The One Key Word that Helps Christians Advance God’s Kingdom
God calls on believers to share the gospel message with others. By faith, believers respond by trusting his message and the power behind the message. To help us, Jesus provides word pictures of the transforming power of his Word. That one key word is trust.
“Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.” Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” (Luke 13:18-21)
The kingdom of God is like yeast or a mustard seed. This word picture doesn’t make sense, but we are given other clues that boils down to one simple word… that key word is trust.
A good example is the Lord’s prayer.
Every time Christians pray the Lord’s prayer, they are reminded of God’s power. The words carry exceptional weight. “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Too often, we say the Lord’s prayer without really thinking about what the words mean. We are asking for God’s kingdom to come. We are trusting that his will be done. God’s wisdom or his will is beyond human understanding. We can’t begin to comprehend its scope. By faith, believers are asked to trust in him – even when God doesn’t make sense, refuses to agree with our will, or act according to our timetable. The Lord’s prayer can become an affirmation of our trust. We turn over to God his responsibility to advance his kingdom. And this is important for believers to remember. Advancing God’s kingdom is not our responsibility, but we are called upon to be a part of the process.
A good example comes from a series of You Tube videos I have been watching this week about the devastating tsunami that arrived on the shores of Japan back in 2011.
The people living in the coastal towns watched the waters from the rivers and estuaries slowly ebb back into the sea while warning sirens and policeman are loudly encouraging people to immediately seek higher ground. The first ripples of the tsunami came through and it didn’t appear to be a big deal. Townspeople did not heed the warnings of the advancing tsunami and decided to stay on level ground. They felt safe. Then the destructive power of the tsunami wave arrived. The full force of water overflowed the banks that were meant to protect the city and began sweeping away houses, cars, and people. The power of nature was completely devastating.
What more evidence did people need before they heeded the words of warning and got to higher ground?
The power of God’s Word is like a tsunami.
His kingdom will come. His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
When heaven and earth collide — heaven always wins.
Jesus tells us that the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed. God’s Word works likes yeast. It is more powerful than the forces of nature, because it is the same power that created the heavens and the earth. It is the same power that creates life from death — belief from unbelief.
When believers proclaim the message of the gospel, they are planting mustard seeds into the ground of human hearts. This is how God uses his children to advance his kingdom on earth. When believers share the gospel, they are planting the seeds of the gospel. We expectantly pray that we will see results. But that is God’s business.
Faithfulness obeys God’s commands and commission – even when there is a lack of evidence.
Like unbelievers, Christians can demand evidence as well. We desire — even plead — for God’s will to make itself known in our lives. And when we step out in faith to share the gospel with others, we desire – even plead — to see fruit for our efforts. We want people to accept our invitation to come to church, express desire to learn more about the gospel, and receive faith from the gospel message. When that doesn’t happen, we get frustrated and disappointed.
Misplaced hope demands evidence. A by-product of misplaced hope is inaction and unfaithfulness in carrying out God’s great commission. We lose trust in God’s power to create faith through his word and that he is taking caring of his business according to his will.
It’s no wonder that Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
With these words, we renew our confidence and trust that God’s Word works behind the scenes. His Word works in people’s hearts and minds that Christians rarely see. Hope that rests in Christ focuses on minding our own business. Prompted by love and compassion – renewed zeal inspires thanksgiving and joy — faithful hearts proclaim with assurance and confidence that our sins are forgiven right now because of what Christ has already done for us on the cross. Sharing this message is our business and what God does with that his message is his work and responsibility.
Like the tsunami in Japan, many people in the coastal towns didn’t heed the warnings. They didn’t see the evidence that anything of significance was going to happen. But the town’s policeman did their jobs. They shouted with bullhorns for people to move to higher ground before it was too late.
Isn’t that what God is calling believers to do? Be faithful in our jobs. Call out to people to repent and move to Higher Ground. Trust Christ and his promises before it’s too late.