Monday, May 10 – “He told them this parable: ‘The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.’” (Matthew 13:31-32) You are a seed that has been planted. Now, all you need to do is to grow into the person that God has created you to be. Who you are is a blessing to others. Be the blessing that is you. Don’t settle for merely being the person that someone else wants you to be. Be who God has created you to be.
Tuesday, May 11 – “He told them still another parable: ‘The kingdom of God is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.’” (Matthew 13:33) The kingdom of God is right here, right now. It isn’t some far away land, somewhere over the rainbow. The kingdom of God is alive and active. It gives form, texture and flavor to life. You can have bread without yeast and you can live without the kingdom of God. Both are good. They will serve the purpose, fill the hole and give you glimpses of satisfaction. Yet, both will always leave you with a nagging sense that there must be something more.
Wednesday, May 12 – “The kingdom of God is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that filed.” (Matthew 13:44) Once you discover the kingdom of God you don’t ever want to live without it. What you once considered important, what you once considered valuable, what you once considered essential, now pales in comparison. The kingdom of God will ruin you for the ways of this world. Yet, it will perfect you for the ways of God’s world. It will open your eyes to a new kind of way. And you will never want to go back to the way things used to be.
Thursday, May 13 – “Again, the kingdom of God is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45-46) What are you willing to risk in order to gain the kingdom of God? Are you willing to sell everything? Are you willing to commit your life to the care and control of Jesus? Are you willing to be who God has created you to be? Are you willing to be planted? The kingdom of God is found in the answers to these very questions.
Friday, May 14 – “For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.” (Matthew 13:15) The kingdom of God is a choice. You either choose to feel it, hear it and see it or you don’t. You either choose to reap the benefits of it or suffer the consequences of being without it. It’s not for God or anyone else for that matter, to tell you what choice to make. The choice is yours, but it is my prayer that as you decide, you hear the pain and sorrow in these words of God.
Monday, May 17 – “He says, ‘It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.’” (Isaiah 49:6) You might not know much about God and God’s ways, but you what you do know is that God’s intention is to save the entire world. Not just the Jews. Not just the pretty ones, the American ones, the rich ones or the poor ones. From the very beginning God has intended to save all of his people. Here is the exciting part, you get to participate with God in making this happen.
Tuesday, May 18 – “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7) We all know that the only way that we will ever do something on our own is if nobody is there to do it for us. Many a person has been spoiled by well-intentioned parents, friends, spouses, etc. into a life void of personal initiative. God knew this about us and that is why Jesus had to leave. So that we could receive the gift of the “Advocate” or Holy Spirit. This gift would then allow us take the initiative to live ourselves, as followers of Jesus.
Wednesday, May 19 – “’You are witnesses’, declares the Lord, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.’” (Isaiah 43:10) One of the best ways to learn something is to teach something. The very act of teaching – the preparation, the questions, the interaction with others – helps to cement knowledge into your very own life. This is why Jesus left and gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit. The only way that you will learn how to be a follower of Jesus is by actually being a follower of Jesus, right out in front of everyone else.
Thursday, May 20 – “After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:6) Nobody can logically argue that Jesus wasn’t seen alive, after the crucifixion. There were too many witnesses. So, the question of the accuracy of Jesus’ resurrection is not your question. Your question is if you can live into this truth, even though you didn’t witness it yourself and all who did witness it “have fallen asleep”? How can you live in faith, not being an eyewitness yourself? The Holy Spirit. The indwelling presence of God testifying to all of the truths of God.
Friday, May 21 – “’The days are coming’, declares the Lord, ‘when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.’” (Jeremiah 23:5) These words were written over 600 years before the birth of Jesus. No wonder the Jewish people were looking for a worldly King, not a suffering servant. This is why it is so important to get good at living in the I don’t know. This allows for God to move, guide and direct without your preconceived notions getting in the way. In this light, the nation of Israel was truly a light for us all. A light on how not to approach the truth of who God really is and what God is really up to.