Summary: Yip God is at work, the citizens of his kingdom are at work. What part do we play in Kingdom growth. A short sermon that leaves the listener thinking I hope.
The Parable of the growing seed Mark 4:26-29
This wee parable is actually about ‘us’ and it’s about the kingdom of God – the reign of God in our lives.
It speaks about how by ourselves we are helpless. The farmer plants the seed, but he is not the mechanism behind its growth. Even if he’s a Lincoln University graduate with a degree in Horticulture (Agricultural University) he is not the one who gives the plant life. This is pre-programmed into every seed, every grain. It is God’s design that gives the plant life. In the same way God’s kingdom is God’s kingdom we come into it! In coming into God’s kingdom we find grace, we are saved by that grace of God through the faith we place in him. But it is not our kingdom it’s his, it not us that saves it is God. When we try to conform God’s kingdom to our own thinking, our own way of being we might get in its way, we might stop the work of God’s Spirit in our lives as we are not growing as God would have us grow. As we conform ourselves to growing as God would have us grow his Kingdom on Earth expands “night or day whether we sleep or get up the seed sprouts and grows.”
This growing in God is often not perceived as growth. We might look back and say I was here but now I’m in a place that I never believed possible. Once needy now able to meet needs, once hungry now able to feed others, one lost in my own world of sin now able to reach out and point others to the one who saved me.
The Kingdom of God is growing! William Barcley uses this example: When Elizabeth Fry went to Newgate prison in 1817 she found in the women’s quarters three hundred women and numberless children crammed into two small wards. They lived and cooked and ate and slept on the floor. The only attendants were a man and his son. They crowded, half naked, almost like beasts, begging for money which they spent on booze at the bar of the prison itself. That was two hundred years ago, today we would find this sort of thing unthinkable … why… because the Kingdom of God is growing. Christian social reformers have led the way.
God continues to lead the charge in this growing in this growth…just as natures growth is a steady thing so is the growth of God’s Kingdom. Interestingly I think we will find it may be a bit seasonal, with the rapid growth of revival occurring, then a winter in which very little appears to be happening, or a fallow season when it appears that the weeds are taking over but always…growth is occurring. God is at work and his kingdom is expanding, increasing in individuals and in society. Jesus is telling us that this will eventually come to a conclusion, a harvest.
Two things from this, are we ready for the harvest but more importantly are we playing our part in the growth, the growth that God is making, that we can be involved in expanding the kingdom as we share the our experience of his kingdom with others. As we increase through our reading of scripture our knowledge of God, in our meeting with other believers in worshipping God and in our sharing of ourselves…our God given abilities and resources the kingdom of God continues to grow.