You already know that you should put your money on a company that’s going places. Get in while it’s small and cheap, and if all goes as hoped, it will grow really big.
I’m here to tell you, over the water cooler of course, that the kingdom of God fits the bill. Think about these parables Jesus told. He said that God’s kingdom is like a very small seed that someone plants in his garden. In the end, it turns out to be the largest plant of all.
He also compared God’s kingdom to a tiny pinch of yeast that a woman put in her bread dough. In the end, it permeated the whole lump.
The moral of these stories? God’s kingdom is small at the beginning, but gets really huge in the end.
How significant is that idea in your life?
Jesus expected that this simple idea about God’s kingdom would make you act differently. He explained that people who hear this message have varying reactions. Some, like hard soil beside a road, hear it but don’t understand. The seed of the message lies there on top of the dirt to be snatched up by hungry birds. Others understand the message, but like rocky soil are unable to grow a root of perseverance. When the sun of tribulation and difficulty rises, the plant withers away.
Still others are like thorny soil. The message begins to grow in their lives, but everyday activities and the pursuit of more money begin to worry, distract, and deceive them and strangle it out. And finally, there are those who are like good soil. They hear this message about the kingdom, persevere with it, and bear fruit.
So Jesus is looking for action, that is, identifiable fruit.
But what kind of action does he expect?
That brings us back to investing. You see, the kingdom of God doesn’t appear to be a hot investment opportunity right now. Lots of other investments seem larger and more promising. Sports stadiums are packed and giant corporations are crowded with success-seekers. Money, comfort, fun, and applause all entice investors.
But the Christian walks past this big show to a back corner and puts all his money down on something really small. “Are you crazy?” everyone wonders. “You know, it’s safer to diversify.” But he believes that despite present appearances, things will look a whole lot different one day in the future. The stadiums will all be empty, the money will all be corroded, the great success stories will be passing memories of wasted lives. And the only show left in town will be God’s kingdom—a new heavens and new earth where Jesus reigns.
What Jesus expects is that we invest everything in the kingdom, every day. Each day, we lay out all our available capital on something that seems insignificant now with the belief that it’s going places. Our minds and money, our energy and time, our entire lives are oriented differently than the rest of the world. And we don’t diversify. If the kingdom of God turns out to be a bust, we will have nothing left.
Does that describe your life?
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.