Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mark 4:26-34 The Parables of the Kingdom Seeds

KEY TEXT: Mark 4:26, 31-32 And he said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground… It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade." 

KEY THOT: Jesus uses many parables about seeds to teach kingdom concepts. One that is very well known is the parable of the sower. There he explains that the “seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11). When we further research the rest of the NT, especially Acts, the “word of God” was usually directed outwardly in evangelism, rather for edification: “And the word of God continued to increase, and er of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7); “But the word of God increased and multiplied” (Acts 12:24). That’s how the seed grows and becomes a harvest—when it is sown among the lost to save them. 

The seed is the Gospel of the Kingdom. It is as Paul asserts: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Rom 1:16). As one writer puts it, the gospel is not the “ABC” of Christianity but the “A-Z” of Christianity. Every teaching for edification flows from the gospel of the Kingdom. While the entry point of the gospel of the kingdom is “Christ died for our sins” (1 Cor. 15:3), it’s not just about getting people "saved" from hell to heaven but saved from our self-centred sinful lifestyle to live a new life under the rule of God with Christ as King and Holy Spirit as the sustaining life principle and power. Jesus took 40 days to explain the kingdom to the disciples before His ascension (Acts 1:3): so we can be sure it is a massive subject. When we preach the kingdom, pre-believers will be evangelized and believers will be edified: “So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily” (Acts 16:5).

As a teacher and preacher of God’s word, I can kill two birds with one stone when I sow seed of the kingdom: in other words, I can teach and preach to strengthen believers and save unbelievers at the same time with the Gospel of the Kingdom. And that’s what Alpha is all about. That’s why I love Alpha! 

For the sake of the Gospel of the Kingdom, “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings” (1 Cor 9:22-23). Whether in my preaching, teaching or training, my focus will always be missional—proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom whose major themes range the entire Bible from Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Glorification. It’s possible to preach the whole Bible as the Gospel (Good News) of the Kingdom. I engage in missional preaching and teaching to energize God's people and evangelize the lost. 

May the Lord grant me strength to continue to do this for many more years to come! No retirement for me, for there is still so much to be done in getting the gospel of the kingdom out there—whether by person, through online blogs or social media, I must continue to sow daily. I cannot tell who and where the life of the seed will germinate: but that’s not my worry—it’s God’s! Of course, I expect Satan will raise his detractors and objectors, but that’s not my battle but the Lord’s! Hallelujah.

Father, thank You that Your word is life and I know that as long as I faithfully sow it on the right soils, it will germinate into a plant and the plant will grow into a giant tree, providing shades for many others. Thank You Lord for the privilege. Amen.

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