DAY 20 | THE LEAVEN OF HEAVEN by Tim Sheppard “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.” – Matthew 13:33 The word “put” is the Greek word enkrupto, from which we get “encryption.” It means to hide or conceal (as if by mixing). The woman in the Scripture above kneaded only a little amount of yeast or leaven into 60 pounds of flour. This invisible leaven “permeated every part of the dough,” expanding and transforming it in a visible way. Some expected Jesus to establish an earthly empire. In Luke 17:20–21, the Pharisees, wanting a physical sign, asked Him when the kingdom of God would come. Jesus explained that the kingdom “can’t be detected by visible signs.” Rather, it is “already among you.” Jesus Himself, as leaven kneaded into dough, pervaded society, transforming people’s lives. He is still among us! Through God’s redemptive work, the Holy Spirit—the leaven of heaven—is hidden within our hearts. The King and His kingdom permeate every area of our lives, changing us from the inside out! Inevitably, this invisible kingdom will become visible through us. Colossians 1:15 says, “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.” Just as God the Father became visible through Jesus, the Holy Spirit “makes us more and more like Him [Jesus] as we are changed into His glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Consider Joseph. Jealousy and hatred drove his brothers to sell him into slavery, resulting in Joseph’s banishment to Egypt. Even so, God was at work. Despite numerous trials, “the Lord was with Joseph” (Genesis 39:2, 3, 21, 23), and He caused Joseph to succeed in everything he did. Right now, you may be facing your own battles and asking, “God, why did You allow this to happen?” You can be confident that “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them” (Romans 8:28). And, just as God used Joseph’s exile to restore his family and save a nation from starvation, He just might be hiding you as leaven within the dough of difficulties to allow His kingdom to expand and become visible through you! Prayer Holy Spirit, I pray that You would permeate every part of my life and change me from the inside out. Use me in the situations around me to cause Your kingdom to shine through. In Jesus’ name, Amen. Activation Holy Spirit, what are You saying to me today? For Further Study Genesis 39–40 Psalm 10:1–11 Proverbs 4:1–6 Matthew 13:31–58 Memory Verse “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” – Matthew 11:28–30 To read the complete 21-day devotional, visit gatewaydevotions.com/fresh-start.

DAY 20 | THE LEAVEN OF HEAVEN by Tim Sheppard “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a Continue Reading →