Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Lent, Day 29 March 29th , 2017

Prince of Peace: From the Cradle to the Crown and Beyond
Jesus' Teachings
The Kingdom, Part 10
In yesterday’s Lenten post (Day 28, The Kingdom, Part 9), we reviewed the fact that when God looks at us He only sees us through the mark of Jesus’ Blood, which covers us and reconciles us to God. Moreover, when we have assurance of our own salvation, we are then able to reach out and encourage others to join us in the Kingdom. To engage in this process, we must be able to convey the Truth in a meaningful way, which enables others to understand and respond to the invitation. We noted that there are several parables that provide information regarding how to enter the Kingdom; and we focused on the Parable of the Treasure Hunter (Mt. 13:44) as one that many can relate to, because of the fascination (through the ages) that we have with pirates’ buried treasures and sunken treasures and the high value placed on discovering them. The parable likens the treasure hunter who is avidly seeking treasure to the individual enthusiastically seeking God’s Kingdom and its measureless value.
 The Parable of the Treasure Hunter is a short but poignant one. Following directly after this parable is yet another short but moving one, the Parable of the Pearl, “Again, the kingdom of heaven 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,” (Mt. 13: 45-46, NIV). “The Kingdom of Heaven is like…” treasure of inestimable value, priceless, and those who earnestly seek it will find their way in. 
What is our part in increasing the Kingdom—for God’s glory? The Apostle Paul addressed this issue in his first letter to the Corinthians, when he had to confront them with tough love. The church members were displaying immaturity and jealousy, as they heatedly argued about whom among them was following the teachings of Paul and those following Apollos’ instructions. Paul was firm when he told them they needed to grow up and get real understanding. He then declared that each believer has a part in the process of others’ salvation and outlined that process, “the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow,” (1 Cor.  3: 5b-7, NIV).

How do others enter the Kingdom? So far we have uncovered two related facts: 1) those who earnestly seek Christ’s Kingdom, will find their way into it: 
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened,” (Mt. 7: 7-8, NIV), and, 2) we need to do our part, whether we are planting or watering the seeds or harvesting them. God assigns the tasks, and we need to be sensitive to what role He asks us to play at any given moment, (1 Cor. 3: 5).
To be continued…
Blessings & Peace

Elizabeth Hogan Hayduk
Former Salvation Army Officer (pastor)

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