Growth in the Kingdom of God

(Mark 4:26-29)

Jesus tells us in this section what growth in the kingdom of God is like. He says it is like someone sowing a seed which then germinates, sprouts and grows until it reaches matureity and is harvested. How this occurs nobody knows for the process of growth and life of a seed or plant is done by the hand of God.

sowerIt is the same for a person who comes into the kingdom of God. First they hear the word of God and a seed is planted in their mind. For many this is a recognition that there is something missing in their life or that there is something more that their life could be. Look at the rich young man who came to Jesus as described in Matthew 19:16-22. Although he had the wealth of this world and he kept the law of God, he recognised there was something still lacking from his life. Jesus told him that if he were to be perfect he must put no faith in his wealth, sell what he had and give alms to the poor and come follow Jesus. The rich young man could not do this and went away sorrowful for his wealth was more important to him at that time in his life.

Then like a seed in the ground, the seed of the word of God takes root in a persons life. It germinates and begins to grow in the person. It will change a person’s life if it is allowed to continue to grow until the person reaches maturity in the Lord.

We see that as a seed grows into a plant it bears fruit. Likewise when the seed of the word of God grows in a person it too bears fruit. This spiritual fruit is seen in Galatians 5:22-23, “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” As we grow and mature in Christ, these attitudes grow within us so that we can stand in the face of opposition and fight the spiritual war that rages around us. We will no longer be the slaves of the passions and desires of human nature, but in Jesus Christ we learn how to overcome eveil, sin and desire to live lives in the freedom that comes from God.

How this happens is a mystery, just as how a seed puts forth shoots, a blade, a plant and bears fruit is still a mystery. Sure we understand the mechanics of plant growth. We know that to grow a plant needs minerals, nutrients, water and sunlight, but what causes the changes to take place remains a mystery. It is the same with people. The work of transformation that occurs within a person when they come to the Lord is the work of the Holy Spirit as we see in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” What the Spirit does and how he causes the changes to take place are a mystery for they are the work of God. But as we see the changes in a plant, so too we see the changes in a person as they grow in the Lord. ANd this is not the doing of the person but is the work of God.

And in due course we shall come to the harvest just as the seed or fruit is harvested by a farmer. When that time comes we shall enter into the Kingdom of God to live with him into eternity.

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