Summary: Jesus describes and defines the kingdom of God and how it is built. (Not so rough draft)
And He said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."
Then He said, "To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade."
And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it. But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples. Mark 4:26-34
Kingdom Building God's Way
Introduction - The Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee
There are two major bodies of water in the land where Jesus walked. One is the Sea of Galilee, a beautiful lake 13 miles long and 7 ½ miles wide filled with fish and surrounded by lush foliage. The other body of water is the Dead Sea, 50 miles long and 11 miles wide, the shoreline of which is 1300 feet below sea level. Seven million tons of water evaporate from the Dead Sea every day. The saline or salt content of the water of the Dead Sea ranges from 26-35%, making it 10 times saltier than the oceans of the world. There’s no seaweed or plants of any kind in or around the water. There are no fish or any kind of swimming, squirming creatures living in or near the water. As a matter of fact, what you’ll see on the shores of the Sea is white, crystals of salt covering EVERYTHING. According to extremescience.com, fish accidentally swimming into the waters from one of the several freshwater streams that feed the Sea are killed instantly, their bodies quickly coated with a preserving layer of salt crystals and then tossed onto shore by the wind and waves. Both the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea are fed by the Jordan River There is really only one difference between these two bodies of water, really only one thing that causes the Sea of Galilee to be beautiful and alive while the Dead Sea is barren and lifeless. The Sea of Galilee has an outlet; the Dead Sea does not! Water flows through the Sea of Galilee. Water flows into the Dead Sea but not out!
God’s Process in Kingdom Building 26-29
God’s way of growing things (the church) is not always the way we might want to grow them. We discover four things regarding the growth he gives.
First, we find that Growth is Inconceivable. Regardless of what you have read or studied concerning church growth principles, God grows the church. After all, it is His church!
Second, we find that Growth is Gradual. True church growth is a gradual event. Like our bodies, God grows the church slowly. There are exceptions to this but most church growth is a gradual thing.
And we do find that Growth is Inevitable. A living organism will either be growing or dying. There really is very little in between.
But all Growth is Supernatural because it is of God. A born again or redeemed person is supernaturally given life by the Creator and Sustainer of life ---Jesus Christ.
Illustration – Growing the Wrong Seeds
Some time ago "Reader’s Digest" told the story about a company who mailed out some special advertising business post cards with a mustard seed glued to it with the following caption that went something like this: "If you have faith as small as this mustard seed in our (product), you are guaranteed to get excellent results and be totally satisfied." -- Signed, The Management
A few months later one recipient of this promotional piece wrote back to the company and said, "You will be very interested to know that I planted the mustard seed you sent on your advertising card and it has grown into a very healthy bush producing wonderful tomatoes!"
(Sometimes we grow things we didn’t expect, because we plant that wrong seeds)
Then, we find…
God’s Purpose in Kingdom Building 30-32
Note that it begins Insignificantly.
It continues Imperceptibly.
It stands Unbelievably.
Finally, it’s completed Majestically.
It is God who completes the work.
Illustration – Sprouted to Life Again