What is it like?

How many of you remember the question, “What is heaven like?”

I know I asked the question. I asked several people that question.

Many answered with general descriptions that made it look like a paradise of sorts. A wonderful magical place where all of the things that we suffer in this life are gone.

When we read the parables of Jesus, He begins almost every one of them with this phrase: The kingdom of heaven is like….

Jesus spent most of his time teaching people what the Kingdom of Heaven is like.

I find it funny that he never describes this paradise that we’ve heard so much about.

Rather, each parable highlights a different attribute of the Kingdom which Jesus preached, and commanded to be preached, was at hand.

Matthew 13:31-35

New International Version

The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast

31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all 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.”

33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds[a] of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:

“I will open my mouth in parables,

I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”

Like a seed. Like yeast.

What is it about the Mustard Seed?

It is small, insignificant, easily goes unnoticed.

The mustard seed is a speck compared to most seeds.

What is it about the yeast or levin?

It is small compared to what we put it in.

It permeates what it is buried in.

Jesus shows us here that what is insignificant to the observer is unexpectedly powerful in the Kingdom; that the most simple things can have the greatest impact.

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

New International Version

26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

God uses the unexpected, insignificant, and simple to make the biggest eternal impact!

The Simple Things

Excellence is doing the ordinary things extraordinarily well. - John W. Gardner

We have more trouble not doing what Jesus said not to do sometimes than doing what he says to do.

Matthew 6:25-32

New International Version

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

“Don’t worry,” he says. That’s hard isn’t it?

Why do we worry and why do we doubt what Jesus has said?

“We don’t believe because we have seen circumstances not line up with what Jesus said, but we tend to not ask why?

“If Jesus said this, and I believe, why isn’t it working for me? Why didn’t it work for so-in-so?”

There are two roads here: doubt and pursuit.(Doubt vs. Pursuit)

Oftentimes, Christians choose one of these and forget the other one even exists, choosing instead a substitute that we tend to call “faith.”

Well, God is good… I may not understand it but God is in charge and that’s all I have to know. That’s it!?

Where does the bible instruct us to respond that way?

Proverbs 25:2

New International Version

2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;

to search out a matter is the glory of kings.

God doesn’t hide things to keep them hidden. He hides them for us to search them out!

Revelation 1:6

New King James Version

6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

“I’m not a king” Rev 1:6 NKJV says you are.

God doesn’t hide the mustard seed because he wants you to carry on and forget about it.

Seek First

Matthew 6:33-34

New King James Version

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Jesus said go find the Kingdom. Seek first and everything else follows.

Same word in -ask, seek, knock.

If we don’t seek, Nothing Will Follow!

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