Some people like mustard and some don’t. But would it surprise you to know that mustard, as a condiment, goes back thousands of years?
However, whether or not you are a connoisseur of it’s varied spicy delights, understanding something of the source ingredient will aid you in the development of a healthy life as you journey the fruitful paths of God’s Kingdom.
Matthew 13:31,“Another parable he put before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field; 13.32 it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
It’s not about big beginnings
Large size churches, and mega ministries shape our opinions of success. And frankly, many of them are doing wonderful work. But, we are a “biggest bang for the buck” measurement society in the West, and we can easily use what appears to be successful by society standards and get discouraged if it doesn’t seem you are “measuring up.”
The best antidote I’ve found to the comparison temptation is to examine Kingdom qualities described in the Word of God.
Jesus said, that which has Kingdom impact can be compared to a mustard seed. He emphasizes the fact that it starts small but the end result is immensely larger than its beginnings by comparison.
Not only churches and ministries
Whatever we do in life must not be divided into sacred/secular. Too many see things that way, but that’s not a bible concept. It crept into the mentality of the church, but there is no evidence that God marks that kind of division in life. In Him it’s ALL spiritual.
So, as we look at our “callings” and “productivity” in life, we use the same standards as if we were thinking church or ministry matters. Most people are not called to be “the professionals.”
In fact, I’m not sure any are, really. Even looking at the supposed “ministry gifts” I think we may well need to do some re-assessing in how we describe and define them.
Daily life seeds are vital
“The little things are the big things.” That’s a phrase I always use when I officiate weddings. The “little ideas and actions” that seem so small as to be insignificant may be the very seeds that ultimately have the greatest impact in the long run.
Mustard plants are prone to take over
Just by their nature, a mustard plant will “seek” to spread it’s branches and leaves. When I was growing up, we had something in our yard that my dad was always fighting. It was called “creeping charlie.” If he wasn’t keeping watch, it would take over the whole yard and ruin the good grass.
That’s the negative side of the comparison. But, there’s a positive take on this.
The Kingdom of God is not made of wimpy stuff. Give it a chance and it will “take over.” The devil would like you to think that you are the wimpy one that he can stuff out any time he decides. Not true…unless you believe it is.
Stick with Kingdom decisions. I said Kingdom decisions. I didn’t say Dogma Decisions. Doctrines are good things. They come from a systematic approach to the teachings of the scriptures. Dogma is opinon about what the scriptures teach. There’s nothing wrong with opinions. They are like belly buttons. We all have them. We simply need to give them only the amount of weight they actually should have.
I personally believe that we need to be regularly visiting our doctrines and see if they’ve become dogmas and adjust their weight accordingly.
Don’t be intimidated or discouraged with the small stuff
The small stuff becomes big stuff. So, make sure your small stuff carries the Kingdom Seal of Approval. Then, if it does, be faithful to it and watch God grow it in a way that is most significant to Him.
How are you doing with your “small stuff?” Be encouraged that mustard seeds have huge power and potential. Sew them in confidence. And…
Practice being as excited over the “little things” as you are the things that seem bigger and more important or successful. God measures by His standards, not Western Culture’s business mindset.