Tag Archive | kingdom of god

Mark 4:26-27 ” He also said, ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.’ “

A man of folk-lore and legend in the Midwest is John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed.  During the 1800’s he wandered the country-side of large parts of Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia planting apple orchards…some of which still stand today.  This American pioneer nurseryman spent his lifetime scattering seed in hopes of a harvest someday.  In these verses, Jesus is likening the kingdom of God to the mystery of germination and growth and what man’s responsibility is in it all.  We are told to plant or scatter seed…the Good News of the Gospel Message, and then to allow God to do the rest.  For God’s kingdom grows in His time, in His way…always moving forward. So just like Johnny Appleseed, we are to be sowers of hope and leave the progress up to God.

Matthew 6:10 ” Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Psalm 40:8 tells us, “I desire ( or choose) to do Your will O my God.”  We even see Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane praying, “Yet not as I will (want), but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)   When we seek God’s will… we desire that which pleases God and thus will create joy within us…for we will find ourselves in the center of His will…and it’s the very best place to be.

Colossians 1:13 ” For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son He loves…”

To paraphrase Acts 26:18…We are to turn from spiritual darkness to the light of Jesus Christ… from the limited power of Satan to the infinite power of God, so that we may receive forgiveness of our sins and a place among fellow Believers who are sanctified by faith in Jesus.  The Lord has snatched us from danger and set us free…the chains have been broken off and we are no longer a slave to sin and the jurisdiction of darkness…for the Kingdom of God is now residing within our hearts. (Luke 17:21)

Mark 10:15 ” I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

The first time you heard the Gospel, what filters did it go through in your head?  If your background is in Engineering, maybe you applied scientific and mathematical principles.  Or if your background is in Liberal Arts, maybe you dissected, examined and scrutinized the message from a different point of view.  But if you were like me, in the end,  we had to take the Gospel at face value…believing it was the truth, and deliberately and readily receiving it as such.  Being receptive to the Gospel demands a leap of faith…of embracing something with child-like faith that we don’t fully understand…but trusting God will show us the way.  In the verse before this,  Jesus tells the disciples to, “Let the little children come to Me.”  We are His little children, and that’s how He expects us to come to Him…filled with child-like faith, confidence, and hope.

Ezra 4:24 ” Thus the work on the House of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill until the second year of the reign of Darius King of Persia.”

The important part of this Scripture is not what is said, but rather the space of time between when the building of the Temple stopped and it was restarted.  For it was 16 years that no work was done at the building site.  How many people do you think looked at the Temple foundation year after year and considered all the work a loss?   We will all have setbacks in life…times when our forward motion is hampered or even stopped for a season… and we don’t know why.   This delay is not a time to declare defeat…for with God, any setback is only temporary in His timetable.  And if we have faith and persevere, any delay will have success in the end.

Zechariah 9:9 ” Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your King comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. “

The Prophet Zechariah spoke of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem that Palm Sunday…right down to the details of what He’d be riding.  And when the crowds saw Jesus, they laid their clothes on the road before Him and waved palm branches, shouting “Hosanna!”   The Prophet Isaiah echoed this prophetic word in Isaiah 62:11, “The Lord has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: ‘Say to the Daughter of Zion,  See, your Savior comes!’ ”  The Word ties this all together as we look at the Hebrew word for salvation which is Yasa.  The name Jesus is derived from this root word.  The word “Hosanna” that the crowds were shouting is also directly traceable to the word Yasa.  That Palm Sunday,  Jesus may have entered Jerusalem seemingly as a meek and mild man…but who really rode in was the King of Kings and Lord of Lords…our Messiah and the Savior of our soul.

I Samuel 3:10 ” The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ Then Samuel said, ‘Speak, for Your servant is listening.’ “

If you have ever been part of a marriage conference or counseling…they teach you the art of active listening.  Each has the others undivided attention as they converse back and forth…repeating back to the person what they heard and asking, “Is this what you meant?”  There is much more listening done than speaking, and more unselfish attention given than self-centeredness.  Listening to the Lord is a lot like that.  It is not  blabbering on incessantly about our own feelings and emotions…it’s listening with all our being…taking the time to be quiet…hearing and then heeding His voice.