The Kingdom of God, Part 7: The Kingdom of God Starts as a Seed
I would like to welcome everyone to the next video in this series on the kingdom of God. I would also like to welcome everyone from the fighting against anxiety and depression group as well as the addiction group. I would like to thank Pastor Dion and his wife Sylvia for asking me to be a guest speaker here at Refreshing Hope.
Recording these videos has been such a great experience for me. God has allowed me to see how all of this has worked in my life. For those who have been following these videos, God not only delivered me from years of drug addiction, but He also allowed me to be set free of anxiety and depression. I believe that, because of what God had to work with in me, the process of Him making all these changes in me has taken a long time. Hopefully, with those who will put these teachings into practice, it will not take you as long. For those who have not seen all the videos, Dion and Sylvia have made them available on their website. I really do believe they will help each and every one of you.
In my last video, I talked about this moving into the kingdom of God as a process. That has been my experience, but it is also very scriptural. The Bible talks of moving into the kingdom like the planting of a seed. For those who have ever raised a garden, you know that with most garden plants, they start out as a seed. The Bible says the same thing about sowing this kingdom in our lives.
In Luke 13:18-21 Jesus says; So He was saying, “What is the kingdom of God like, and to what shall I compare it? “It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and threw into his own garden; and it grew and became a tree, and THE BIRDS OF THE AIR NESTED IN ITS BRANCHES.” And again He said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? “It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”
I am not much of a cook, but I do know enough about baking bread with yeast in it, one has to let it rise first, before baking it. I do know about raising a garden, I have sown seeds in the ground, kept the weeds out until the plant grows up. In my experience, all one needs is soil, fertilizer, and rain. Once the seed is planted in the ground and gets a little rain, it will grow. In the book of Mark 4:26-28 Jesus said; So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
The kingdom is the same way; I am planting seeds with the teaching of this message. I talked in an earlier video about how Jesus taught many things from parables.
The Bible tells us in Luke 8:4-15; When a large crowd was coming together, and those from the various cities were journeying to Him, He spoke by way of a parable: “The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled underfoot and the birds of the air ate it up. “Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. “Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. “Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” His disciples began questioning Him as to what this parable meant. And He said, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that SEEING THEY MAY NOT SEE, AND HEARING THEY MAY NOT UNDERSTAND. “Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. “Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. “Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. “The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. “But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.
The Apostle Paul also understood the idea of sowing seed. In his first letter to the Corinthians there was talk of some following Apollos and some following Paul. The Apostle explains this in 1Corinthians 3:5-9; What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. The Apostle Paul was very careful to explain that God is the one who causes the growth, not man.
You see, this kingdom of God is being sown into everyone listening’s heart. My job is to tell you what the Bible says along with my own experiences in life. I can tell everyone that this peace can be yours; you have to decide what kind of ground you want to be. Remember the Apostle Paul said in Romans 14:17; For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. All one has to do is allow this seed into your hearts, and let the Holy Spirit convict you when you are not doing God’s will; confess the sin and be forgiven. 1 John 1:9 says; If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Do you see that as God cleanses us from unrighteousness, righteousness will be produced? As righteousness grows in your life, peace will follow. As peace develops in your life, joy will be the result and the kingdom of God will be produced in your life.
Please understand, I did not choose the name, Kingdom of God. The Bible that I use did. The term kingdom of God is used in every translation of the Bible into English. There are so many who say the kingdom is not yet here. The Bible says in Luke 17:20&21; Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” The kingdom is here, it just cannot be seen like The United States can. Why God chose to have it this way can only be understood by Him.
I am fully aware that my teaching makes all this seem so simple. That by far is not my experience. I cannot describe how many times the Holy Spirit would convict me and I had no idea of why. I just knew that I was feeling convicted. I would just think about the things I had just done, confess them and ask for forgiveness. After a while through the process of elimination, and asking God to help me understand, I would get it right. I had so much of the world in my life, and the things I thought where not how God thinks.
I had spent almost 20 years chasing and using drugs to cover up how I felt on the inside. The strange thing is, I thought that was normal. Somehow, I could not see how I was wrecking my life. No one wanted to be around me unless there were drugs involved. The people who were not drug users stayed as far away as possible.
When God gave me the chance to change, He did not tell me how. After going through the Drug Rehabilitation Center that only lasted 28 days, they sent me back into society. They did introduce me to the 12 step programs and sort of described how they worked. That was not much to work with. Here I am, I knew no one, except a few people who were willing to help me with the program. I somehow knew that if I went around the people, whom I had known earlier, it would not take long to start using drugs again.
Believe me when I say this has not been an easy journey. Applying the Traditions of the program and working through the 12 steps took a lot of time. It would be almost 5 years before I listened to the tape on Matthew 6:33. There had been many changes in my life by that point, but God was just getting started. I believe that God was just seeing if I was serious about changing. As time goes on and there is any interest, I will reveal some more of this journey.
Thank you all for your time, I will be in the chat room for a while to answer questions and to pray for those who would like. My name is Jim Jarrell, and I will see you next time!Read more at: www.refreshinghope.org