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Kingdom is worth travail

If you've been called to the Kingdom of Heaven, if you've been called to act upon the Gospel, to be an evangelist, a preacher, or a publisher of the Good Tidings - don't ask anybody for permission! Don't ask your wife, don't ask your children, don't ask your neighbor down the street. Don't call a community pow-wow together and say, "I think God has been speaking to me and He wants me to do this for Him. What do you think?" They will resist you. Any new idea is resisted. A prophet is never received in his own community.48 Luke 4:24 Then He said, "Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country." You have to act on it. You're going to be persecuted. You will not be received. Don't let them stop you. Act on it. You have all the authority you need. You don't need anyone's permission. If God gives you the go ahead, go for it. Yes, you will be met with resistance. Yes, the community will hate you. Yes, they will plot to destroy you. Yes, they will imprison you. And just because all these things happen and they wage war on the Kingdom of Heaven, it doesn't mean you're wrong.49 1 Peter 4:12- 13 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

You could look at this travail in many ways. You could consider it as a test of God, to check out your loyalty, to refine you as you would refine gold.50 Malachi 3:2-3 "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire And like launderer's soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness." Or you could look on it as people reacting with jealousy to the liberty that God has given you. For some reason they don't think they can have the same liberty. It reminds me of one of Aesop's fables where a fox saw grapes hanging from a tree and his mouth watered for those grapes. He jumped and jumped, trying to reach those grapes. Finally he leaves exhausted and grumbling, "Those grapes were probably bitter and sour anyway. They wouldn't have been any good." It is easy to complain about something we failed to attain.

I bet those grapes were pretty sweet - and so is the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven is very sweet. Many people hear of the Kingdom and desire it, but because of the travail they conclude, "The Kingdom of Heaven isn't worth it."51 Matthew 13:21 "yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles."

As in the parable of the seeds, some seeds were scattered on stony ground, some on good soil and some were plucked up by crows. And yet those that survived found the Kingdom to be of abundance.52 Matthew 13:3-8 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: "Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty." So let us travail. Some of us, before we die, will see the Kingdom of Heaven.53 Luke 9:27 "But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God." Even though there is much violence upon the Kingdom - hang in there.54 Matthew 11:12 "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force."

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