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What did Jesus mean when he talked about the kingdom? (part 1)

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Here in Florida speaking to a missions group and thinking about how Jesus was always talking about the kingdom of God. What did he mean by that? Maybe this will help: Take this True/False quiz: I don’t seek credit for the work I’ve done. …
By Seth Barnes

Here in Florida speaking to a missions group and thinking about how Jesus was always talking about the kingdom of God. What did he mean by that? Maybe this will help:

Take this True/False quiz:

  1. I
    don’t seek credit for the work I’ve done.
  2. I hold
    my career lightly and allow God to guide me.
  3. I periodically
    submit my life plans to a group of accountability partners who in turn ask
    me tough questions.
  4. I volunteer or minister often, and enjoy giving my time.
  5. I
    allow God to direct my giving, often in surprising and sacrificial ways.

How did you do? Your
little corner of reality may at times seem small, but you are a part of a battle between good and evil that is raging all over the world.
In places like India
and China,
where a third of the world’s people live, the fighting is particularly fierce
and the gospel is spreading fastest. A
ministry dollar goes far in these places.

The kingdom
of God is expanding as
people are waking up to its reality. They
see that God is at work and they want to join him.

When it got to the subject of the kingdom of God,
Jesus loved analogies. In one chapter
(13) of Matthew alone he used no less than seven metaphors to describe the
kingdom.

Usually you use a metaphor to describe something that’s
abstract, that’s hard to grasp. So when
Jesus talks about it being like a pearl, a seed, or a net, he’s talking about
its value and its potential to grow.

The kingdom is invisible – it’s the spiritual world that
exists almost like a parallel universe with the material world. Concepts like forgiveness and unfettered
giving make complete sense in the kingdom, but are confusing to those of us who
have never been introduced to it.

Thus it is that the process of discipleship really is about
introducing people over time to their identity and role in the kingdom. We disciple others as we wake them up to the kingdom and help them see what God is up to and how to join him.

You don’t have to go to China or India – why not join him in what he’s doing today in your own community and circle of influence?

I’ll say more about this in tomorrow’s blog.

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