The mystery of growth
Mark 4:26-32; BCBC/IOUC; 5/16/2021; Rev. Paul Wang
Once we believe in God, we are facing a confusion： Why do we need to grow up? Growing, means life changing. Life changing, means to change habits. Changing habit, means suffering and paying the price unwillingly. Paul said： What a wretched man I am! Are you also pitiful? Let’s see the first point:
Confusion of growth
Do you know where the confusion point is in growth? How is the confusion? Why do we feel uneasy when we face confusion? First, scattering seed means to let go of authority. Once a person is born, he will face unease left from the first ancestor， right？ Satan said when you eat the fruit your eyes will be opened, the outcome is mankind has fallen. Adam could not understand what happened even till he died, how has he fallen? The essence is the issue of authority, agree？ God’s brightness, Satan’s brightness, and Adam’s brightness, who is the bright one? Obidence is God’s brightness， rebellion is Satan’s brightness, the old nature is Adam’s brightness， whose brightness do you choose? this is the new creation who is saved needs to make a choice，then what is your choice?
Next, sprouting in your sleep. The seed sprouts is what you cannot see， why？ Because God sets the time of sprout while you are sleeping, agree？ Usually we notice seed sprouts the next day when we wake up, right? Anyway, it won’t let you see the sprouting moment. For most of us， this may make us feel so frustrated. Why？ Because we are “out of control”, right？ Mankind originated from Adam’s “desire for control” is the second reason for us to feel puzzled, do you understand? When we are at work, we expect to control the employer’s decision. When we are dating, we expect to dominate our lover’s affection. When we raise children, we expect to control our children’s study grades, applying for school、 scholarship, student grants, etc.
Lastly, growing in your ignorance. What’s even worse is that “out of control” usually brings insomnia, right？ Insomnia usually brings dementia, no energy and heart to do anything, do you agree？ When a person has insomnia, will he still care about others’ growth? Ignorance is a sin defined by God, it is also the helplessness to face in life growth. I don’t want to be ignorant, but I just cannot help not to be ignorant, have you ever experienced it？ Then with the confusion, one still needs to face the responsibility he needs to bear in his life. It’s better to
shout: ”I don’t want to stay alive.” which may come more joyously! Will it? Judas who betrayed Jesus was like this. He followed Jesus due to his enthusiasm, he betrayed the Lord also due to the same reason. In Judas’ heart, he also experienced the mindset of ignorance and helplessness, all because of his confusion. Let’s see the second point:
The process of growth
Growth needs a process, which is the order set by God in His creation. Do you still remember, when God created the world, there was morning, and there was evening. He set the order of growth. First, first the stalk, then the head. Maybe very few of us think this way: How come it must be first the stalk, then the head, right？ What if the head grows out first， is it okay? No? Why not? The head grows in the air first, then the stalk slowly grows from the ground and connects with the head. Don’t people say, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”? How come it does not work when it comes to me? Is this fair to me? Don’t you feel so familiar about this? The story of the Garden of Eden tells us that Satan wants to alter the order God put in the first ancestor’s heart. God already set “ first the stalk, then the head”， why can’t you obey, and with the mindset to admire God’s amazing work to praise Him, thank Him and enjoy Him? Once we choose Satan, we ignore God’s grace, and lose the feeling of God, right?
Second, full kernel in the head. This is the same reason! Without the head， how can you get the kernel？ Not even mention the full kernel, right？ If we cannot have a humble and obedient heart to God, then we can easily have our own reason in everything, will it? The bible says to believe then to get baptized , but he insists on getting baptized first, then to believe in God, and always wants to be different from others. The bible says the outcome after faith and baptism must be joining the church, but he just always keeps a distance with the church, and just does not want to commit. Do you know that， God will also ask you: Do you truly believe in God? Whoever has the Son has life， and with abundant life， Is your spiritual life abundant? is your kernel full? May I ask further： Has your head grown?
Lastly, All by itself the soil produces grain. Each time when spring comes back， and everything comes back to life， have you thought about the reason？Why? Why does the soil produce grain naturally? You scatter seed on the ground， then the ground owes to you， and should work for you to grow crops？ What is nature？ We would talk about nature, but we do not understand what nature is, right? Nature is a law established in God’s creation. Before the creation, the earth was formless and empty, right？ God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear. God said, “Let
the land produce plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it according to their various kinds.” And it was so. Also, God says, If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. The words are from God，do you believe it？ Without faith it is impossible to please God, why do you still worry？ Let’s see the third point：
The effect of growth
After talking about confusion and the process, now let’s look at the effect. How do you define effect? What do you look at? The number of people, lively enough, and prestigious， will it? Today’s verse gives us a totally different effect to measure. First, the crops are ripe for harvest. After Jesus met with the Samaritan woman by the well, He said to the disciples, “They are ripe for harvest.（John 4:35）”！ This standard is very important, turning from subjectivity to God’s view. I did not use the word “objectivity”， because under God’s view, there is no position for objectivity. Whether the grain is ripe, is determined by God， not by the mankind。 Please note the details in the verse， viewing objectively， it is still 4 months until harvest. However， Jesus is the Lord， Christ is the creator of heaven and earth. When He said it is ripe, then it is ripe. With the same reason, Jesus came from Bethany， to the holy temple， He was hungry on the road， and looked for fruit under a fig tree。 The outcome is: there was no fruit on the tree. Are you reasonable?
Second, you must go to harvest. Go to harvest, is the command issued by God. Jesus’ reason is very simple: ”As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it.” John says：“They are ripe for harvest”， he even adds color in origin, they are white already to harvest. 。In Palestine, where the crops can be planted, Jordan Valley maybe the only area. Looking down from the top, when the hot sun shines on the golden paddy, it will emit a white light. Sickle is a powerful tool to harvest crops. Sharing the gospel also needs a complete discipleship training. I encourage brothers and sisters to actively participate in discipleship training, don’t be hesitant anymore!
Finally, the time is up. God says the time is up, why？ Just because He is the Creator of time, any problem? Often we said, Jesus has His time, and that is what it means. When God’s time was fulfilled, Heavenly Father sent the Holy Son Christ to come to the world by Words and become a man, He sacrificed His life on the cross, resurrected and ascended. One of the purposes for Him to come is to harvest the crops of the gospel. Jesus says, 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. (John 4:36)” Actually, the people belong to Him have harvested for more
than two thousand years. From the viewpoint of the gospel been spread, it has been almost spread, maybe Moslem is the area which still has a big gap. Of course, for God’s children, the principle of sharing the gospel is to preach God’s words at any time. be prepared in season and out of season, always save some people.
The Bible’s view of growth may have some distance from our perception, right？ From the beginning of growth， knowing our confusion， understanding the process of growth, and seeing the effect of it.