On Sunday we heard a hugely counter-cultural truth from James: trials are good for us.…
Here is a passage full of encouragement when Jesus’ manifesto for kingdom growth from 4:1-20 – scattering the word on all different types of soil – might seem weak or ineffective. Jesus’ three parables in 4:21-34 have three exciting and comforting lessons for us on kingdom growth.
1. When we’re looking at our own growth and maybe feeling discouraged, Jesus says to use a big measure when we listen to him. He gives that with a wonderfully exciting promise: that even more will be added to the one who does this. (4:21-25)
2. When we’re looking at our evangelism and not seeing results, we take comfort that it’s God’s job – not ours – to give the growth to the seeds we scatter, like a farmer waiting for his seed to grow. (4:26-29)
3. When we’re tempted to despair at the state of our cities, or nations, or world, we cling to the promise of huge growth from humble beginnings – as we’ve seen over 2000 years of church history – like a tiny mustard seed into a great tree. (4:30-34)