Read: Mark 4
“…And finally the grain ripens.” (Mark 4:28, NLT)
Jesus spent a fair amount of time in both private settings and public presentations describing the kingdom of God to people. One of the compelling ways he did that was through stories—parables—earthy vignettes that revealed spiritual truth about God, heaven and the kingdom life. Jesus did that because people’s understanding of God’s kingdom had gotten messed up over the thousands of years since God first called the tribes of Israel out of Egypt and fashioned them into a people for himself. So through parables, he reminded them of what God and his rule was really like.
Of the many wonderful descriptions Jesus gave, we find two stories about seeds in Mark 4:26-34 that describe the amazing, unstoppable growth of God’s kingdom on Planet Earth: The parable of the growing seed and the parable of the mustard seed. The point of both is that when the seed—the Word of God—is faithfully planted in good soil—the hearts of open and hungry people—the rule of God will begin to grow. Little by little, imperceptibly, over time the kingdom begins to expand, dominate and even perpetuate itself until it becomes a major, irresistible, governing force in individual lives, whole families, communities, and entire people groups.
I hope that encourages you—it does me! Sometimes we get frustrated by the lack of growth of God’s kingdom in our lives, or our churches, or perhaps by what we may perceive as a falling away from the rule of God in our nation. To be sure, there are enemies and forces that not only oppose the kingdom, but are actively working to kill it off. The truth is, the growth of the kingdom is not an easy thing because there is a very strong Enemy whose chief objective is to stop it. Satan is alive and well on God’s planet, and he will be a force to be reckoned with until his time is up.
However, at the end of the day, the kingdom of God is unstoppable. People who claim to follow God may come and go, churches that once thrived may plateau, decline or perhaps even close their doors; denominations will rise and fall; nations will wander from the guiding principles that once made them a godly nation—and you might even find your own passion for the rule of God waxing and waning a bit. Yet the kingdom of God is doing just fine after 2,000 years since Jesus gave it its start. What began with twelve unlikely fishermen from Galilee has spread around the world to hundreds of millions today who have joyfully surrendered to God’s rule—and it shows no signs of abating.
So don’t get discouraged, my friend. You may not be able to see the seed growing, but it is—and it will. You may never see the end result, but that does not diminish the seed’s potential. Just keep planting that seed wherever you can. Water the soil—in your own life, in your family, your circle of influence and at your church. Keep the weeds pulled—it is a constant battle because the Enemy keeps sneaking into the field to sow tares.
Just stay faithful to the kingdom, don’t lose heart and never give up. You have a stake in something that is truly, indescribably amazing—and the full results of its growth will not be known until the other side of eternity.
Yes, the grain will finally ripen!
“The seed once sown grows…of itself, from its own impulse and power of life….The self-inherent power of growth of the kingdom of God.” ~Rudolph Stier
What If God Took Over?
Recommit your life to the kingdom of God today—especially if you have become discouraged by its lack of growth in your own life or its waning vitality in your church or some other circle of concern—by praying this prayer: “Heavenly Father, may your kingdom come, may your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever! Amen.”