Day 6

Rise and Shine

Luke 13:20–21 (ESV): “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? 21 It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.”
By: Matt Prine, Global Engagement Coordinator, WorldVenture

I try to get up early each day. My typical time to rise is 5:30am - but it isn’t because I am “super spiritual” or anything like that. It’s because 5:30am is the only time when my house is quiet. I am the proud daddy of four children; three rambunctious little boys and a sweet little girl. Needless to say, moments of silence in my house are a little like Sasquatch... elusive. I sit with my Bible and a cup of coffee, asking the Lord to speak to me. Then it happens, a noise from the boys’ room breaks the silence. They are awake. The first one up always wakes the others. It goes something like this: Scene opens: *Jude speaking loudly* “Jace, Jackson, do y’all want to play trains?” They rarely decline such a compelling offer. Soon thereafter, they are out of their room, and their vitality begins to infect the rest of the house. They permeate every corner of the house until no one is left sleeping, and our home becomes a hive of activity. They do this because it’s their nature. It’s who they are, and they don’t want to play alone.

My children in many ways are like yeast, making their way through freshly kneaded dough. When yeast is introduced to the equation, it starts a process that cannot be reversed (exactly like when my kids are woken up - they’re not going back down). The yeast multiplies exponentially, and the dough is transformed. I love one of the definitions of the word leaven: “a pervasive influence that modifies something or transforms it for the better.” Transforms it for the better. Bread is better after the yeast has done its work. While I truly enjoy those moments of silence in the mornings, my house is better when the children are buzzing with life. The noise communicates to me part of my purpose in this world and reminds me that the Lord has given me lives to shepherd.

In Luke 13, Jesus says that the Kingdom of God is like leaven, or yeast. The Kingdom of God brings with it transformation of people, households, communities, and even the whole world! But how? When someone comes to know the Lord, He has a very specific purpose for them to fulfill. He intends them to be catalysts of God-honoring, and distinct change in their environments - like yeast. The presence of Christ-followers should make a context better as they multiply disciple-making worshippers around them. Christians should be excited to be able to “wake their brothers and sisters up to play.” This is the awakening that the Lord is seeking on earth.

Here’s the crazy truth: the Lord intends to use US to bring that awakening to Houston. Empowered by His Spirit, we can be like that “leaven that a woman took, and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.” We can be like my silly kiddos who after waking up, cannot help but wake their siblings. We can be the transformative agent in our greater Houston communities that are bringing the message of life to those who are dead.

Many of us have heard the question asked: If your church closed its doors tomorrow, would anyone in the community notice? If we are living like yeast in dough, then such an event should dramatically impact the community. So, will we be a pervasive Gospel influence in Houston, bringing eternal change that cannot be undone? Will we be a catalyst of God-honoring change in all areas of life for the people of the greater Houston area? Don’t let your vision stop here either... Who does the Lord intend to transform among the nations, through your faithful engagement, with His redemptive plan?

We have been awakened, brothers and sisters. Who do you intend to “wake up” to join you in this amazing life in Christ?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for allowing me to be a part of what you are doing in Houston and around the world. I pray that you would help me find meaningful and tangible ways that I can live as the leaven of the Kingdom of God - making a distinct difference in my context. Lord, use my church to bring change to our community, and let me feel a deep and abiding burden for those who do not know you. Remove any complacency that I harbor in my heart and give me a holy discontentment with how things are! Bring an awakening that would be far reaching - an awakening that is undeniably from YOU!