From Small Things

26 08 2013

Better late than never! After a busy weekend, have finally got round to typing up my Sunday sermon notes.

My notes normally start with lines that have struck me from the songs we’ve sung, then go through what we’ve heard in the sermon, and then anything from the final song, so I thought I may as well keep that up here. There’s bits missing from the sermons to, I just write down the bits that strike me. All it really is is a collection of thoughts I’m sharing just incase they help others!

“I’m so unworthy, but still You love me”

“All my sins are now forgiven
and my life is hidden
saved through Jesus Christ”

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness
I dare not trust my feeble frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name”

Matthew 13 vv 31-33The parables of the mustard seed and the yeast

In those days, the word “Kingdom” was associated more with power and glamour, the rule of the Roman Empire. People hearing the stories about farming would maybe find that hard to understand.

The parable of the mustard seed

A mustard seed is about a millimetre in diameter, barely visible. It’s hard to believe that that speck can grow to a bush 6-12ft high – so large that birds shelter under it’s branches!

Sometimes we can see things as mediocre mustard seeds, but this parable teaches us to view things through the eyes of faith.

Jesus was the ultimate mustard seed. The son of a carpenter, He died on a wooden cross, saved for the worst of criminals, He was buried in a borrowed tomb, not at all impressive.

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” – 1 Corinthians 1 v 25

What began in Israel breaks out into the whole world, the Kingdom is growing every time someone decides to make Jesus Lord and King of their life. He died and rose again to bring us into His Kingdom.

We’re heading towards Revelation 7 vv 9-10: “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’” A multitude – all tribe and tongue – not dissimilar to an afternoon in Westfields shopping centre?! But praising God!

The parable of the yeast

This is how the Kingdom grows.

The effects of yeast are massively disproportionate to it’s size. The effect Christian individuals and groups can have when they infiltrate society.

The yeast itself is hidden inside. The Holy Spirit is transforming us from within.

Rodney Start, in “The triumph of Christianity” argues that Christianity grew because of the way it cared for people, both within and outside of the church. He even cites pagan sources that complain about the good reputation Christians were gaining!

One of the greatest periods of social improvement cam through Christians in the late 18th and the whole 19th century. The abolition of the slave trade, improvements in education and also workers rights, for which the first fighters were Methodist preachers!

We need to be communities of yeast working quietly and effectively in our towns and cities. We should not underestimate our influence as Christians.

A little years and a small seed can go a long, long way. We just need to leave the results to God.

God works with the small, weak, unimpressive things. His power is made perfect in our weakness.

“We will not be crushed, Your hope will strengthen us”

“Through our lives, by Your Grace, may we overflow with Jesus”

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