Tuesday, June 19, 2012

“Unimpressive, Insignificant…BUT don’t be Fooled” (Mark 4:30-32).

S-1323 3SAP/3B 6/17/12 Hymns: (O) #261; (S) #46; (C) #52

Text: Ezekiel 17:22-24; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Mark 4:26-36

Theme: “Unimpressive, Insignificant…BUT don’t be Fooled” (Mark 4:30-32).

Question: Armour, SD. Father’s Day

Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! The text is from the Gospel lesson: “And He said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 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’” (Mark 4:30-32).

Oh most loved children of the heavenly Father, you have a most gracious Father who loves you and desires to bless you in more ways than you can think of. Your heavenly Father is the One who sent His Son, Jesus Christ to speak to us about the Kingdom of God and its mighty power.

In Today’s text, the Savior compares the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed. At first glance it appears to be unimpressive, insignificant, but don’t let its size diminish its power or influence on your life and how this Kingdom works.

Consider this: Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues is the shortest man to ever play in the NBA. Despite being only 5’3”, he used his height to his advantage by becoming known as a player who was a great passer, ball-stealer, and definitely one of the fastest on the court. His career was set in stone on June 22, 1988 when he was signed to play for the Charlotte Hornets as a point guard. He played for them for 10 years.

Consider the penny please. By most people it is no big deal, but just a measly penny. But did you know if you put a penny away and double the value of that every day, that at the end of 30 days you would have $10,737,418.24. It doesn’t seem possible but it is true.

Consider Elijah, in the book of 1 Kings, Elijah confronts the prophets of Baal’s and kills them. Then he asks the Lord to send rain. He sent his servant 7 times to check on the clouds. The seventh time, the servant said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” (1 Kings 18-19).

Muggsy Bogues, appeared to be unimpressive and insignificant against the taller players, but don’t be fooled by his size. The penny appears to have no power at all compare to the other larger denominations, and most people wouldn’t even pick it up. It is nothing unless you save it. And that little cloud over Mt. Carmel, at first glance didn’t appear a threat at all, but it brought rain for 3 days that the chariots got stuck in the mud.

In the kingdom of God that which seems unimpressive, insignificant becomes mighty in power. In this text, Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed, which to the human eye appears to be no big deal. But in God’s hand it is mighty and powerful. Therefore, don’t be fooled by what you don’t see, God our loving Father can bring about amazing results.

When God is involved, something small and unimpressive can be transformed into something great and significant. Consider the Word of God and how He uses it. In the beginning of Creation, God spoke saying: “Let there be light,” and there was! That mighty Word may seem unimpressive, insignificant but don’t be fooled.

We wonder sometimes how come the Word doesn’t have any effect on the lives of people. It is because we can’t see what God sees. When the Word is planted it brings forth abundant fruit. We know that because Scripture says so, “My Word will not come back to me empty, but will accomplish the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11). The Word of God brings comfort and consolations to our hearts. The Word of God is sharper than any double edged sword; the Word of God changes lives one soul at a time. And that mighty Word is what the Savior is speaking about in this text. We just sang our sermon hymn: “On what has now been sown They blessing, Lord, bestow; The pow’r is Thine alone to make it spring and grow” (TLH #46 v. 1). Abundant fruit, similar to the mustard seed that grows up to 10 feet in height.

He is comparing this to the Kingdom of God, where all of the birds of the air come and perch on its branches. This is none-other than the Lord’s Church, where He gathers all peoples from every color, from every tribe and from every tongue and nation. He brings them in to be with Him and dwell with Him forever.

That Word may appear unimportant, unimpressive, insignificant, but don’t be fooled. That Word is the most important thing that you and I have. And it is that Word which will give us comfort when things go haywire. It gives us hope when there is hopelessness. It is gives light when there is darkness and it gives us life when there is death. PAUSE.

