November 20, 2011

Be a Positive Kingdom Influence

Matthew 13:31-34

“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast … mixed into … flour until it [is] worked all through the dough.”
Matthew 13:33


Jesus invites us to imagine the amazing properties of a little bit of yeast; it can make dough rise so that it bakes into wonderful bread. Like yeast, only a small expression of the kingdom of Jesus Christ in our lives can make an incredible impact on the lives and culture of people around us.

Christ-followers have a choice. We can withdraw and live separate lives from our surrounding communities. Or we can choose to influence and bless those communities by encouraging values and behaviors of justice, mercy, and peace.

Yeast is at first not very noticeable. And the word in our verse that says yeast is “mixed into” can also mean “hidden in.” Our best influence is often through quiet actions of service and love by which we are not drawing attention to ourselves.

We know of several new churches that have begun in prisons. As they quietly gather for worship and bring people into the presence of Jesus, positive influences spread out through the prison system, transforming behaviors, systems, and the culture of the entire place.

Yeast has a purpose of interacting with dough. We have a purpose of living out the values of the kingdom of Jesus Christ as we interact with the people, institutions, and communities where we are. By the power of the Spirit we can have amazing influence for the glory of God.

Lord, thank you for your generosity. While we offer you our service, you offer us life. You can use us to meet the needs of others around us. Grow us as you will. Amen.

About the author — Allen & Lynn Likkel

Revs. Allen and Lynn Likkel have worked in communities across North America for many years—planting churches, nurturing them along, and developing new church leaders. A minister in the Christian Reformed Church, Allen served with Christian Reformed Home Missions for nearly 40 years, and Lynn, also ordained as a minister of the Word, has served to build leaders and new congregations. In November 2010, Allen entered retirement, and the Likkels moved to Washington, their native state. They have four adult children.

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