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The Kingdom of God Is Growing (2 of 4)
In Mark 4, Jesus tells a series of parables about the kingdom of God. Three of the parables center around seeds and one is about a lamp. All four parables give us a picture of what the people in the kingdom of God are supposed to be doing. So Jesus is teaching and explaining to a crowd of people what is involved in living in the kingdom of God and how the kingdom of God grows larger.
Here is a diagram that begins with the universe, the world and the kingdom of God. We would see that the kingdom of God is expanding and growing. The central figure in the Kingdom of God is Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. As the central figure of the Kingdom of God, Jesus is mobilizing his people to be a part of the growth process, equipping and enabling them to work in the Kingdom, for his glory.
These parables in Mark 4 help us understand what we are supposed to be doing in the kingdom, specifically how we are to receive and relate to the Word, who is Jesus.
1. We are to cultivate a receptive HEART so the Word can grow inside of us.
The Bible tells us quite clearly that the heart of a person is what influences his behavior.
Luke 6:45, ''out of the abundance of a man's heart his mouth speaks.'
When you lash out at a person in anger, that is an external behavior coming from an internal heart problem. It is the anger that resides in your heart, for whatever reason, that causes you to speak unkindly or mistreat someone.
Our words, actions and thoughts are simply the fruit of the condition of our hearts. Because we are naturally sinful, our hearts are naturally hard.
Jesus makes this crystal clear to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:25-28
25 ''Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, t ...
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