Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"The Kingdom of Heaven is Like..." Part 2

In Christ, our focus is to be his Kingdom. In Part 1 we saw that Jesus is the sower and we are to tend to the harvest field as our primary concern. We are not called to worry about the "weeds." Much more could be said on that point but it comes down whether we believe Jesus words or our own ideas about the "weeds." Do we try to manage them in our own little way? Lord knows I have been guilty in the past of trying to manage the "weeds" but we are to be busy planting, watering, nurturing, and tending to the "wheat." That is the task of every Christ follower to serve the Kingdom as it spreads out. Let's look at the next instance where Jesus says, "the Kingdom of heaven is like..."

The Parables of the Mustard Seed

 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-32)
What can we know about a mustard seed? Here are five things:

A mustard seed is organic. It was created by God for God's creation purposes. It is God's idea. Likewise, the Kingdom is organic. This idea will require a much longer explanation than space allows here but for now when you consider the parables used by Jesus to describe the Kingdom we see this to be true. The Kingdom is created and sustained by God for his creative purposes as a living, growing, entity. As the chart about shows the Kingdom is God's idea from the beginning of time.

A mustard seed contains new life. All seed contains the potential for life. When properly handled and tended to, a seed is designed by God to bring forth new life. Likewise, the Kingdom is a place where new life is to flourish.

A mustard seed begins small. It may not look like much at first as the "smallest of all seeds" but latent potential for growth is within that small little seed. Likewise, the Kingdom began small with just a handful of disciples in a remote outpost of the Roman empire 2000 years ago.. But it didn't stay that way as God gave the increase. 

A mustard seed possess the potential to become tremendous. From a small seed a large tree is rooted and established that gives shade and shelter. Likewise, the Kingdom has grown from a small band of Christ followers to a global community of over 2 billion people, becoming the largest faith movement in world history.

A mustard seed's potential is more mustard seed. Once the seed become a tree it produces many more seed that produces more seed that multiplies into a forest. Likewise, each Kingdom citizen has the potential to multiply many new Kingdom citizens, not just by themselves but through the exponential power contained within one small seed.

Here's a truth we need to understand. Not every seed germinates into a tree, many remain just seeds unless planted, watered, and properly cared for. In this parable, The potential is there, locked up into the seed to produce life. However there must be an  agency to release the exponential power endowed by God. in every living thing. There is something mysterious that catalyzes a mustard seed to become mustard tree, but the DNA of every seed is the same. Not that Jesus says the seed was "planted" it wasn't just left sitting a jar with other seeds. 

Latent within every Christ-follower is a divine power to multiply spiritual life.  The Holy Spirit's job is to release the exponential power bent up in each believer. But do we let him at his work or to we keep the seeds closed up in a jar? We have too many things that get in our way. Things we consider good - like church, like programs, like how we live our lives and what we think is important. But what could happen if our exponential power was released?

You have no doubt heard that if you double a penny and keep doubling within a month you would be a multimillionaire. That is exponential power but it's not going to happen if all you have is a few pennies to start with. The exponential power of the Kingdom is different. We have been given everything we need to start with. What we don't have is the understanding of this Kingdom principle at work today like Jesus intended But what could happen if we did? Watch this video and find out.

Next time we'll look at the Parable of the yeast to see another example of how the Kingdom is to grow. But today, my desire is to be used by God to ignite a movement just like this video shows. What about you?


No comments:

Post a Comment