Morning Devotion: Seek First the Kingdom of God (Parable of the Field & Estate).
There was a man who had been given an inheritance that included a field. This field was so valuable. Of all the lands on earth it was the field that would continue to produce fruit and vegetation forever. Despite the world conditions, this field would produce crop after crop. The man was told to invite others to gleen from that field, invite others into his inheritance. This was not a small field, it stretched farther than the eyes could see. When other fields had their crops destroyed, this field continued to bear perfect fruit.
The man decided since the field would always be there, he would ignore that field and do other things. No one would take the field away from him. So he would come by some weekends and taste some of the fruit, then he would leave. He did not live at the estate on the field. He visited when he needed something.
Some of the other heirs had festivals on their estate. They invited the poor, the lame, the broken, the hungry to come and feast with them. Those people too were grafted into the inheritance. Those heirs increased the land. More and more fields were growing and inviting others into a glorious inheritance.
One day, the overseer of the estates decided to go to each field to see how it was going. He was delighted as he saw many growing, mulitplying, and thriving.
When he stopped at the one man’s field it was vacant. The estate was filled with dust. The dishes were not used, as he had not invited others in to dine with him. He had not cared for the poor, the lame, the broken. He had not cared for the field.
The overseer was saddened. He had been given so much and shared it with no one. He had been given an inheritance worth sharing. Everything he needed was provided on that field. The overseer waited for the man. He kept waiting. Hours turned into days. Finally the man showed up one weekend with his baskets to pull resources for himself. The overseer watched him from the estate.
The overseer went out to him and inquired, “What have you done to this estate? Your inheritance was meant to be shared. You were given this land and estate to be a blessing to those around you.”
The man looked perplexed. He replied, “I only accepted this land for my needs. Others can get their own land. I am also too busy to live on this estate and I do not have time to go find people to invite inside, plus they are poor-why would I invite them into such a nice place to ruin it? I would love to keep chatting with you but I have business appointment soon. I just stopped by here to get what I needed and be on my way. I have things to do.”
The overseer sadly replied, “Since you have chosen to live selfishly off your inheritance, what you have will be taken from you and handed over to the man over the hill. You see he took the field I gave him and has invited so many people onto his field that it has multiplied ten times over. He was given little and it has been continually muliplied. You have done nothing with what I gave you.”
The man was angry, “You can’t do that. This is my land.”
“On the contrary. This land belongs to the King, you are are a steward of what belongs to the Royal Estates. You were invited into our estate. You were to be faithful over your inheritance. Since you are not faithful, what you have will be taken and given to the one who is most faithful.”
The man dropped his basket in disbelief. The overseer pulled his name from the estate door. He took the keys, and drove down the road to meet with the one mulitplying fields.
The unfaithful servant wept. He had spent years doing nothing with what was given to him. He only took from the estate and field. He never followed the instructions of the overseer. He lived independently of the Royal guidelines. He was selfish and never cared for the poor, hurting, or forgotten. He cared only for himself. In return, he forfeited his inheritance. He was not given his inheritance based on his works. He, though, chose to forfiet his inheritance by his selfishness, disobedience, and lack of love for the King.
God has given each of us an inheritance in Christ, if we are followers of Jesus. It is not to be taken lightly or treated as nothing. We are to adhere to the principles of Jesus. We are not saved by works, lest no man can boast. Our inheritance comes by faith in the Son. Once we receive our inheritance, we are responsible for what we do with it. We are to invite others into knowing God, share with the poor, care for others, disciple others, share, be a blessing, increase what He has given. The parable of the talents tells us that God is looking at stewardship (Matthew 25:14-30).
Our freedom cost Jesus his life. God went to great lengths to graft us into His family. It is not an invitation to lawlesness (live independent of God) nor selfishness. It is an invitation to covenant. A covenant with God is stronger and more binding than a marriage covenant between humans. Married couples do not get married then one only visits when they need something. Hopefully, we would wince at the thought. Yet God is treated like a store, and He’s not. Come shop, get what you need, feel good, go home and live seperate from God. Jesus gave His life for a habitation-dwell with Him, be married to Him, seek Him first (even above a spouse or family), and invite others into the estate. God is after our whole heart. May you and I seek first the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God is like this field and estate that King’s son laid down His life to share with the world. His death opened them up to a world of blessing. It is to spit on the King’s Son to abuse His legacy. The proper response is honor. We honor the King and say thanks. We listen to His principles and through relationship with God seek to follow Royal guidelines. We are no longer slaves, we are heirs.