The nature of the Kingdom of God is that it is always increasing. We can see that in many of the parables concerning God’s Kingdom.
Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-33)
Isiah also testified to this when he prophesied the coming Messiah hundreds of years before the event:
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end… (Isaiah 9:6-7a)
The Kingdom is always meant to advance in us individually and corporately as the Lord takes us from “glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18) and from “faith to faith” (Romans 1:17).
One of the key ingredients in this process of increase is inheritance. Inheritance is the link between the generations. It is what each generation receives from the previous generation and then what they pass on to the next. When one generation has been fruitful and multiplies, the next generation starts out ahead of where they otherwise would have had to start in a certain area of life (e.g., a financial inheritance would enable a young couple to buy a house or a car much earlier than they could have if they had to depend only on their income).
If we understand that an inheritance can establish and enable each generation to advance the Kingdom, we become aware of the responsibility that comes with it. When we receive an inheritance we are freely getting what someone else bought with a price. The principle of inheritance makes each generation responsible to both receive and honor what has been passed on from the previous generation and then to pay their own price to make it grow so that the next generation starts out ahead of them. The ceiling of one generation becomes the floor of the next. This requires us to be aware that our actions can affect generations ahead of us.
“Years ago there were two men, Jonathan Edwards and Max Jukes. These two men lived contemporarily and their family history was traced for a certain number of generations. Max was a drunken criminal. Max has 1,026 descendants. 300 were in prison. 190 were prostitutes, and 68- were alcoholics. Jonathan Edwards had 929 descendants by contrast and 430 were ministers of the gospel. 86 were university professors, 13 university presidents, 73 wrote good books, 7 elected to congress and 1 a vice-president of the United Stares. Tell me that generations are not affected by what we do.”
We can see from the above story the effect that righteousness will have on the way we think because “a righteous man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” (Proverbs 13:22).
One of the keys that enables one generation to give an inheritance and the next generation to receive it, is honor. Honor joins the generations. A culture of honor is not only a vital ingredient in unity, it is also an important Kingdom value that enables us to receive life.
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12).
It is important to note the relationship between life and honor. Honor creates a highway on which life travels, and it is a key virtue in creating and maintaining and advancing Kingdom culture.
God’s heart is that we continue from one generation to the next. In everything He has done with us, His heart is that the next generation would be aware of His power, His deliverance, His love, His grace, and His might, and that the next generation would go beyond where the previous generation has been. Let us meditate on the following Scriptures for this truth to become a reality in our lives:
- Psalm 22:30-31
- Psalm 48:12-14
- Psalm 71:18, 28
- Psalm 102:18
- Psalm 145:4-7, 11-13