I need to know what God's Kingdom is like. The Bible tells me.
"He put another parable before them, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also...
...The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field...
...The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.'...
...The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field...
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls...
...The kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind...
And he said to them, 'Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.'... " - Matthew 13:24-26, 31, 33, 44-45, 47, 52 ESV
"...the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents..." - Matthew 18:23-24 ESV
"For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard..." - Matthew 20:1 ESV
"The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son..." - Matthew 22:2 ESV
"Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise..." - Matthew 25:1-2 ESV
"He said therefore, 'What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches..." - Luke 13:18-19 ESV
His kingdom is gracious and generous. If you read each one you see something special. He has a net because He wants to redeem valuable things. He has a Son and He wants to throw a party for His Son. He wants people there for the celebration.
The Bible tells us a hundred things we could never know otherwise... a thousand. Reading it shows us the outside and the inside. It shows us Heaven and gives us glimpses of Hell.
"If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.' Philip said to him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? " - John 14:7-9 ESV
We must know the Son to see what the kingdom is like from the inside.
As I read these passages this morning (I only gave the first line or two of each) I want the words to sink deep into my soul. I want the comparison to give me contrast as I make decisions.
What is God's kingdom like? Who am I seeking? I want my representation to be gracious so that the people who see me will see a contrast and not just more of the same.