church service, was I of the mindset that I should be prepared to wash the feet of those around me?  Or was I there expecting to be waited on?  Was I being provoked to roll up my spiritual sleeves, or was I preoccupied with how the choir sang, how the preacher preached, or how others were dressed?  If you attend a church service, do you walk away feeling inspired to get your spiritual hands dirty helping others, especially those who are members of your fellowship?  In the kingdom of God, the concept of service or attending to the needs of others should be first and foremost on our minds.  Serving is actively seeking the kingdom of God.   “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”  This is the life of a citizen of the kingdom of God.  This is how the world will know the kingdom of God exists – through the service of its citizens.