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How Does the Seed Grow (Mark4:26-34) by Rev. Youngjae Jee

posted Jun 29, 2015, 10:33 AM by Bowmansville UMC

How did you come to believe in God?  How did you come to believe in Jesus Christ?  Who brought you to the church at the first time of your life?  It must be at a certain circumstance and through somebody else that the seed of the Gospel was scattered on you.  In my case it was my mother who took me to the church at the first time.

Did the seed sprout immediately?  In my case, no, it took a while for the seed to spring up.  I wonder why it took so long.  Jesus said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like.  A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. .”(Mark 4:26-27)  The seed was scattered on us.  Why do some sprout, grow up, and bear fruits well but others not?

There is a story about Naaman who was commander of the army of the king of Aram in the time of Elisha.  He was a successful man, but had leprosy.  When he visited Elisha, Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleaned.” (2 Kings 5:10)  But Naaman went away angry.  He said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy.” (2 Kings 5:11)  God’s grace is given but Naaman turned that down because it was given not in a way he thought.  He might have thought, “Why Jordan?”  “Why seven times?” “Why in the world this way?”

Do you think God’s grace is given to you?  Is God’s grace given to you in a way that fits your thought?  Maybe not!  If you are still being persist in your way and at the same time complaining the lack of grace from God in your life you may think again about the way the grace is given.  It is from God anyway.  Why do we think that it should fit our way instead of God’s way?

Naaman’s servants said to him, “If the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it?”  Then Naaman changed his heart and went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy. (2 King 5:14)  Naaman finally realized that the grace of God, even if it is given before him, can be taken by him only when he followed the God’s way.

The seed was scattered on all of us.  This is the seed of grace.  Well, does it grow in a way you wish?  Does it bear fruits you desire it to bear?  No it grows by God and as God intends.  It bears fruits God desire to have.  Paul said, “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (1 Cor. 3:7) 

    I asked my mom how she feels when she saw her children grown up and having their own children.  She said, “By the grace of God only!”   Grace is given to all of us, but only those who surrender to God’s way will see fruits of grace in their lives.           

Some people are blind sometimes.  They don’t see grace as grace.  They take pride in themselves when things go well, but they become angry and anxious when things do not go as they wish.  When someone else fixes your dinner out of love you may be thankful for what you are given, but instead you may complain about it, saying, for example, that chicken is cold or it is too dry or whatever else.

If you are able to see God’s grace as God’s grace then you may be thankful for what is given even if you don’t like what is given to you.  Signs of grace being received are thankfulness and peace in your mind.  Paul had a thorn in his flesh and he pleaded three times with God to take it away, but God’s answer was, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor.12:9)    I know many of you have been going through something you don’t like.   Are you angry complaining about what is given to you?  Paul said, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)  I hope that all of us are in this peace and thankfulness too. 

Paul considered himself as the least of the apostles, but he can be great because of the grace of God. “For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.  But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them -- yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1Cor. 15:9-10)  Likewise Jesus said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it?  It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground.  Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.” (Mark 4:30-32)

I am among the least of all men.  I am among the weakest list.  However, I am doing the great ministry and I know that it is by the grace of God.  I am who I am by the grace of God.  We may be weak but we are strong by the grace of God.  We may be small but we are great by the grace of God.  Life starts with grace and ends with grace but it is up to us to receive it as grace.  Only those who take grace as grace will grow and bear endless fruits by the grace of God.  I pray that we all find and enjoy the grace of God given to our lives. May the grace of Jesus Christ be with you!  Amen.