Today's Devotion

From Mike MacIntosh

Another parable Jesus put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."
Matthew 13:31-32

The kingdom of heaven is not like an earthly kingdom, with boundaries that can be outlined on a map and buildings that define its skyline.  The kingdom of heaven is not a physical place, but a spiritual domain -- God's domain.  When you make the decision to surrender your life to Jesus Christ, your heart becomes God's domain.  And as you grow in faith, that domain grows bigger and bigger -- it expands within you as God reigns more fully each day in your life, and it overflows from you as the Lord draws those around you to Himself through your witness and example. 

In Matthew 13, Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to a mustard seed "which a man took and sowed in his field" (verse 31).  Among the smallest of all seeds, a mustard seed is only about one-sixteenth of an inch in diameter.  In fact, there are grains of dirt larger than a mustard seed!  But when it is planted, it can become a mighty tree.  You see, if we are willing to allow the kingdom of heaven to be planted in our hearts, even when the seed is only the size of a mustard seed, it will grow and become stronger until it is like a mighty tree that gives shade to those below it, and a place of nesting for the birds flying above it.

Jesus says in Matthew 4:17, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."  He's not making reference to a celestial city with pearly gates and fluffy clouds -- He is proclaiming that through His death, if we will repent, our sins will be forgiven and our hearts will become God's domain.  The kingdom of heaven will take root in our lives, like a tiny mustard seed that grows into a strong tree.

Today, does God truly have reign over your heart?  Is His kingdom expanding both in and through you?  Maybe you think, "My life is a mess -- I'll get my act together first, and then I'll go to God."  No!  That's like saying, "I'll grow the mustard tree myself, and then I'll plant the seed."  God desires that we come to Him exactly as we are, with all our hurts, problems, bitterness, sadness, anger -- everything.  Nothing is a surprise to Him, and only He can bring restoration. 

Or maybe you think, "I know the Lord wants me to do something for Him, but I don't have the time or resources."  Let the Lord grow the mustard tree.  Let Him provide everything you need.  You must simply be faithful to plant the seed.

That's all God requires.  If you will have faith the size of that tiny mustard seed, He will be faithful to take His place in your heart, and do a work in and through you like you never imagined. 

"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).

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