Advancing the Kingdom

Open Your Bible

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

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.

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57 thoughts on "Advancing the Kingdom"

  1. Tre'Shonda Sheffey says:

    I appreciate the parables selected to remind us about the part we play in advancing the kingdom.

  2. Tre'Shonda Sheffey says:

    Wow. I love that and will say that instead.

  3. Susie H says:

    @ERB, I highly recommend the book “Not God Enough “ by J. D. Grear . It’s a great book resetting our minds on just how amazing God is.

  4. Jennifer Ficklen says:


  5. Nichole Tost says:

    Please pray for my husband and unspoken. And for my daughter today something was really upsetting her about fears today. Trusting God to show them both peace with their hearts and needs. Thank you!

  6. M K says:

    Praying for your cousin’s spouse and daughter in this difficult time. Praying for you and your extended family. EOW’s are extremely hard especially when it’s family. They are for me even when they are not. You and your family are loved greatly. ❤️ Blessed are the Peacemakers.

  7. Kelly M says:

    I read a quote today that said “yea, hurt people, hurt people. But how about we focus on healed people heal people” and now it’s my favorite!

  8. Sheryl Gunderson says:

    Praying, BESSIE H. I am so sorry for your loss…