Sermons

Summary: Our ministry is essential to the growth of the kingdom. It is like a small mustard seed that grows and influences everything

“Do you have a mustard seed or yeast? – Luke 13:10-21

Gladstone Baptist Church – 25/2/07 am

S1 - Sometimes we feel that when we minister to others it won’t make much of a difference for his kingdom. – OOPS

I’ve got a quick quiz for you this morning … And I’ve got some prizes for the correct answers.

- What is the world’s biggest mountain? (Mt. Everest)

- What type of tree is the tallest? (Redwood)

- Who is the world’s richest man? (Bill Gates)

- What is the longest chapter of the Bible? (Psalm 119)

Well you have done very well at the quiz so far but it is not quite over.

- What is the world’s smallest mountain range? (Sutter Buttes in California)

- What type a tree is the shortest? (Dwarf Willow 5cm when full grown)

- Who is the world’s poorest man? (Jed Matthews owes 22.4 million and has no assets due to bad investments in an Internet company)

- What is the shortest chapter of the Bible? (Psalm 117 with only 2 verses)

Isn’t it amazing that with our combined wisdom, we knew the answers to the largest questions, but not the smallest. That is a bit of a commentary on life isn’t it. It is the big, flashy, fancy things that catch our eye, not the small, insignificant or normal things. We remember the big achievements, but give very little consideration to the small things that are done. Big is best is what the world’s motto is.

Do you ever feel as if what you do for God is not significant and could never make a difference for him? Last week we inducted all our ministry leaders. And I know that there were some people who were reticent to stand up because they felt that what they did really didn’t count. Not compared to what others were doing and the impact they were having. Their contribution to God’s work is something. But yours is - well nothing out of the ordinary. It is not noteworthy and definitely wouldn’t amount to much. Is this you this morning? Just plain Jane doing what comes naturally.

S2 - Sometimes that is reinforced by other’s opinions of us (Hudson Taylor’s experience vs Jesus experience) vs 10-14 - UGH

Sometimes this can be reinforced to us by others.

William Carey is seen as the father of modern missions. He was born in 1761 in the remote village of Paulerspury, Nothamptonshire, England. His parents were plain people and so was young William. At the age of seven William developed a skin disease that was aggravated by exposure to sunlight and so to keep him out of the sunlight, he became an apprentice shoemaker when he was 14 years of age. He gave his life to God and felt called to become a Baptist pastor. However, He was never considered a good speaker. He was slight of build, prematurely bald, and crude in his speech. His first year at Olney was so unimpressive that the church refused to ordain him. One hearer commented about his sermon as, "weak and crude as anything ever called a sermon."

Carey often said of himself that his one great strength was that he was a "plodder". He may not have had the greatest skills but he had extraordinary tenacity. So, the young preacher persevered and was finally ordained.

Carey developed a love for the stories of the explorers and the world at large. With his skills as a shoe maker, he made a little leather globe and began to teach children about geography and the world. Through this came a passion to reach people across the world for Christ. This grew and soon Carey felt a call to go overseas himself and he sought to mobilise others also. However, his efforts were not appreciated. When he addressed the Minister’s Fraternal of the Northampton Baptist Association in 1787 concerning missions John Ryland Sr. rebuked him saying, "Sit down young man. You are an enthusiast! When God pleases to convert the heathen, He will do it without consulting you or me."

Talk about a put down. Have you ever been put down like that. Told that what you are doing is not important. That it is not important or values. That God doesn’t appreciate what you are doing. Or that it shouldn’t be done that way. That you haven’t got what it takes. That you are too young. That you haven’t got enough experience. The ways we could express this type of rebuke are endless, but the meaning is the same – What you are doing for God is not acceptable.

It might surprise you that Jesus heard rebukes like this also. If you have your bibles there, open them up to Luke 13:10-21

. 10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.

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