August 26, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship
Jesus continues to teach the crowds around the Sea of Galilee in parables. Describing the Kingdom of God in parables to keep those who are only looking for the miracle man in the dark, but providing illumination for those who are seeking the truth, Jesus continues to place the emphasis of His ministry on teaching. Join us this Sunday as we look at Mark 4 verses 21 to 41 and listen to Jesus’ “Sermons by the Sea”.
Word On Worship – August 26, 2012 Download / Print
And He was saying to them, “A lamp is not brought to be put under a basket, is it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put on the lampstand? “For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
God rarely makes headlines in the world today. But is that really surprising? His gentle touches seem inconsequential to humanity because God works silently and in ways human eyes overlook. The parables by the sea bring the hidden Kingdom of God into full view — for those who have the faith to see it. All parables of Jesus require faith, which can only be given by God, before we see God’s purposes are being fulfilled; even when there appears to be no empirical evidence to be gathered, quantified or measured.
The world tells us the only certain things are death and taxes. Jesus tells us in the parables God’s Kingdom is certainly at work in ways we do not know and accomplish His purpose in a manner that is beyond human formulation. From our finite perspective, we are ignorant of God’s grand design even when we are in the midst of it. In the eye of the world, how can the imprisonment of the Apostle Paul be a good thing? Yet God uses the imprisonment of Paul to advance the gospel so the entire palace guard heard the good news of Jesus Christ while Paul inspired others through his epistles to preach the gospel even more boldly! God draws straight lines using what seems, from our perspective, to be crocked lines.
God’s purpose is revealed in the cross, a road of suffering, which leads us to the resurrection. Yet many remain blind to God’s plan of redemption. Those who look for certified proof see the cross as foolishness. But the weakness and apparent foolishness of God is transformed into the power of God to bring future triumph in the reign of Jesus Christ. It takes faith on our part to take such a step, to risk trusting your whole life to something that lies hidden, like a seed in the soil.
Often God’s children suffer from spiritual myopia because we lack the spiritual vision to see what God is doing in the soil. We cannot see next week, much less all eternity, and so become impatient waiting for God’s purpose to bear fruit. The parables illustrate the purpose of God and when we sow God’s seed, it will accomplish His purpose. We may not harvest the crop, but it was never our crop to harvest to begin with. It is and will always be God’s harvest. The gospel must be preached to all nations, disciples must face suffering, and judgment continues to rest on Jerusalem as we wait for our Lord’s coming- in God’s time.