Mark 4:26 Jesus also said, “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. 28 The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. 29 And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.”
Farmer’s hand planting seed in soil
So we learned yesterday that when a seed falls on good, receptive soil it produces. Jesus continues on today with the thought of what that soil produces in the believer to cause that increase of influence and power. Whether we understand it or not there is a Kingdom of God and Jesus references that Kingdom in verse 26 and the Kingdom He speaks about is the Kingdom of God. You might ask “How can I realize the Kingdom of God without being there because I am in a very lost and dying world!” You are right. But just think about the thin veil that separates our world from the other world that is waiting for us. I am talking about thes world that Jesus promised and maybe you will be able to realize that we can get glimpses into that new reality through our faith and through the teaching of God’s Word. In Matthew 4:17 Jesus said From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” There is a Kingdom of God and that realization causes our faith to soar. All of the world’s craziness suddenly becomes less dominant in our lives and all of the riots, hatred, and upside down thinking begins to fade. The main priority, which is the growing of our faith takes over in our reasoning and we begin to live and think beyond those things that are happening around us.
If God could whisper to us from that other kingdom and encourage us He might say “Don’t just hang in there, but advance with the Gospel!!” But guess what? That is exactly what He is challenging us to do. Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. The disciples of the day were being compelled to take up those crosses in a time when the Gospel was totally misunderstood and abused. At least we have what we call a “Christian Nation.” But we only have a short window of time to share the message of Christ because we are seeing the trailer for the eternal movie of destiny called The Return of Jesus. Oh it is going to happen!!! But before that happens we have a chance to present the gospel and see our faith grow to unlimited dimensions. As we read further in Mark 4, we read the words of Jesus talking about this powerful faith 30 Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it? 31 It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds, 32 but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.”
So what becomes of this seed that is sown on the good soil that births a new life? It germinates into a great seed of faith. The seed of faith in each of us is much greater than we can even realize at the time of salvation, but that faith is wanting to sprout into a powerful force that compels us to take up our cross and follow Jesus. Sadly the pride of our lives can sometimes thwart all this faith wants to be by putting our worldly perspective on it. This causes those who experience this great faith to diminish it by abusing the very essence of that faith. The purity of this faith must be held onto and kept in the right perspective or we will become puffed up and prideful and miss the point of the whole thing.
This happened with the disciples who were following Jesus when in Matthew 18 they asked this question 1 About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” 2 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. 3 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4 So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. We can see that a great amount of humility comes with this faith that helps us realize the Kingdom of God in our thinking.
As I wrote yesterday it is important to look closer to what God is trying show each of us. What is Jesus speaking to your heart now as you think about this mustard seed faith? For me He is giving me a realization of the Kingdom of God and the realization that I need to be sharing about it wherever I go. When I begin to do this it stirs that mustard seed faith and causes it to sprout a power that God can use for His glory. John 14 begins to make more sense the more we learn to trust God. John 14:12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! Once again, let me say again “I believe this stuff!”
Don’t be halfhearted in your belief, but be “all in” and just watch that seed grow!!
The Pilgrimage continues…..