John the Baptist begins his ministry preaching, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:1-2)
Jesus begins His ministry proclaiming, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)
In fact, Jesus talked A LOT about the Kingdom of Heaven. It is in the Gospels more than 80 times; a main theme of Jesus’ teaching.
Have you ever stopped to think about it? What is the Kingdom of Heaven? Where is the Kingdom of Heaven?
In this chapter alone, Jesus tells seven parables about the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Kingdom of Heaven is like a seed that was sown. And though the sower and the seed are the same, the soil it falls on is different, producing different results. Jesus, the Word, came in the flesh to sow the seed (Himself) here on earth. The soil preparation and garden tending are in our domain.
The Kingdom of Heaven is like a great treasure hidden in a field or a pearl of incredible value. Whether stumbled upon or searched for makes no difference. The difference is in the value placed on it once found; recognizing it is a treasure worth giving up everything to keep.
The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seeds, but weeds infiltrated the field by the enemy; like a net thrown into the sea to catch fish of all kinds. The evil and the righteous exist side by side in the present. The devil and sin still have a place in this kingdom era we are living in, but it won’t last forever. A separation will take place; a time will come when our decisions here will determine our forever future.
And my favorite…the Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of a mustard seed; like leaven. The tiniest, least significant seed that slowly grows into the largest of garden plants. A minuscule ingredient placed in a large amount of flour that changes the entire composition of the bread.
Our kingdom growth isn’t instantaneous. It takes time. It takes abiding. It takes faithful obedience. It takes a humble and open heart. It takes valuing it over all earthly things
As kingdom people, we may seem small and insignificant according to the world’s standards, but we have great power and potential. We diligently do our thing, then before we know it, we are changed; people around us are changed. That tiny mustard seed is a towering tree, providing resting places and shade. That leaven has altered the bread. Those steps in faith and obedience have transformed us; saved us; inspired us to invite others to join us.
Small but mighty; full of potential and power…a tiny seed, a simple ingredient, a baby in Bethlehem, uneducated disciples, you and me. Waiting to bust out of that small, simple beginning is something incredibly significant. Will we be a part if it or will we let it pass us by?
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