Luke 13:18-30 – How Can I See the Kingdom?

Read Luke 13:18-30

The Kingdom of God. Have you ever truly fathomed what this is? Is it heaven? Is it where God reigns? Jesus wants to make it clear to us, but do these parables help? Let’s unpack them a little.

First of all, we have the mustard seed. If you have never seen a mustard seed, it is tiny. Yet, one seed can produce a tree 30 feet tall. Jesus came quietly into the world, not as people were expecting for their Messiah. His following started small, and according to Pew Research, in 2015, Christians made up 31.2% of the world population or 2.3 billion people. To me, by this example, the Kingdom of God would then be understood as those following Jesus. Continue reading “Luke 13:18-30 – How Can I See the Kingdom?”

Luke 9:1-6 – Go!

Read Luke 9:1-6

This was quite a moment for the disciples. Jesus’ command required them to be bold, both in their witness and their faith.

When we get ready for a trip, or even a day’s outing, we prepare with packing, having enough money, maybe taking a jacket, snacks, etc. Can you imagine leaving the house for a mission with nothing?

The difference? Jesus’ power. When he called them together, it says he gave them power and authority. Their mission was to tell everyone about the kingdom of God and to  heal the sick. We’ve been given a similar mission, have we not?

So how are you doing in your mission for Jesus? How many people have you exposed to his loving promise this week? How are you helping to further the kingdom? God’s grace is for everyone, but not everyone knows that yet!

Maybe you need a little nudge. This will be a good reminder that you also have the power of God at your disposal. He is encouraging you and providing the guidance you’ll need. Our problem is us. We think we need to be Bible scholars, or have  some amazing conversion story. Am I right? Is that what’s holding you back?

What did the disciples have? Only the power of Jesus. We have that and more. We have our stories of how Jesus  has transformed our lives. A true “before and after”. In marketing, we talk about our life before the product, and of course how much better things are after using it. Not that Jesus is a “product”, but he is “everything” we need to live a transformed life.

Jesus gives the instruction to stay where you are welcomed. And should you not be welcomed – no worries! Jesus said, “And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.”

In ministry, there were times, and I’m sure there will be more, when I have felt less than welcome in a community. I can remember one instance when I told our daughter, Sarah, “we just have to shake its dust from our feet!” In other words, walk away and forget, don’t dwell on it. Easier said than done.

You’ve probably heard the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.” Sometimes I have adopted this into my own ministry and now business. While I know that Jesus is the way, and I’m looking for all sorts of ways to make that known, some folks just won’t get it. I’ve planted the seed. Maybe I’ll get the opportunity to water it. For sure, I’m praying for those to come along that will water it until it blooms.

Take a moment to thank God for the power he has given you.

Let’s pray. Father God, you have given me a task to spread the Good News to others. Please use this devotional and the testimony of my life to speak to others, creating a curiosity to know you. May my own walk with you only go deeper as I yearn to know you better and walk in your way for me. Help me not to let the nay-sayers or those who ignore me bother me.  I am trusting in you today to bring about a miracle. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Mark 4:26-34 – Kingdom of God

Read Mark 4:26-34

The Kingdom of God. It’s something we’ve heard about, but do we understand it? If we apply what we know about kingdoms on earth, we aren’t going to begin to fathom the immensity. It’s a good start. Royalty. Crowns. Pomp and circumstance.

To help us understand, Jesus has given us a couple parables here. I’ve read them through several times, and I’m still a little fuzzy on what Jesus is telling us. Based on a previous reading in Mark, maybe I just need to listen more so that understanding will come.

What we should take away is that the Kingdom of God is a mystery. It grows independent of any human effort. We can’t be part of the kingdom by our actions. At harvest time, the farmer (God) will come and make his judgment over his crops (us). The harvest is a result of both gift and miracle, God’s work in us, not our work.

Do you feel God reigning in your heart? Are you growing in your relationship with God? It may be hard for us to see the growth, but God does. As we grow, we look around to help see that others are growing. We preach, teach, serve, and support each other. We should never stop growing or think we can’t grow any more.

We need to place our hope in the kingdom of God. The things of earth will pass away. What started from something small become something mighty. Three of the four gospels share the mustard seed parable. It is that important. Whether it becomes a shrub or a tree is irrelevant.

The kingdom of God is there to give us hope and encouragement. It is a refuge, a place for us all. While we may feel like our faith is small today, with nourishment and growth, we will grow into strong, fearless leaders and servants.

Let’s pray. Lord we thank you for these words that teach of your Kingdom. I thank you for the hope you promise. There is nothing I can do to earn the keys to your kingdom. I pray that you are preparing a place for me even now to be party of this sanctuary. Open the doors for me to teach and serve others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.