Thursday, 08 April 2021
“But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day” – Proverbs 4:18 NKJV
Some of my fave subjects in the Bible are those that describe the kingdom of God like the parables of the sower and the growing seed. The latter can be found in Mark chapter four from verse twenty-six. I like these parables because at face value they seem simple enough yet they are very deep. From the twenty-sixth to the twenty-eighth verse of Mark chapter four the Word says, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crop by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head.” One of the key truths here that we can all appreciate is that growth and fruitfulness in this Kingdom are inevitable. Success and prosperity are built-in in the kingdom of God. The seed which is the word of God grows and prospers in a disciple of Jesus Christ. This is mightily witnessed by John 15:8, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, so you will be My disciples.” One of the unique traits of His disciples is fruitfulness, prosperity, or success in their divine life and assignment.
Apostle John was not amiss in his prayer for his beloved Gaius, which has since become very popular among believers, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers,” 3 John 1:2. But sadly the verses that follow this prayer don’t enjoy the same popularity status, in fact, they are barely known. Verse three, “For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth.” Beloved Gaius had the Word abiding in him and the concomitant lifestyle. The Word produced a Word life in him. Now, this is the reason for the famed prayer of the elder for Gaius. Regrettably, the Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians have the unenviable knack for picking out a text leaving the context intact. Inevitably this leads to misunderstanding, misapplication, distortion, or error.
Our main text depicts an unstoppable progressive growth of a believer who pays attention to and lives by the Word, which is the seed of the kingdom of God. “It is the least of all seeds, but when (not if) it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches,” Mathew 13:32. Please note parentheses are mine. There’s much to be said here, yet little time. Every truly born-again believer grows and becomes fruitful by virtue of the Word in them. A believer is the righteous that keeps shining (burning) brighter like the sun unto the perfect day. Yay! Jesus promises Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven for him (and us) to reign in life. But the key that enables all the keys is the Word, the seed of the kingdom of God. In Mark 11:23 (obviously my supreme fave) the Word is the key that unlocks faith to move a mountain. Beloved, we’ve been handed the keys, let us now grow in the Word to discover, to unlock, and to enable.
Why do we not see the same results of God’s word with all believers? There’s definitely no generic answer for this. However, it could be partly not allowing the Word access into our hearts and lives as we should. Again the things of GOD work in concert. For example, the Word, prayer, fasting, Spirit gifts such as prophecy, speaking in tongues, etc. Overemphasis of or overreliance on any of these compromises purpose and result. We certainly cannot overemphasize the Word over prayer or vice versa. Why? Because the things of GOD operate in concert. Albeit, the Word is seminal, it opens us up to the rest of the kingdom of God and what it has for a believer. 1 Peter 2:2, “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.” If the Word you’re receiving is adulterated or contaminated – not pure – you cannot grow in the kingdom of God as you ought. This is why many Christians suffer from stunted growth. They cannot rightly divide or discern the Word as a consequence they fall prey to manipulation, control, abuse, and extortion. They are easy and willing victims of heresy and cunning. Like sheep before their shearers!
Our main text depicts an unstoppable progressive growth of a believer who pays attention to and lives by the Word, which is the seed of the kingdom of God