Summary: Part 2 in series Kingdom Stories. Examines what happens as the Kingdom gradually breaks in on human life, as shown in Matthew 13:44-46.
Kingdom Stories, part 2
Wildwind Community Church
David K. Flowers
March 11, 2007
Today we continue looking at the parables of Jesus where he talked about the Kingdom of God. Last week we learned four things about the Kingdom. We learned that God is the one who takes initiative in building his kingdom, in other words God’s presence among us is a gift of his grace, it’s nothing we can make happen. We learned that God is building his Kingdom among us – in our lives and in the world – with intention – for a specific purpose, according to a plan that he made long ago. Third we saw that the Kingdom functions interactively. God’s Kingdom and the Kingdom of this world – remember the actual Greek for the Kingdom of this World? – Cosmos! -- we saw that both of these kingdoms are growing up together, right under our noses. Evil with good, despair with hope, love with apathy, and we saw how God is allowing these kingdoms to coexist for a time. And we learned that because of this coexistence, you don’t always know where God and God’s kingdom are breaking in. God and his Kingdom are breaking into some hearts, into some lives, right here in this room right now. Amid the chaos, or the boredom, or the heartache, maybe even the decadence of some lives right here today, the Kingdom is breaking in. God is doing his work, taking the initiative to draw you to him. Maybe just the fact that you are here today is evidence of the Kingdom of God breaking into your life. Or maybe as you sit here this morning you don’t think there’s any real reason you are here. You think you’re just here because it’s Sunday and that’s your morning routine, or because a friend invited you and you’re doing a favor or whatever. But maybe as I speak these words you are already starting to wonder, or maybe as I continue on this morning, something will stir your mind and heart, and you will start asking, “Is it possible? Could the Kingdom be breaking into my life?” The answer is not only that it can, but that in fact that is what the Kingdom does. God makes himself known to us right where we are, sometimes catches us off-guard. Sometimes he is easy to ignore. Other times he is impossible to ignore. But either way, the reality of God and his Kingdom is breaking into the dullness, the sadness, the often distracting routine of our lives. That’s what Jesus did when he was born. Quietly, without fanfare, without announcement, the King broke into our world, brought his presence to it, and his presence provoked a reaction in everyone who met him. It is still provoking reaction today! So as I move forward this morning, I’m going to ask you just one thing. Will you react, if you feel provoked to react? Will you respond, if you feel provoked to respond? Will you not just sit there and blow it off, if something in you is stirring, making you think, getting under your skin? Will you take a step of faith, open the door a little further for the Kingdom to break in? This takes us to the last thing we learned last week, that the Kingdom brings increase everywhere. In other words, the nature of God’s Kingdom is that it grows. Once it takes root in your life, it increases, it grows, it fills every corner, influences every thought, comes to shape your opinions, your perception, your judgment, and it does this so thoroughly that you quickly come to realize that politicians who say they routinely keep their Christian faith and their politics separate don’t understand much about the way the Kingdom works. The nature of the Kingdom is to work its way into every nook and cranny, to attach itself to everything we think and do and say and believe and even to our questions. Soon it comes to not only be attached to these things but actually to give shape to them, so that our thoughts and behaviors and feelings and beliefs and questions are actually springing from the kingdom itself. And the same thing happens in society. I mean, what is a church, except a bunch of people, many of whom have kind of “given in” to the activity of God in them, among them, around them, and through them. God pervades everything and brings transformation both to the soul and to the social order. Not in a Muslim, jihad, waging physical war kind of way, but in a “you change the world by changing the people in it one at a time” kind of way.
That’s what we learned last week about the Kingdom of God. I’d say that’s worth knowing, wouldn’t you? It’s worth knowing because if we are to understand what Jesus meant when he said, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” we have to understand what the Kingdom was and how it worked.