Knowledge of the Kingdom; July 21, 2020

Matthew 13:11-12 He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”

This is a passage that a lot of people have choked on. By human standards it hardly seems fair! However, by speaking to the crowds in parables Jesus was keeping the door open for all who would choose to believe. It is by faith that we receive from God, and once we make the choice to repent and believe, the door is never shut. Anyone reading this with an open heart is going to be in the category of those who have opened their heart, and so should take this as beautiful encouragement that they will receive more and more in abundance. We do need to be careful to remember that this is talking about “the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven,” not material wealth. If you focus on material wealth you put yourself into the category of those who do not have what really matters. As Paul discovered, there is no limit to what we can learn in this area. (Philippians 3:12-14) The minute we think we have it all, we prove that we don’t really have anything. We need to remember that we are finite and God and His kingdom are infinite, so there is always more. Scarcity is an impossibility, except as we refuse the abundance that God offers.

The home in which I was raised gave me an enormous head start in this, but I had to learn the hard way that having it in my head but not my heart meant I didn’t really have it at all. I have long felt that James 1:22 was written just for me! That said, for much of my life I have noticed that Biblical concepts that to me seem totally obvious strike others as very deep. I am still learning how to express the basics of the kingdom in small enough bites that people don’t feel buried in information. Sometimes asking me a question can be like hitting the Print key on a computer and then not being able to stop the output! I am to be grateful for all that the Lord shows me, but I need to seek and appropriate His wisdom for how to share it. At the same time, I need to be honest and humble to recognize what I don’t know, and not be afraid to admit it.

Father, thank You for getting me through the past three days. Spending Saturday at the hospital and with the family, and then Sunday with the regular service and then the wake, and then yesterday with the funeral and the crematorium was exhausting in a number of ways. Thank You for what You did through me. I pray that those who don’t yet know you, which includes the vast majority of those at the wake and the funeral, would receive and think about what they saw and heard, giving them a hunger for the assurance of eternal life that was expressed here. I do pray for the widow and her sons, that they would not just be comforted but would be drawn closer to You and Your plans for them, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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