Luke 1:30-33: “But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.’”

God’s kingdom will never end – that’s what Angel Gabriel told Mary when he announced the coming of Jesus, the Messiah.

What is the kingdom of God?

Jesus summed up the Golden Rule when He preached His sermon on the mount (Matthew 7:12):

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Jesus lived the Golden Rule like no other. He is the walking, talking, living and breathing Kingdom of God. Ironically, the Golden Rule is no rule. It is a way of life. And we have trouble living this way, unless we have allowed Jesus to renew us from within.

Our renewal develops gradually over the course of a lifetime. Jesus compared this to yeast permeating dough (Matthew 13:33):

He told them still another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.'”

We mostly think about the advancement of God’s kingdom in terms of introducing Jesus globally. And this is part it. The other part is discovering Jesus on a personal level. The knowledge of Him sinks in slowly, until our hearts become saturated with the love of Christ. We get to know Him a little bit better every day as we take our faltering steps in a broken world and follow Him. By doing so, we become agents of hope.

It’s a natural phenomenon: Yeast bacteria permeating the dough make sourdough bread; and a child of God holding on to the hand of Jesus spreads the kingdom of God.

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