Mark 4:30--And He said: “How can we illustrate the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use to describe it?”
The kingdom of God, or as Matthew preferred, “the kingdom of heaven” (Mat. 4:17), is mentioned 103 times in the New Testament, of which 81 references are from Jesus. It is a central biblical theme.
Why is this important to examine? Many people today want the prize—salvation, but they don’t necessarily care about the product—the kingdom. Why? Because taking up one’s cross daily and following Christ (Luke 9:23) is challenging and comes at the expense of flesh-pleasing—which is not acceptable kingdom behavior. Jesus told at least ten parables to illustrate the kingdom of God—the good seed, the mustard seed, yeast mixed with flour, treasure, a merchant seeking fine pearls, a large net thrown in the sea, a king settling accounts or hosting a banquet, a landowner hiring workers, and ten virgins off to meet the groom. He wanted us to understand how vital the kingdom is.
When Jesus left the earth to return to heaven, His strategy for furthering God’s kingdom was through His apostles and followers spreading the gospel throughout the world and establishing churches (Mat 16:18, Acts 1:8).
George Ladd presents five essential points about the relationship between the church and God’s kingdom.
1. The church is not the kingdom
2. The kingdom creates the church.
3. The church witnesses to the kingdom.
4. The church is the instrument of the kingdom.
5. The church is the custodian of the kingdom.
In The Christian Ethic of War, P.T. Forsyth wrote, “The best Christian thing we can give our neighbor is the Kingdom of God and its righteousness.” When the church is all about building the kingdom of God, lives are transformed. People learn to live healthy spiritual lives. Their focus and priorities are heaven-centric . . . something to think about . . . in reveration.
God surrounds every one of us with His kingdom at every turn—with messages and messengers, signs and gifts—and He has given it all to us so that we would turn our eyes and hearts toward Him.—Dr. Chauncey Crandall in Touching Heaven
©2022 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to the inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
 Erickson, M. (1985). Christian Theology. Baker Book House. P.1042.