Day 18

Advancing the Kingdom

from the The Kingdom of God reading plan

Matthew 13:1-23, Matthew 13:31-32, Matthew 28:16-20, Ephesians 4:4-14, James 5:7-8, 1 Peter 2:11-12

BY Tameshia Williams

Our King calls us to share in His kingdom work and participate in its growth.

Jesus’s parables are diverse in length and content. Some last for several paragraphs; others are mere one-liners. Whatever the length or topic, He used the metaphors of each parable to drive home the truth of God’s Word. Today’s reading includes one of those shorter word pictures used to describe God’s kingdom. 

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field” (Matthew 13:31). Throughout the Gospels, Jesus constantly shows us what His kingdom looks like and what it doesn’t. The upside-down kingdom functions in ways that are uncharacteristic of this world. God’s kingdom is great and powerful, and we’d expect a more appropriately sized seed to represent it instead of the smallest of them all. Yet Jesus uses the imagery of the mustard seed to show us what His kingdom looks like. It starts small, Jesus says, but it continues to grow and grow.  

Since the days of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19–20), God’s kingdom has expanded exponentially. Just as He charged Peter and company to make disciples, Jesus calls us to share in His kingdom work and participate in its growth. Kingdom work is not exclusive to those with official church titles; it is the privilege of all believers. What a diverse—unified, but diverse—group of people we are. We all have different gifts that God uses to promote growth and harmony in the Church body (Ephesians 4:16).

When we share the gifts that God has given us with each other and with the world, we allow His power to work in us, transforming all. It isn’t our efforts or inner genius that produce results. It is all God, working through us to share the good news of the kingdom in various ways, powered by His Spirit. 

Kingdom work doesn’t equate to easy work. We are kingdom people, but our bodies and minds remain tethered to this earth. That means sin, with all its devastation and brokenness, is still present and active. In the midst of this brokenness God calls us to grow together and bring His example to the world (1Peter 2:11–12). No, kingdom work isn’t easy work. But as my boss often says, it is worth-it work.

What gifts has God given us? None are too small, none too insignificant—like the mustard seed. Let’s continue to ask the Lord for insight into how we can encourage and challenge each other as we grow and work together in His kingdom.

Post Comments (57)

57 thoughts on "Advancing the Kingdom"

  1. MARTHA HIX says:


  2. Gwendolyn Vincent says:

    Bessie sending prayers and condolences to your entire family. I pray God’s blessings upon his wife and child. Thanks to your cousin for his service.

  3. Churchmouse says:

    Sometimes I’m impacted by the Scriptures presented by SRT. Sometimes I’m impacted by the guest devotional. Sometimes I’m impacted by an SRT sister’s comment. Today I’m following the Holy Spirit’s call to pray for the requests that are mentioned and to spend a longer time praying for boldness in planting seed and a willingness to nurture and water the same at every opportunity. No more procrastinating and no more focusing on how I might feel if my sharing is rejected. Lord, help me to focus on their need, not my comfort level. AND, as I hold my 3 month old granddaughter, I pray for the Christians who will cross her path and I pray that they would be bold in sharing the good news with her. Lord, I don’t want them to be quiet about salvation. Her eternal destiny is at stake. And Lord, may we see everyone we meet as someone’s grandchild, daughter or son whom someone longs to know Jesus. Let us not pass by and leave them at the side of the road.

  4. Natalie Tilly says:

    My family no longer practices the faith or I think even believes. I love them very much, and sometimes it seems that’s what makes it so hard to talk to them about God. I fear their judgment. I’m afraid I’ll be written off or my faith invalidated. Lord, help me to remember that God is bigger and stronger than all the worlds problems and all the worlds glories, and yet needs only a tiny seed to grow faith in a person.

  5. Angela White says:

    I realized today what has happened to my heart and even my kids’ hearts. The soils of our hearts have gone bad. The thorns. We have been deceived by the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches. I don’t know how it happened but I know now what to ask prayer for. We have been like children tossed to and fro with all the doctrines and it’s been difficult to see through all the thick fog. Please pray for the healing of our soil. It’s become hard for me to even talk to God without getting completely distracted with worries and cares that I know I can just give to him. Thank you for reading this if you did.

  6. CeeGee says:

    TAYLOR, prayers for you on this busy day and weekend and for strength and commitment to follow God’s leading in ridding your life of the thorns!It is a privilege to pray with you on that. May opportunities be present to sow some seeds of grace also. ☺
    RITA ANN, praise God!
    TINA, still praying for healing for OLLIE and his mom.

  7. CeeGee says:

    I love gardening so the parable of the sower always speaks to me. Today I reflected more on the sower than the seed or the soil. In my garden I am somewhat in control of the ground in which I sow. I can remove the rocks, thorns, and other hindrances and provide the right water and nutrients to give the seed the best opportunity to prosper. In the world, however, I have no control in that but I am called to sow anyway. God will honor our seed sowing: we need only be faithful in sowing. I fear I fall far short in this call and pray for courage and boldness to do better.

    HEIDI, you, your husband, and the client will be in my prayers. How sweet that he heard your thoughts and is considering them. Prayers for clarity, discernment, and recognition of opportunity for ministry in this situation and also recognition of growth opportunities that God is giving him. Thanks for allowing us the privilege of praying with you!

    BESSIE H, prayers for comfort, peace, and healing for your cousin’s family. God bless and protect these who work to protect us.

  8. Maura says:

    It is so good to be in God’s word daily, I feel like today’s scripture has so much in it that we could spend a season and glean so much. I was really drawn into the mustard seed, as it is the smallest seed of all and produces such a tree that the birds of the air would rest in it’s branches. Matthew 13:31 And we know if we have faith this small we can move mountains Matthew 17:20 Praise God Sisters He multiplies the tiniest faith and His Kingdom is like this tiniest of seeds that grows into such a splendiferous tree. Love this!! Angie, love what you shared, how fun for those girls. I have read about a company and I don’t know the name, that makes dolls for physically handicapped children that look like them whether they are in a wheelchair, or missing a limb. I think sometimes there is comfort in having someone, something that looks like you, in that you feel you are not alone, and it takes away some of the shame we might feel in our differences that are really many times the beauty God uses in us to glorify Him. I love that you let them choose the dolls. I wonder if you had given them each one that looked like themselves how many of them would have traded as well. So interesting the different perspectives. Rita Ann, so happy for you and your husband. Praise God!
    ERB, I love Chapter 11! Right from the start we see the stump again. “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest in him. (we see this when John the Baptist baptizes Jesus, the Spirit remains on him John 1:32) the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord and He will delight in the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:1-3 I have been learning about the Holy Spirit and there is so much to learn. This thrills me the laying out of all the Spirit has and as Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be our Helper/Counselor we are blessed by these traits. Thank you Tameshia for your words this morning, so so good. His love poured out Sisters, empowered by the Holy Spirit, that’s who we can be today, His Light like a beacon on a hill.

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