How is God advancing His kingdom in you and through you? As believers we have a tendency to selfishly take the kingdom of God for granted while we remain in control of our own lives. The result is that His will is not advanced in or through us. We avoid heart transformation and the shaping of Christ in others, which begs the question, “Are we really in Christ?”
When questioned about His authority by the popular and religious of the day, Jesus responded with a duo of parables. The first was The Parable of Two Sons. In the second, The Parable of the Wicked Tenants, Jesus painted a portrait of God’s heart regarding the advancement of His kingdom, or the lack of it, in and through His people: “There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit” (Matthew 21:33-34).
The Landowner is generous (see Matthew 21:33-34). Jesus began His story with a landowner who had planted a vineyard and rented it to tenants. The landowner represented God. The vineyard was imagery for His kingdom, or the effective reign of His will. Jesus said that the landowner had built a wall and watchtower, symbols of security. The tenants were the religious leaders to whom Jesus was telling the story.
The landowner’s decision to rent the farm was common in Palestine. Either foreign or wealthy Jewish landowners who held large farming operations would rent their acreage to poor Jewish farmers. At harvest time, payment occurred, (usually 25 percent of the yield went to the tenants).
Do you see the Landowner as generous in His expression of His kingdom in and through you? How are you handling the responsibility that comes with His grace? Would those closest to you describe you as generous? This week, take five minutes each day to pray, asking God to reveal any barriers to generosity in you and to identify who should be the recipient of your time, talent, and treasure to advance His heart in them. Then, make an appointment with that person in need whom God has placed in close proximity to you. Discover how you can help them experience His generous heart.