Hearing the Word of the Kingdom
...and Understanding It
FOR SOME DAYS, we will dwell with the first Parable of Matthew 13.
This contains primary teaching from the Lord Jesus on the Kingdom of Heaven.
OF FIRST IMPORTANCE IS THAT
WE RECEIVE THE WORD OF THE KINGDOM INTO OUR HEARTS. The
heart is that tender inner part of us that can respond with both faith
and feeling. There are things that lodge in the hearts of many of us,
however, that hinder our receiving the Word.
we allow life to harden our heart, it will hinder us in understanding
Mt 13:3,4,19 And he spake many things unto them in parables,
saying, Behold a sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some seeds
fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up... When
any one heareth the Word of the Kingdom and understandeth it not, then
cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
· FATHER, thank You for the things breaking
up the ground of my heart. There has come one painful thing after the
other. Often I havent understood what was happening. But, here is
one thingit is causing my desire for Your Kingdom to increase.
Even we as believers must take care lest our
hearts become hardenedMk 6:49-52
and hardness in our hearts will shut out the Word of the Kingdom.
Eph 4: 17,18 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord,
that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their
mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life
ot God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness (or hardness) of their heart. Heb 3:12 Take heed,
brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing
from the living God.
· FATHER, I open my heart to You to search
it Find those things and ways of life Ive held on to but that offend
You and Your Kingdom. I present my mind and heart before You that they
may become open and ready to receive the Word of Your Kingdom.
It is in the heart that belief unto salvation
takes placeRom 10:8-10
we refuse to open our hearts to the Lord, we set ourselves in line for
Rom 2:5 But after ("according to") thy hardness
and impenitent heart (a heart with no regret or
remorse) treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath
and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. Rev 3:19 As many
as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
· LORD, Ive repented for sin generally,
but there are still things of wrong that weigh heavily on me. I am ready
to bring each one of these to Youespecially my rage. My conscience
has born the strain of darkness long enough. Oh, start a cleansing work
in me that will make me pure for Your Kingdom!
The first preaching after Pentecost brought conviction
to the hearts of hearersAc 2:36-39
treasures may crowd out the Word of the Kingdom from our hearts
Lk 12:31-34 But rather seek ye the Kingdom of God: and all
these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for
it is your Fathers good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. Sell that
ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure
in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth
corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your
heart be also.
· LORD, forgive me for having my heart wrapped
up in things. Ive become upset when people disregarded my treasures.
But now, Im ready to let all those feelings go and just let Your
love flow. Teach me to love You more than things, for Your Kingdom sake.
When we open ourselves to the Kingdom, we
find greater treasureII Cor 4:17,18; Col 3:1-3
forgiving others will make our hearts too hard to receive the Kingdom
Mt 18:34,35 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors,
till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall My
Heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every
one his brother their trespasses.
· LORD, forgive me for all my complaining
about what has happened. It has produced nothing but bitterness in me.
I am ready, even now, to forgive and let it all press me into Your Kingdom.
I am almost to the point of being ready to thank You for it all.
Jesus taught clearly that to receive forgiveness,
we must forgiveMt 6:12-15
RECEIVING THE WORD OF THE
KINGDOM MAY BRING ON TRIBULATION AND PERSECUTION. But if the Holy Spirit
dwells in us,
these will cause us to grow in the understanding and power
of Gods Kingdom.
the Word does not take root in our hearts, we may well falter in adversity
Mt 13:5,6, 20,21 Some fell upon stony places, where they had
not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness
of earth: and when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they
had no root, they withered away. ... But he that received the seed
into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with
joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and
by he is offended.
· FATHER, Ive allowed the
pressures of life to push me down, instead of into You. The little persecution
that has come my way has made me resentful. Oh, forgive me for this! I
am ready to receive it all from You now. I thank You for it all.
A benefit of affliction is that it breaks
up the fallow soil of our heartPs 119:71; Hos 10:2
said it is a blessed thing to be persecuted because of Him
Mt 5:10-12 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness
sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are ye, when men
shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil
against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for
great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the Prophets which
were before you.
