Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Already, Not Yet

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

I know people who open one small gift on Christmas Eve. They say it makes for a fun preview of the excitement of opening the remaining  gifts on Christmas Day.

That is somewhat similar with Jesus’ teaching concerning the kingdom of God. He taught His disciples that the kingdom wouldn’t come all at once. It would be like a tiny seed that grows into a very large tree [Matthew 13.31-32]. Some scholars call this the “Already, but Not Yet” principle. 

Already: The curse of sin and death that opposes God’s kingdom was defeated through the blood of the cross [Colossians 1.20]. At that time, all that God had promised began to come true, available through Christ. Still, it has yet to pervade all of creation. That time will come in the future [Ephesians 1.10].

Not Yet: In the meantime, we face tribulation. Jesus said so. But along with that warning, He also held out a great hope: “Be of good cheer for I have overcome the world” [John 16.33].

“Be of good cheer.” “Take heart.” That was Christ’s encouragement because life’s disappointments don’t have the last word. The Good News of God’s kingdom has the final say. The “seed” that started at Christ’s resurrection marked the turning point to an end of all the brokenness in the world. 

I encourage you to take heart. Though it may not always look like it, day by day, pieces of God’s kingdom are falling into place.

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” Matthew 12.31-32

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