Kingdom – BT6
The Kingdom of heaven is like a garden to cultivate and hidden treasures to seek
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We also know from the “Parable of the Sower” (a) that only those who hear the gospel logos message of God (b) about the kingdom, understand it, and not only lambano “grabbing for oneself” (c), or dechomai “warmly receptive, welcoming” it (d), or choreo “make available space or an open heart for it” (e), but it has to take “solid root within him” even through the many troubles or persecution that will come because of the gospel (f), who won’t fall away as a result, whose fruitfulness is not choked out by the anxieties, concerns, and cares of this world or the deceitfulness of riches, but that will grow and produce fruit within the kingdom. <Notes> a) Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23; Mark 4:1-12; Luke 8:4-10, b) logos in the NT is most often used of the preached gospel message: Ephesians 1:13; Colossians 1:5; Acts 8:25, 15:7, c) Matthew 13:20, 19:11-12; Mark 4:16; Luke 8:13, 18:17, 19:12, 15; John 1:11-12, 5:43, 12:48, 13:20, 14:17, d) Matthew 10:14, 40, 18:5; Mark 9:37, 6:11, 10:15; Luke 9:48, 53, 18:17; Acts 11:1, 17:11; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 11:4; 1 Thessalonians 1:6, 2:13; James 1:21, e) Matthew 19:11-12; John 8:37; 2 Peter 3:9, f) Acts 14:22.
In fact, it’s extremely difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven because of their love and trust in money and what it can buy (a). But from the “Parable of the Mustard Seed” (b), the size of the “seed” that is the logos gospel message need not be great. Even the smallest of such seeds can grow up into a massive tree to benefit so many people – see The Least Among You. Thus is Christ’s kingdom when planted in us! <Notes> a) Matthew 19:23-24; Mark 10:23- 25; Luke 18:24-35, b) Matthew 13:31-31; Mark 4:30-34, Luke 13:18-19.
We also know from “The Parable of the Hidden Treasure” (a) that the kingdom is like selling everything you have to buy a field when you joyfully discover a treasure in it. From “The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value” (b), the kingdom is like a pearl merchant, who upon finding one pearl of great value sold everything he had to buy it. This really shows the unequaled worth of being a part of the kingdom – worth sacrificing everything for it. The Lord has told me on more than one occasion that the “treasure” and “pearl of great value” is actually Christ living in us by the means of the Holy Spirit, the kingdom of God within us – see Kingdom – BT1. This is worth giving up everything else in life to acquire! <Notes> a) Matthew 13:44, b) Matthew 13:45-46.
Finally, in the “Parable of the Unforgiving Servant” (a), Jesus makes it clear that we really can’t insist that God forgive us of all our many sins if we hold onto unforgiveness for others’ relatively few sins (b), and so this should be a key part of our proseuche conversational-prayer for God’s “kingdom to come and His will to be done” (c). <Notes> a) Matthew 18:21-35, b) see also Matthew 6:14-15; James 2:13, c) Matthew 6:12; Mark 11:25.
As Christian musicians, let us “aggressively take hold of, warmly receive, and open our hearts up” for the kingdom of God to come inside us and for God’s will to be done by the enabling-power of the Holy Spirit. Let us plant the gospel message deep within us so the cares of this world and its riches don’t distract us, but that “seed” of Christ grows up into a might tree to produce much fruit for God. Let us value Christ living in us more than anything else in this world. Because such a great debt has been taken away from us, let us also forgive others of their wrongs against us.
Lord, make me hungrier for You to live in me with all your fullness by Your Spirit of holiness more than any other temptation or care in this world. Then Your kingdom can come and Your will be done.