The Upper Room devotional reflection for Tuesday, November 22, 2022, comes to us from Adreea Nicolae of England, United Kingdom.
30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.” 33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.
As I read again the parable of the mustard seed this morning, I am reminded of the time I spent in my garden last week planting seeds. The peppermint seeds were the smallest of the bunch. But because peppermint grows and spreads quickly, I know these little seeds will eventually take over my garden. The kingdom of God works in a similar way. When we receive Jesus into our hearts, we wake up to a whole new way of loving God, ourselves, and others. The seed of this transformation is small at the beginning, but as we follow Jesus day by day, it grows roots, gains strength, and spreads everywhere.
And just like a garden, the seed of the kingdom of God also needs to be nurtured. We can do this by reading the Bible, praying, and practicing faithful obedience to God. Now every time I look at my peppermint plant and water it, I will remember that my soul also needs spiritual watering so that the kingdom of God will grow roots and spread – in me and through me to the world.
One of our S.M.A.R.T. goals was to have 88 members of our church committed to a plan for personal spiritual development. Andreea’s reflection reminds us of the importance of nurturing our relationship with God, “so that the kingdom of God will grow.” God has chosen to partner with us to transform the world. Yet, when we neglect to deepen and nurture our relationship, it hampers our ability to grow into the agents of change God intends for us to be. Engaging in spiritual development is not difficult, but it does require dedication and commitment. As we take time, this Thanksgiving season to spend time with family, may we also take time to spend with God.
Creator God, thank you for the transformation that is possible through Jesus Christ. Guide us so that we can nurture the seed of your kingdom that lives in our hearts. Amen
-- Andreea Nicolae
For the opportunities to share my faith.
Thought for the day:
The kingdom of God lives in me.