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Devotional: March 22, 2021

“How can we picture God’s kingdom? What kind of story can we use? It’s like an acorn. When it lands on the ground it is quite small as seeds go, yet once it is planted it grows into a huge oak tree with thick branches. Eagles nest in it.”

Mark 4: 30-32 The Message

Trees can be inspiring. We have quite a few in our yard, including one which has been home to an owl for some months now. We hear him hooting at night. During the day, we can often look up into the branches and see him looking down at us from his perch at the top of the tree. When we watch him take off to fly, his wing span is amazing. Our tree shelters him.

Jesus once compared God’s kingdom to an acorn. Acorns are not large. Yet when planted, they begin to grow. Through the years, each acorn may become an enormous imposing tree, and thick branches.

The vast contrast between the small acorn and the large tree is the main point Jesus was trying to convey with this parable. God’s kingdom can seem small and unimpressive at first. Think of how many people dismissed Jesus and His words early on in His ministry. When the people first heard of Jesus, He was largely ignored, much as we might dismiss a single acorn in the physical world.

Yet by the time Jesus was resurrected, all of Jerusalem knew His name. Jesus spoke of how the full flourishing of God’s kingdom might be compared to a large tree, offering shelter and nesting spots for the eagles. An eagle's nest is far from small, with some actually reaching the size of a small car.

The analogy found in this parable is beautiful. God wants to be that huge and towering tree in our lives. He is able to hold any amount of stress or weight which we carry. In addition, the Lord wants to provide us with safety, shelter, and an amazing view of His kingdom.

God created the magnificent eagle. It goes out into the skies and soars. Yet it needs shelter and a safe place to raise its young. God’s kingdom offers that sturdy shelter to all who put their trust in Jesus Christ. Because of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, we are offered a long-lasting relationship with the Lord.

While a tree may someday fall to the ground, the Lord can provide us with something far greater: a lifelong relationship with Him. When we acknowledge who He is and ask Him into our hearts, He begins to build that relationship with us. Like the smallest twig in a nest, God will help us build our lives into a full and sturdy home for Him to live in. We will be forever under God’s protection. We will not be alone when we suffer through storms. Nor will we be alone when we celebrate God’s amazing view.

God’s kingdom may start small, but it grows to become huge, like a great tree. As eagles nest in the branches of such impressive trees, so may we rest in God, and in His kingdom!

Prayer

Almighty God, and Lord of all creation,

I thank You for caring for every detail of my life. Forgive me when I turn away from You, and attempt to build parts of my life without You. Help me to lean on You. I want to trust You with every detail of my life, for then I may show others Your desire to help them. Loving Lord, You nurture all who give their lives to You. I give You praise for Your care for all of Your creatures, from acorns, to trees, to eagles, to us. I offer this prayer in the name of Your son, and my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen


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