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The Message of The Kingdom

via TJC

Matthew 13:1-9 WEGT On that day, Jesus having come out of the house was sitting at the seashore. And there gathered together to Him great crowds so that He went on board a boat in order that He might have a place where He could be seated. And the whole crowd had taken a position on the beach and was standing there. And He spoke to them many things in the form of illustrations by using the familiar in nature or human life which would explain unfamiliar truths of the spiritual life, saying, Behold, the sower went out for the purpose of sowing seed. And in his sowing, some, on the one hand, fell beside the footpath, and, having come, the birds ate it up. Other seeds on the other hand fell upon the shallow ground where the rock layers were near the surface, where it was not having much earth. And immediately it sprang up because it did not have depth of earth, and the sun having arisen, it was burnt with the heat, and because it was not having firm rootage, it withered away. But still, other seeds fell among the seeds of thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them off. But still, other seed fell upon the ground which was good, and kept on producing fruit, some, on the one hand, one hundred percent, some, on the other hand, sixty percent, and still some others, thirty percent. He who has ears, let him be hearing. The message of The Kingdom is one of extravagant generosity and opportunity! God dispenses His grace and offers with great liberality. He does not parse out, does not withhold. He uses items found in nature and human life to explain unfamiliar truths of how spiritual life, how real-life functions. So we have the parable of the sower describing how The Kingdom of God operates. The Sower reaches deep into His seed bag, grabs an overflowing handful of seeds, and flings them widely. While aiming for the good soil, many seeds land on shallow ground. Some wind up in the thorns and others on the rocks. Every man has tremendous potential stored inside him. The soil of my heart had been unplowed. My seed simply laid on top of the hard soil. The anger I held towards my father was immense. It was the same sort of anger he held towards my grandfather, and the same my grandfather held against my great-grandfather. While I do not know what opportunities were presented to my ancestors, my opportunity came in the form of a failing college sophomore year, a dog of a Plymouth Fury (good name for it), failed romantic relationships, and failed employment. These frustrating failures began to weaken my anger, shake my resolve for justice towards my father. Just as this anger crippled and killed my forefathers, it was now threatening me. I surrendered, broken. The peace that passes all understanding was far too attractive and the poison of anger soured within me. I allowed the Lord to till up the soil of my heart. My seed found moist earth, the hard shell cracked, germination took place and my first tender leaves broke into the sunlight. And while my growth has not been as fast as I would have liked…it is steady and purposeful. We don’t plant seeds on Monday and get tomatoes Tuesday afternoon. This is the way of The Kingdom of God. The Lord’s generosity scatters seeds broadly. My part in the Kingdom is to make the choice to accept; to participate! I must choose to not be hardened, resist being choked, not be a temporary plant or easily picked off.

Daily Battle Order: We have before us a Kingdom of generosity. Creation also has an Adversary who works to snatch away what God has planted in us. Choose each day to be receptive to the Master Gardener, allowing Him to plant, weed, water, and prune our lives. Speak to your anger and fears, make the choice to exercise your authority over them. Use your God-given voice to expel those words that stunt your growth. With intent, engage the Master. Make your requests known to Him AND resist the Accuser of the brotherhood of the Kingdom. In this way, the Kingdom will be at work in us to daily produce the man we were created to be. To quote Michael Heiser: “The kingdom of God is the rule of God. God desires to rule over all he has created: the invisible spiritual realm and the visible earthly realm. He will have his way in both domains.”



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