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From Don: "What God's kingdom is like"

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Kairos Europe & the Middle East

Tuesday, 25 October 

"What God's kingdom is like"

Scripture: Luke 13:18-21

He said therefore, "What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his garden; and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches." And again he said, "To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened."
 

Meditation

What can mustard seeds and leaven teach us about the kingdom of God? The tiny mustard seed literally grew to be a tree which attracted numerous birds because they loved the little black mustard seed it produced. God's kingdom works in a similar fashion. It starts from the smallest beginnings in the hearts of men and women who are receptive to God's word. And it works unseen and causes a transformation from within.

The transforming power of the Holy Spirit within us
Leaven is another powerful agent of change. A lump of dough left to itself remains just what it is, a lump of dough. But when the leaven is added to it a transformation takes place which produces rich and wholesome bread when heated - the staple of life for humans. The kingdom of God produces a transformation in those who receive the new life which Jesus Christ offers. When we yield to Jesus Christ, our lives are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. Paul the Apostle says, "we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us" (2 Corinthians 4:7). Do you believe in the transforming power of the Holy Spirit
?

The Lord wants us to bring him glory in the way we treat others and use the gifts he has graciously given to us. God, in turn, blesses us with his gracious presence and fills us with joy.


"Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit and transform me into the Christ-like holiness you desire. Increase my zeal for your kingdom and instill in me a holy desire to live for your greater glory."

 

Psalm 126:1-6

When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
     we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
     and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
     "The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us;
     we are glad.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
     like the watercourses in the Negeb!
May those who sow in tears
     reap with shouts of joy!
He that goes forth weeping,
     bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
     bringing his sheaves with him.

 

Daily Quote from the Early Church Fathers

"The leaven is small in quantity, yet it immediately seizes the whole mass and quickly communicates its own properties to it. The Word of God operates in us in a similar manner. When it is admitted within us, it makes us holy and without blame. By pervading our mind and heart, it makes us spiritual. Paul says, 'Our whole body and spirit and soul may be kept blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ' (1 Thessalonians 5:23). The God of all clearly shows that the divine Word is poured out even into the depth of our understanding... We receive the rational and divine leaven in our mind. We understand that by this precious, holy and pure leaven, we may be found spiritually unleavened and have none of the wickedness of the world, but rather be pure, holy partakers of Christ." (Cyril of Alexandria, 376-444 A.D., excerpt from Commentary on Luke, Homily 96)

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The Servants of the Word is an international, ecumenical brotherhood of men dedicated to live single for the Lord and to advance his kingdom in the world today.
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References taken from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Daily Meditations by Don Schwager are originally published at http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/index.html.


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