Mercy Street Church of Christ
Abilene, TX
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Of its own accord the land yields fruit

Of its own accord the land yields fruit. (Mark 4:28)

The kingdom of God is real. Better yet, itís here now, growing bigger and stronger, like the mustard tree in Jesusí parable. Itís not just up in heaven, awaiting the time when we will finally enter it. It is also here on earth, where Jesus has sowed it among us as the smallest of seeds. Almost of its own accord, the kingdom is coming to maturity. And although we arenít always aware of its presence, it extends over all creation, even over those who donít acknowledge its existence.

Jesus started his ministry by declaring the good news of the coming of the kingdom. He proclaimed it in words and demonstrated it in power. Healing, deliverance, repentance, transformed livesóthese were the marks of the kingdom in Jesusí time, and they remain just as valid today. Whenever and wherever they occur, they declare to an unbelieving world that God is real. And if thatís not enough, we also have the fruits of the Holy Spiritólove, joy, peace, and the rest that bear powerful witness to the kingdom (Galatians 5:22).

Brothers and sisters, God has called us into his kingdom and glory. He wants to have a close, loving relationship with each one of us. Jesus lived, died, and rose again just so that we could belong to that kingdom. Even though we may struggle here and now, we know that this kingdom will one day overcome all sin, suffering, and death.

Until that time comes, we can declare and demonstrate the kingdom to everyone around us. Itís not too hard. When someone is sick, offer to pray with him or her for healing. Should chaos erupt in our homes, pray for protection from any darkness that may be oppressing your family.

Above all, live in love. Try to demonstrate Godís love a little more every day. Make it a point to show more affection to your children or spouse or parents. Offer a kind word to your neighbor. Reach out to a church friend who seems alone. Instead of just telling people about Godís love, demonstrate it with real, concrete expressions. Let them see the kingdom of Godópresent in your own life!

ďHoly Spirit, I believe the kingdom of God is active here and now. Give me the courage to speak, pray, and work to reveal it to the world.Ē

2 Samuel 11:1-10, 13-17; Psalm 51:3-7, 10-11

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