“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.” Mark 4.26-29
Here we have the beginning of a few parables where Jesus makes the statement – “This is what the kingdom of God is like.” This is significant. But who was asking the question? Jesus is guiding the conversation. He is steering it towards what we need to be thinking about. And Jesus, in this parable, wants us to begin to think about the Kingdom of God.
And so he says, “This is what the Kingdom of God is like….” Jesus tells the story about the man scattering seed, and how the seed sprouts and grows regardless of whether the man gets up or sleeps in. Yet the man is uncertain of how this happens. Because all by itself, the soil produces the fruit. Jesus details this — “first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.” And once the growing is done, then the man comes back and reaps the harvest.
Today I am in South Africa. The Lord has brought me here to explore a new ministry called One Child in Zimbabwe which engages in child sponsorship for food, clothing, health, and education. This ministry reaches tens of thousands of children in poverty who without One Child (https://onechild.org/) many thousands of children in Africa and beyond would not receive the life giving support they need to survive, be healthy or have an education.
I mention this because it’s a great example of a ministry in which seeds are sown and God produces a harvest. The harvest is the physical and spiritual health of children in an impoverished nation. The care isn’t for their bodies alone but for their souls that they might know the life-giving love of the Lord Jesus.
All of us are called to be agents of change of the Gospel. Regardless of our roles, we are called to scatter seed and see the impact of the seed scattering even when all we do is the initial planting. Someone else might come along and nurture the ministry but it’s ultimately God who produces the harvest. The fact that he allows us to help reap this harvest is rewarding in it’s own right.
Today as I am in this fertile ground of gospel ministry, I will begin to ask the Lord to give me eyes to see what he is doing all around me in this place for the people he loves and created by his grace and for his glory.
“O Lord God, after a beautiful run this morning and time in your Word, I know you are guiding me this day. Renewing my mind, body and soul, and bringing clarity of vision and refreshment upon my soul. Come now, Holy Spirit, and guide my steps. Speak to my mind. Impress your vision and Word upon my heart. Help me be the person you have called me to be so that I might join you in your work. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen