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Summary: Song of Solomon 2:15 says, "Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes."

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THE LITTLE THINGS

Matthew 13:31-33

Introduction:

1. I remember a conversation I once had with a friend of mine that I traveled with—Bill Daab.

2. We were discussing the Christ life and exactly what it means!

3. I remember saying, "Well, I quit doing all the big things that were bad and I am trying to do all the big things that Christians do…I go to church, read my Bible, Pray, etc….it is just some of the small stuff that I need to work on!"

4. I remember his response as clearly as if it were yesterday, "Andrew, Christianity is pretty much the small stuff!’

5. Song of Solomon 2:15 says, "Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes."

6. It is the little things in the Christian life that make or break us—not the big things!

7. Very few of us have what we would call "big problems!"

8. But we all have little things we need to work on.

9. Jesus addresses some small things in our passage today.

10. He begins with something small that we need to advance in our Christian life.

11. He then speaks of something small that we need to conquer in order to stay pure!

12. We must pay attention to the small things of life!

I. The Mustard Seed—Our Faith (Matthew 13:31-32; 17:20)

· The Mustard Seed was the smallest seed that the people of Jesus day would sow in their garden.

· He was not saying that all that was needed was small faith!

· He was speaking of how faith is like a seed!

A. First a seed must have depth.

1. Do you remember the parable of the sower and the seed?

2. Do you remember how that some seed fell on dirt that was on a rocky shelf?

3. It had no depth of earth.

4. Jesus compared a seed that was not planted in deep ground to a false conversion.

5. For a seed to produce, it must be sown in the right kind of soil.

6. So, borrowing from the parable of the sower, the seed, and the soils—our Faith begins with Salvation!

7. The seed of God’s word is sown in our heart.

8. "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).

B. Then a seed must die.

1. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal" (John 12:24-25).

2. "Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die" (I Corinthians 15:36).

3. A seed that is not planted (saving faith), and does not die will never grow!

4. This is speaking of death to self and life in Christ—"I am crucified with Christi…." (Galatians 2:20)

5. We must not have faith in faith!

6. We must not have faith in ourselves—we must die to what we can do in the Christian life.

7. We must awake to new life in Christ!

8. A seed dies, but through that death is turned into something vastly different and with much more potential.

C. A seed must develop.

1. "For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear" (Mark 4:28).

2. How much good would it do for a farmer to sow some corn, see it starting to sprout out of the ground, which proves that the seed itself died, and then sees the plants stop growing?

3. Jesus, here, is not talking only about how small the mustard seed is—but the potential of how big it will grow as it develops!

4. I believe we can apply this to our lives.

5. The Kingdom of Heaven is within us—it is seen by faith!

6. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1).

7. This Faith is to be like a seed, which:

a. Has Depth

b. Dies

c. Develops

D. The mustard tree eventually supported other things (Matthew 13:32).

1. Faith that has grown properly will result in blessing and helping many other people!

2. Mark 2:1-5—the story of the paralytic—being carried by four men.

3. The text says, Jesus "saw their faith."

4. They had a faith that helped someone else out.

5. What about your faith?

6. Is it enough to cause you to live right and die to self?

7. Is it enough to develop you into what you should be in Christ?

8. Is it enough to cause you to bring your friends and family members to Christ?

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