What’s It Like?
What is the Kingdom of God like? How is it different from the kingdoms of this world?
Matthew 13:31-32 says, “He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
And Matthew 13:33 says, “He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.”
Both of these parables paint a picture of God’s kingdom that teaches us his followers layers of lessons.
The first lesson is about smallness. God’s word tells us that he uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27). A mustard seed is a great example of this. Who would imagine that a 10ft + sized tree can be birthed and grow from a teeny tiny seed?
But with God, it is not the size of a thing, or the grandeur of it. God’s word also tells us to not despise the day of small beginnings. (Zechariah 4:10) Everything has to start somewhere. Today we live in a world of “influencers” and “viral videos” and we have forgotten the process of growth.
Our quest and pursuit in instant gratification, and graduation from college to six figure salary and think that this is growth, this is how things should be.
Yet the Bible tells us that we should not discount the small things of life. We should not despise our days of starting small. The temptation to rush through, bypassing the process of growth – because it can be painful, taxing and time consuming – we surge forward from infancy to wise sage overnight.
There have been seasons of my where I despised my voice. It’s small & quiet. The lack of being heard has made me feel my voice doesn’t count or doesn’t matter. YET….God has given me messages to share and hope to pass on USING my SMALL VOICE!
God is teaching me that my small voice, planted by him, watered and grown by him will grow into something usable and fruit producing for HIS KINGDOM. But I have to be willing to put my voice in His able hands.
I have seen over and over the importance of the growth process with my voice. It has enabled me to have compassion for those who feel voiceless. I too felt voiceless.
Jesus uses the parables of the mustard seed and the leaven in bread to demonstrate the process the christian church would go through. It would begin small. Tiny seeds planted. A little bit of leaven in 50 lbs of flour. Over time, care and kneading the seeds turn to trees and the leaven turns the flour to fluffy, soft bread.
Take a journey with me for a moment. Pause and reflect on your life.
What are the gifts that you have that you discount, or assume God won’t/can’t use because they are not “as good as someone else’s”?
What possessions do you have that you believe are too insignificant for God to use?
How is God using you in His kingdom today? Do you compare what you view as small to other’s “bigger” gifts?
Our God is not concerned about the size of our gift – in fact he’s unimpressed by what we have since he owns it all & gives it all.
In the gospels we learn about the widow who gave mites. A mite is similar to our pennies. On its own – her gift was insignificant. BUT in God’s eyes it was a great sacrifice. He knew what it cost her to give.
Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on” Mark 12:43–44
These parables combined with the widow leads to some significant and important questions about how we live day to day.
Are we willing to give it all? To give to God even what seems insignificant? Are we able to see the small things of this life with a perspective of what is possible in God’s hands? Are we able to recognize that God doesn’t despise small beginnings and neither should we? Can we really value the growth process and not try to bypass it? Are we able and willing to give out of our poverty – the places where we are lacking and trust God with our gift?
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