· LORD, toughen me for persecution. Work in
me so I can rejoice when Im falsely accused. Bring me to the place,
like You, where Ill not defend myself with anger. I want to dwell
in so close a communion with You that I can hear Your voice within telling
me what to say when accused.
We can get it settled in our hearts that the
Lord will come to our defenseLk 21:12-15
early ministers prepared the churches for tribulation
Ac 14:21,22 And when they had preached the Gospel to that city,
and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and
Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to
continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter
into the Kingdom of God.
· FATHER, work in me so lam not so quick to
bow down in despair when things go wrong. Help me see that the pressures
of life will not destroy me. Teach me how they can press me on into knowing
Your Kingdom personally. While I dont look for trouble, teach me
to rejoice in what it can do for me. When it comes, let it help me know
We can learn to rejoice when tribulation comes
because of the fruit It will produceHeb 10:34-39
unbelievers oppress us, we discover the protection of Gods presence
Ps 9:7-9 But the LORD shall endure for ever: He hath prepared
His throne for judgment. And He shall judge the world in righteousness,
He shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness. The LORD also
will be a refuge for the oppressed. a refuge in times of trouble.
· LOVING GOD, teach me about the justice
and protection of Your Kingdom. Let my heart know that You are aware of
what I faceand what I am going to face. Bring me to the place of
confidence and peace so I can be a faithful servant in Your Kingdom, even
in the midst of tribulation and persecution.
We will live in the blessing of Zions
INVOLVMENT WITH THE WORLD
WILL HINDER OUR GROWTH AS SONS OF THE KINGDOM. But if we separate ourselves
from the world, the Kingdom can do its work in us.
world with its distractions and deceit seeks to crowd out the Kingdom
Mt 13:7,22 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung
up, and choked them.... He also that received seed among the thorns is
he that heareth the Word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness
of riches, choke the Word, and he becometh unfruitful.
· FATHER, besides the trouble, even my
everyday life has crowded in upon me. Ive drowned my grief in becoming
busytoo busy for my own good, too busy for You. I repent for getting
into this condition and ask You to let me know Your presence with me today.
Help me discipline myself to wait before You.
Waiting on the Lord may be the most profitable
thing we can doPs 37:7-9; Ps 40:1-4
much involvment with the world may be one of the hardest things to break
I Jn 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that
are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of
the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust
of the flesh and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away,
and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
· FATHER, I lay these three things before Youthe
lust of my flesh, the lust of my eyes, and my pride of life. Each of them
has troubled me and hindered me in knowing Your Kingdom. For each of them
I need Your grace and Your power. Please break their hold on me so I can
get on with purpose in Your Kingdom.
Renewed hope will cause us to want to be free
from the impurities of the worldI Jn 3:1-3
and fear will keep us from knowing the power and provision of Gods
Phil 4:6 Be careful ("anxious") for nothing; but
in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests
be made known unto God. Mt 6:25,33 Therefore I say unto you, Take
no ("anxious") thought for your life, what ye shall eat,
or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is
not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? ... But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness: and all these
things shall be added unto you.
· FATHER, anxiety and care have ruled my
life for too long. Today, I renounce them. Take the tendency to worry
and fret from me. Teach me to trust You. Teach me to look to Your Throne
when everything around me seems to fail. Teach my children thismy
parents, my friends, even the people I work with.
We note how sharply Jesus dealt with those
who trusted their wealthMk 10:17-23
is a dangerous thing to have all ones wealth in worldly possessions
Rev 18:17-19 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought.
And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as
many as trade by sea, stood afar off and cried when they saw the smoke
of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city ("Babylon")!
And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing,
saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had
ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she
· LORD, even now we stand in awe of Your ways.
Bring us to the place where well not fall when Babylon falls. Teach
us the wealth of Your Kingdom. Show us how we can live when the commerce
of the world falls, when every bank fails, and every earthly government
folds. Teach us the ways of Your Throne.
In the midst of adversity we can learn to
be still and know the LordPs 46:1-11
WHEN A BROKEN LIFE RECEIVES
THE WORD OF THE KINGDOM. THERE IS HOPE FOR A NEW DAY. Like soil tilled
by a plow, it is ready to receive the good Seed.
is of prime importance
Mt 13:8,23 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit,
some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. ... But he
that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the Word (lógos), and understandeth it: which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth,
some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
· LORD, let me hear Your Lógos Word.
