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. Samantha Jenkins says:

    This really stood out to me in today reading, “

  2. Dorothy says:

    Whenever I read the story of the mustard seed it brings back memories of my paternal grandma’s watch. She had a charm with a magnified mustard seed in it on her watch. Anytime someone asked her about it she would tell them the story Jesus told of the mustard seed. My paternal grandmother was a very simple woman but she was a very Christian woman, I also would love to hear how she and my grandfather met. Her brother played basketball outside the church with my grandfather but my grandfather didn’t go to church at the time. My grandmother was the reason for him to start going to church. After he started he became a devout Christian and they raised their family in the church. True love can change people.

    Sisters be blessed and realize anything, yes ANYTHING, is possible with God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

  3. Searching says:

    AIMEE ROGERS – praying for you and your husband, the stress of decisions, effects of the immense grief you have both gone through. We have faced challenges with our HOA over the years and there has been a lot of frustration over the rules and restrictions – deed restrictions we agreed to before buying and rules that the majority has agreed to before or since – and some variances requested & approved by going through their process (unless written in stone by deed restrictions). Praying for your relationship, your husband’s frustration, options/allowed workarounds to become apparent and especially that you will both draw closer to the Lord.

    DOROTHY – thankful you had a great first day at your new job!

  4. Casey Evans says:

    Love the image of us each faithfully using our gifts, big or small, for God to work through and build his kingdom. Beautiful

  5. Brandy Deruso says:

    I habe faith in god!

  6. Paula Strong says:

    The verses in James really spoke to me. I kept reading through verses 19-20. It said not to write anyone off that has wandered off from Gods truth. Get them back. That really spoke to me because my sons have wandered so far off track it seems impossible. Thank you God for this reminder.

  7. Laurie Crary says:

    Angela and Natalie, some of my family has also been deceived by the world. It breaks my heart. I will write your names on my “please remember” list and lift you and your families in prayer.

  8. Kayla Albano says:

    Angela, your reflection really spoke to me. I am praying for your family, and I’m grateful to you for articulating some of my own family’s struggle in a way I haven’t been able to. Our soil needs healing, too. I feel like we are the children being tossed around, too. And I feel distracted even when I’m with God, too. Praying for the good soil that will come for both of our families in Jesus’ name! And the kingdom work we will do because of it.

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