My Little Piece of Dirt

2 09 2010

If I had 40 days to talk about something, what would I do?

  • Would I choose 40 quiet evenings with good friends and let the conversation go where it would, and just enjoy the warmth and familiarity of the ordinary?
  • Would I feel urgency around a particular social issue and get on a soapbox?
  • Would I spend it with my family and make a last ditch effort to impart values?

That forty days would say a lot about me.

After Jesus died and rose again, He spent 40 days with the people who would run the next leg:

“After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3)

I am sitting here thinking about what those conversations would have been like; Jesus had forty days, just over a month to talk about what was most important to Him. How much can you say about the kingdom of God? I would most likely run out of words, but I have a feeling on the morning of the 40th Jesus was saying, “One more thing…” and “Oh, one more thing…”

It’s so convicting to me when I think that most of my conversations are about things that will eventually fall apart or fall away, grow old, become outdated; a lot of things that occupy my time now will not be of necessity to think about in a few years and will return to the dust of the earth, as I will as well. So really, I am talking a lot about what will eventually be dirt.

How often do I talk about BIG things; things that will live on forever? People need to hear about that, about things that aren’t paper or plastic, about things that don’t break or run out or have a list of fine-print conditions or have exceptions or exclusions.

Ah, but that is not practical, because in an hour I need to make dinner and I have to sort out tomorrow, and someone needs the car to get to work and I have to figure out where Josh is (does he know how to use the phone he is paying for?) and the dog needs a walk, and I have work piling up in my office.

If the doorbell rang right now and Jesus wanted to talk Kingdom, would I put it all down for Him? How about for 40 days? How about for my life?

— Teresa Klassen

P.S. If you want to know some of what Jesus might have chatted about with His followers, the NIV search results for the “Kingdom of God” are as follows:

1. Matthew 12:28

But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

2. Matthew 19:24

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

3. Matthew 21:32

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

4. Matthew 21:43

“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.

5. Mark 1:15

“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”

6. Mark 4:11

He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables

7. Mark 4:26

[ The Parable of the Growing Seed ] He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.

8. Mark 4:30

[ The Parable of the Mustard Seed ] Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it?

9. Mark 9:1

And he said to them, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.”

10. Mark 9:47

And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,

11. Mark 10:14

When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

12. Mark 10:15

I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

13. Mark 10:23

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”

14. Mark 10:24

The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!

15. Mark 10:25

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

16. Mark 12:34

When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

17. Mark 14:25

“I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God.”

18. Mark 15:43

Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body.

19. Luke 4:43

But he said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”

20. Luke 6:20

Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

21. Luke 7:28

I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

22. Luke 8:1

[ The Parable of the Sower ] After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him,

23. Luke 8:10

He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, ” ‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’

24. Luke 9:2

and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

25. Luke 9:11

but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.

26. Luke 9:27

I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”

27. Luke 9:60

Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

28. Luke 9:62

Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

29. Luke 10:9

Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’

30. Luke 10:11

‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’

31. Luke 11:20

But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.

32. Luke 13:18

[ The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast ] Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to?

33. Luke 13:20

Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to?

34. Luke 13:28

“There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.

35. Luke 13:29

People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.

36. Luke 14:15

[ The Parable of the Great Banquet ] When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”

37. Luke 16:16

[ Additional Teachings ] “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.

38. Luke 17:20

[ The Coming of the Kingdom of God ] Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation,

39. Luke 17:21

nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”

40. Luke 18:16

But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

41. Luke 18:17

I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

42. Luke 18:24

Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!

43. Luke 18:25

Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

44. Luke 18:29

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God

45. Luke 19:11

[ The Parable of the Ten Minas ] While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.

46. Luke 21:31

Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.

47. Luke 22:16

For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

48. Luke 22:18

For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

49. Luke 23:51

who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God.

50. John 3:3

In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. ”

51. John 3:5

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

52. Acts 1:3

After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

53. Acts 8:12

But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

54. Acts 14:22

strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.

55. Acts 19:8

Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.

56. Acts 28:23

They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.

57. Acts 28:31

Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

58. Romans 14:17

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

59. 1 Corinthians 4:20

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.

60. 1 Corinthians 6:9

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders

61. 1 Corinthians 6:10

nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

62. 1 Corinthians 15:50

I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

63. Galatians 5:21

and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

64. Colossians 4:11

Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me.

65. 2 Thessalonians 1:5

All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.

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