Tuesday (October 29): “What God’s kingdom is like”
Scripture: Luke 13:18-21
18 He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 19 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.” 20 And again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? 21 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?
“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.”
1 When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. 2 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.” 3 The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad. 4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the watercourses in the Negeb! 5 May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy! 6 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 Word of God operates in us like leaven, by Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD)
“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.” (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON LUKE, HOMILY 96)
Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Citation references for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers can be found here.