Summary: What type of faith nest are you building in the Kingdom of God?
Nesting in the Mustard Tree
by Pastor Jim May
God, in His great love and infinite mercy to fallen man, has given us a mustard seed of faith that is planted in us by hearing the Word of God. That faith gives us the ability to please God and to believe that He is God, and in turn to worship Him and to become a part of His Kingdom.
When Jesus died on the cross and resurrected from the dead, that little mustard seed of faith, was then broadcast, much like a farmer would broadcast, or spread his seed over the field. That little mustard seed of faith begins as a little glimmer of hope; the very smallest of ideas in your heart and mind. Yet it is an idea that takes root and begins to grow as fast as we will allow it to.
Whether that seed of faith begins to grow and develop into a greater faith, or whether it is destroyed and dies, depends upon only one thing.
It doesn’t depend upon the quality of the seed. The seed is perfect in every way. The seed is the same for every man, woman and child who is ever born. We read in Acts 10:34, "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons…, and then we read in Romans 12:3 where Paul says that, “…God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Thus we see that an impartial God gives to every one of us the same small mustard seed of faith. Therefore the seed is perfect.
Secondly, the growth of the seed is not determined by the condition, or ability of the one who sows, or plants it. Who is the sower of the mustard seed of faith? That sower is God alone. Deuteronomy 32:4 says, speaking about our God, that, "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he." James 1:17 tells us that, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." So then, the seed is perfect and the sower is perfect, so where is the variable that determines whether the seed will grow?
That variable is the “ground”, or the heart of the man who receives the seed of faith! This same allegory of the mustard seed of faith being sown in the heart of men is found in the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:4-8, " …And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty-fold, some thirty-fold."
I won’t deal with the various types of “ground” or heart of those who allow the mustard seed of faith to die in them. I don’t think that any of you in this room will fall into these categories and we have heard enough about those.
I want to talk about the mustard seed of faith that falls on the good ground. It’s the seed of faith that begins to germinate, to grow and then fill our lives with all things that pertain to the Kingdom of God.
Let’s look at two passages of scripture that both describe the same allegory in almost the same terminology. The first one is found in Matthew 13:31-32, "Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof." The second passage is found in Luke 13:18-19, "Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it."
Two passages of scripture that describe the growth of faith, and the growth of all things that pertain to the Kingdom of God, in the heart of a man; and relate them to the mustard seed of faith growing into a tree with many branches, and leaves, a strong stem or trunk, and a large, nourishing root system to support it. That tree is rooted solid and will withstand the storms of life.