Help me discern it when I hear it so I can open my heart to receive it.
lncrease in me a hunger for the Word of Your Kingdom so I will search
it out for myself. Teach me to meditate upon it and bring it over into
my understanding, and into my living.
As Kingdom persons, Gods Word becomes
the rejoicing of our heartJer 15:16; Ps 119:77, 111, 162
the Word Jesus brought can produce instant change in us
Jn 5:24-26 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My
Word (lógos), and believeth on Him that sent Me. hath everlasting
life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death
unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now
is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that
hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given
to the Son to have life in Himself.
· DEAR LORD, just help me know the power of
Your Word. If it can reach into death and break its hold, then I believe
it can reach into this problem I face today and break its hold over my
spirit. Help these I hold before You hear also. Bring them to know the
power of Your Word and of Your Kingdom.
In times of opposition, the Word (Lógos) of God will grow and prevailAc 12:21-24; Ac 19:14-20
Word Peter preached on Pentecost was a Logos Word
Ac 2:40,41 And with many other words (from lógos) did he testify and exhort saying, Save yourselves from this untoward
generation. Then they that gladly received his Word (lógos) were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about
three thousand souls.
· LORD, thank You for the Life that was in
that Word Peter brought to the people long ago. Help me to hear it now,
and rejoice in it, so it can do its work in me. Let a life-giving Word
like that begin to come forth in the Church today. Bring Your anointing
upon these ministers I hold before You.
Let us hear some of the Word that came from
Peter that Pentecost dayAc 2:29-37
Word the Apostles preached was a Logos Word
Ac 4:1-4 And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and
the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, being grieved
that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection
from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto
the next day: for it was now eventide. Howbeit many of them which heard
the Word (lógos) believed and the number of the men
was ("came to be") about five thousand.
· FATHER, I see how the power of the Word brought
conviction upon the people who would hear it and reaction from those who
would not. Help me not to fear either. Please let Your preachers move
with wisdom as they minister in the power of Your Spirit.
The people at Berea received the Word Paul preached.
Then came persecutionAc 17:10-13
soul rejoices in the Living Water from God like the thirsty soul
Ps 63:1 O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: my soul
thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land,
where no water is. Is 44:3 For I will pour water upon him that
is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour My Spirit upon
thy seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring.
· FATHER, I thirst for the Living Water that
comes from Your Throne. I hunger for the Bread of Life that You give.
It seems there is a famine in the land for all this. Please pour out You
Spirit upon us who seek Your face so there will come an abundance of spiritual
food for Your hungry people.
The resurrected Christ will open our understanding
so we can hear and receive the WordLk 24:44-49
the early church developed, the lógos Word increased with
Ac 6:7a And the Word (lógos) of God increased... Ac 12:24 But the Word (lógos) of God grew and
multiplied. Ac 19:20 So mightily grew the Word (lógos) of God and prevailed.
· LORD, bring upon me a new and deep hunger
for Your Word. I want it to enter my heart and bring forth its fruit in
me. Let it find release in my life so that I will become a "living epistle."
When adversity comes, let Your Word spring up in my heart.
Persecution and knowledge of the Lógos Word caused the early church to flourishAc 4:23-31
heralded the Kingdom as he ministered the Word (lógos) of
Ac 20:25,32 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom
I have gone preaching ("heralding") the Kingdom of God,
shall see my face no more. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and
to the Word (lógos) of His grace, which is able to build you up,
and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
· DEAR LORD, help us who minister Your Gospel
to others see the relationship of Your grace to Your Kingdom. Remove all
doubt and hesitancy from us with regard to both. Help us make the Word
clear and plain that Your Grace brings us into Your Kingdom, and sustains
us there. Let the Word preached lodge in the hearts of people everywhere.
Let it take root, and grow, and produce fruit for Your Kingdom.
Paul gave admonition that the Lógos Word of Christ would dwell in us richlyCol 3:14-17
Now, start again with Day 1.
Go now to Part 3:
What Is God’s Kingdom Like?
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