That is the Word that we need to cling unto. Perhaps you read this before: “The person who has his Bible all tattered and torn up, has his life put together!” Did you know that during the Russian Revolution when Communist took over, they changed churches into gyms and swimming pools? They attempted to burn and confiscate every Bible from the hands of the Christians. But do you know what the faithful saints did? “They would take a book of the Bible and shred it into separate verses and pass these out to the members to study and memorize. And when they learned these verse they would exchange it with another verse. They clung to these verses as the most precious gift they had. 70 years later, when Communism fell, there were Christians coming out of the woodwork. How, Why? Because that Word was alive in their hearts; that Word was at work in their hearts; and because people put all of their trust in the living Word.

Faithful children of the heavenly Father don’t let satan rob you of the precious Word. Don’t let your sinful thoughts take away that which is precious in your sight. Don’t let the Word make fun of you because you believe that Word. That Word is what changes you for the better. For if we lose the Word, we have nothing.

The most important thing that we can have is God’s mighty, powerful, Living Word. When that Word is sown in our hearts, it will bring forth abundant fruit. God uses us as unimpressive as we are, as insignificant as we are, to be tools in His hands. Let me affirm this thought to you. You may not be famous, rich or well known, you may not be part of the Elite Hollywood crowd, a CEO of a big company or great heart surgeon? BUT don’t let that fool you; YOU are special in every essence of the word. You are God’s own Child and you have God as your heavenly Father.

In His teachings Jesus declares to us what we so desperately need to hear. He opened His mouth to state that we are His. We are special. That God loves you. That God forgives you. That God atones for you through the death of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. When you cling to that Word, you begin by the power of the Holy Spirit to grasp that what might and power is revealed in that Word.

God uses the unordinary, unimpressive, the mundane, the simple, the quiet, and the insignificant to make it powerful, impressive, extraordinary and significant. In the Kingdom of God, the last will be first, those who appear in the darkness, are in the light; those who think they have their lives put together, concentrating only on worldly pleasures and treasures will lose it all. But those who have Christ have everything; because that Word is Christ in us. PAUSE.

That Word is living and active in our hearts, changing us and calling us to faith. Consider what to the world appears mundane and unimpressive. Go back to Golgotha and look to the cross upon which Christ was crucified. To those who passed by it, it appears to be nothing, but another tree cut down to hang a criminal. But don’t let those thoughts fool you. That Cross held God’s holy Son. Upon that Cross the sins of the whole world were carried. On that Cross Christ gave His ALL for YOU. Through that Cross life and forgiveness and peace and salvation was procured. Don’t let that simple piece of WOOD appear to be nothing. It is the most important gift from God to us sinners.

Consider this little place here (pointing to the Font) simple water—unimpressive in its power, insignificant to many, but don’t be fooled. This water connected to the Word—gives power and changes us from sinners to saints. Consider the gifts on the Altar as we gather around wafer and wine, to the human eye and thought they appear to be unimpressive, insignificant but this no ordinary wafer or wine; this is God’s mighty POWER—His body, His blood shed and given for the forgiveness of your SINS.

But what about you? You may appear unimpressive, insignificant to the world, but don’t be fooled. God is living in you. God is using you to welcome others to this house, His Kingdom where there is comfort and shade under its wings. In this place God uses you to be His missionaries, His evangelists, His Gospel bearers and light torches. This is what God does for you.

And for you Father’s you may seem unimpressive, insignificant. But the one great thing that you can give to your children is not the inheritance of land, and property or the treasures in the bank account; but give them God’s mighty Word. Share with them what God has done for you and continues to do for you.

Many men are so consumed on building their earthly treasures to leave an estate to their families. Wonderful! Do that, but don’t stop short of giving the most important thing—filling your children with the Spiritual truth, so that they might see in you God the Father who loves you and desires to bless you and sent His Son, Jesus Christ to be Your Savior.

Fellow travelers on the journey to eternity, to the world our church is unimpressive, insignificant, but don’t be fooled. Where God’s Word is, there is life and Salvation. When the Word is used, there is healing, hope and there is happiness and heaven. That Word is the mustard seed planted in your hearts so that all the birds of the air can come and build their nests in its branches.

May the Lord, the Word of the Living God dwell in you richly and use you as you share the love of Jesus with those around you. So that they too, may know without a doubt they are loved by our heavenly Father. Amen.

Now the peace…


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