Proclaim the Kingdom of God
At the end of Acts, Luke gives us a glimpse into the last few years of Paul’s life, telling us that he welcomed all who came to him, “proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ.” That phrase, “kingdom of God,” is used around 75 times in the New Testament, and the “kingdom of heaven” is mentioned 34 times.
The kingdom of God is vast, deep, and complex, and Jesus used many metaphors to help His followers understand it. It’s like a farmer sowing seed in his field, a mustard seed, yeast mixed into dough, treasure hidden in a field, a merchant looking for fine pearls, and more.
There’s one particular metaphor that stands out to me. In Mark 4:26–29, Jesus says, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself, the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it because the harvest has come.”
In this parable Jesus emphasized that so much of the kingdom’s growth is beyond our control—the work of God accomplishes it. We do our part by watering, sowing, loving, and teaching, but God causes the growth.
Another truth we see in Scripture is that the kingdom of God is the opposite of the kingdoms of this world which often emphasize acquisition, power, and control. In her book The Gospel on the Ground, Kristi McLelland says, “In contrast, we find the kingdom of God to be anchored in relinquishment. The way of Jesus says the last will be first. Jesus says we are to lose our lives to gain them. The way of the kingdom of God is entirely upside-down to the way of the world and empire. Caesar would do anything to stay on top. Jesus says the way to flourish is to go low.”
Friends, each one of us plays a vital role in God’s kingdom coming to earth. We sow, water, and harvest in our locations and in our relationships. Thank you for your work in your corner of God’s kingdom and for your faithful financial partnership which enables Cadence staff to participate in His kingdom work in military communities worldwide.
And let’s never forget that we are inheriting a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28)!