Sermons

Summary: The Kingdom grows. How does it grow in 1) our lives 2) our community 3) Our world (a call to involvement, evangelism and social action, really)

The mustard seed and the yeast Mt 13:31-33 WBC 24/3/2 pm

2 parables of GROWTH.

- imperceptible start -> massive endings

- “mighty oaks from little acorns grow”

- massive, fruitful, tasty, sheltering, helpful endings

It’s about the power of this stuff. The KOG. It’s transforming power. It’s pervasive power. The invasiveness, humungousnes, growingness of the work of God in

- our lives… ours service.. our community… our world

It’s about it starting off in

- just going to a quiz evening!

- Sitting on our mother’s knee listening to stories about Jesus

- Talking with your neighbour… or a hitchhiker… about God

- Finding yourself in church… alpha… Emmaus

… and before you know it it is everything to you

- you live for it

- are waiting to die for/with/in it

- can’t get enough of it

- can’t stop reading the Bible. Can’t stop loving Jesus

- can’t get enough of Him… of the rule of God in your life

- “Lord, reign on me!!”

As I look at the parable of the dough & yeast, I guess this is the first thing the dough could be

1) YOUR LIFE

How the message about Jesus… the rule of God… just keeps taking more and more territory in your life

- because you want it

- because he’s so winsome… desirable. He beckons ‘et me in’

Successively you open doors to Him:

-. The throne room -> the heart (your affections) -> the mind (your thoughts) -> the rooms (with dirt, dust and hurts in) -> the will

Oh, the bitter shame and sorrow

that a time could ever be,

when I let the Saviour’s pity

plead in vain, and proudly answered:

All of self, and none of thee!

Yet he found me: I beheld him

bleeding on the accursèd tree,

heard him pray: Forgive them, Father;

and my wistful heart said faintly:

Some of self and some of thee!

Day by day his tender mercy,

healing, helping, full and free:

sweet and strong, and ah! so patient,

brought me lower, while I whispered:

Less of self and more of thee!

Higher than the highest heaven,

deeper than the deepest sea;

Lord, thy love at last hath conquered;

grant me now my supplication:

None of self and all of thee!

Words: Theodore Monod, 1874

Before you know it… and as the years go by and you grow in discipleship- the yeast works its way through the whole of your life… and has grown beyond all expectancy

The Key thing is the GROWTH, here. But what else could the dough be? What else could the KOG be growing in?

2) THE COMMUNITY

This could be talking about the impact of the KOG in the community around you

– or, if you like, YOUR impact on the community around you.

– YOU could well be the yeast, here

And here’s the effect as you get: ‘tucked in’… ‘mixed in’…

- where you work. Where you serve. With your neighbours. In your charity project. In your community project… jubilee celebration… ante-natal class… students union… lift sharing scheme… kids club

- something, seemingly, so small – but somehow (eternity will tell) it ends up making a big difference

- note- it does so imperceptibly!

- Can’t find the mustard seed, or the yeast if you go looking for them! Hard to say “there was the starting point.. or person!”

- Particularly with the yeast. Even before it’s lost in the dough it’s dissolved in water.

- How imperceptible you/the deeds can seem. But how powerful

This answers ‘but I can’t see the difference I’m making!”

- = often so true! And hard to see! But after time you see you ARE making a difference

- people come and sit in your shade (Mk), or rest on your branches... enjoy the loaf.

- But “do not despise the day of small beginnings” (Zech 4:10)

- W Clement Stone in THE SUCCESS SYSTEM THAT NEVER FAILS (Englewood Cliff, NJ, Prentice Hall, Inc., 1962) told about a young businessman in Atlanta named Jack Stephens who got a call from a friend who was director of a local Boy’s Club asking him to pick up a young boy and his mother and take them to a hospital. The boy has leukaemia Jack was told, and probably had only a few days to live. Since the boy’s home was only a few blocks away from his own. Jack Stephens agreed to this request. At eight that morning, the mother of the boy was sitting in the front seat of Jack’s car. The child was so weak that he was lying down, his head in his mother’s lap, his little feet resting on Jack’s right leg. After starting the motor, Jack glanced down at the youngster, who was staring at him. Their eyes met. "Are you God?" the boy asked. Jack hesitated, then answered softly, "No, son. Why do you ask?" "Mother said God would come soon and take me away with him." said the young fellow. His plaintive words nearly broke Jack’s heart. Six days later that young fellow did go to be with God. But a radical changed took place in Jack Stephens’ life. The picture of that young boy lying with his head in his mother’s lap--the eyes of that helpless child and the question, "Are you God?" burned themselves forever into his heart and mind. He knew he had to do more than he had been doing. Soon Jack Stephens himself was director of the Joseph B. Whitehead Memorial Boy’s Club in Atlanta.

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