Friday, December 4, 2009

12/5/09 Mark 4:26-34 The size of the kingdom

(Yoido Full Gospel Church- largest church in the world)
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

Mark 4:26-34

26 He also said, "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come." 30 Again he said, "What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade." 33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.
Calvin abridged: By these parables Christ encourages his disciples not to be discouraged or to turn back because of the small beginnings of the Gospel. Many unbelievers despise and ridicule the Gospel because the ministers who preach it are of low rank or reputation. This leads ewak minds to despair of the Gospel’s success. The kingdom of God is compared to a small mustard seed or to leaven- which though small spreads its influence. We need to think on the boundless and incalculable power of God, which created everything out of nothing, and every day raises up things that do not exist (1 Cor. 1:28). Leaven sometimes is taken as a bad thing (Mt. 16:11; 1 Cor. 5:6) but not here.
Thoughts: Jesus explains a lot about the kingdom of God here. First the kingdom of God starts small and grows large- as Abraham was a beginning in the Old Testament. Jesus is a beginning in the New Testament. The kingdom grows even when we are not active in making it grow. Perhaps a lesson should be learned to not be so consumed with the size of the Church. I have heard some 1,000 member churches brag on their size, but compared to some 10,000 member churches that is nothing. In Korea they have 20,000 member churches and even a 830,000 member church. Size is a proud thing. The kingdom of God does not care about being small or big, but cares about reaching souls. So we should be more careful about our faithfulness, than about how big or small we are.

Prayer: Lord, may the nugget of your kingdom grow in me, into a large kingdom.

Don;t forget the Justin Pepper Toy Drive this morning 8:00- 12:00 at LMPC gym.

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