Daily Reflection – 1/27/2023
Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.” He said, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private. (Mark 4:26-34)
Do you believe in God’s presence within you?
Before we all answer “yes,” the follow on question would have to be “ then what do you about His presence within you?’
Let’s walk that path together.
We begin by acknowledging that God, through the Holy Spirit, is within us each moment of our lives. We believe that.
But accepting His presence also means that we recognize His presence in the way we live our lives. We do that by placing our lives under the word of God. We live our lives not according to our own tastes, tendencies and preferences but rather that they are in conformity with His teachings, His word and His preferences.
For many, including me, that means a constant struggle with our ego which, at times, goes against His word. But we must, each day, examine our lives to determine those aspects that require change and conversion. Yes, that requires efforts and disciple. But it is worth every second. Why?
Because His love is so encompassing and so eternal that it forgives us. A love that had no beginning is also a love that has no ending.
Think about that! Sometimes I tremble because of the enormity of His love. No matter what I have done, His love forgives me.
Yesterday, we talked about our self-image and how worthy we are because of His love. Couple the two thoughts and feel the magnitude about what that tells you about you.
Do you accept that? Then comes the answer to the second question . . . what do you about His presence within you?
When Jesus tells His listeners that the Kingdom of God is like a grain of mustard seed which is the smallest seed on earth, but which becomes the greatest of all shrubs, He is inviting us to look at the world with new eyes.
It’s the little things make a big difference, and the Kingdom of God is built on little things. They are the mustard seeds that we plant, and Christ magnifies those actions and makes them abundant. There is a tendency of the human condition to focus on the big things or problems of life and that’s OK. But you and I can only affect the life and the world around us. It’s not done at the expense of our call to love. For most of us, our call to love BECAUSE WE ARE LOVED should never come at the expense of His love.
You and I can do great things for God if you are willing to offer yourself to THE Oone who has planted in you the tiny seeds of love, generosity, mercy, justice and kindness.
Each of us needs to spend more time looking for the mustard seed. To look for the first signs of His kingdom with faith and optimism. To never dismiss the small and insignificant. If we do that, we will not give up on ourselves, on others, or the church, or even on the world just because we see many signs of sin and brokenness.
Jesus Christ has called you and I to be His disciples. No matter what your situation or condition, He has something important for you to do. Believe that and it will change how you think and how you live in the world. Believe that and you will receive a new enthusiasm and excitement about life. Believe that and you and the world will be different.
Prayer of The Day
“Dear Lord, I pray that you allow the seeds of your words to take deep root in my life and transform me unto a fruit-nearing disciple of your kingdom.”
Where are you spending your energy? Are you too focused on the big moments, or are you attentive to the small ways that Christ is calling you to serve? Are you planting mustard seeds that will grow into something amazing, or trying to replant cedar trees on a hilltop? This week, be attentive to the small parts of your relational life – and get ready to see some Kingdom size results.