Mark 4:30-34: Don’t judge by appearances.

“30 Again he said, ‘What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.’  33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.”NIV UK

Don’t judge by appearances. Just because a Christian work is small this does not mean it is insignificant. If it is truly Christian, it has life and growth latent within it. Watch this space, as they say!

The Kingdom of God on earth in Jesus had infinitesimally small beginnings. Christ was born in obscurity. One of his twelve disciples betrayed Him. Although He had a wider circle of followers, the majority of people rejected Him and He was crucified (Isaiah 53:3).Yet the Kingdom has filled the earth and ‘’…the birds of the air…perch in its shade’’ (34). This is believed to be a reference to the nations of the world coming into it. Within just a few decades of the death and resurrection of Jesus, the church had spread to every part of the then known world. The tiniest of seeds became the biggest of garden plants. It’s growth was miraculous and spectacular.

So, don’t despise the day of small things. A great, effective missionary was described as ‘a man small enough for God to use.’

Also, if you find yourself part of a small church, perhaps in a remote setting, do not allow yourself (yourselves even) to become parochial. Lift up your eyes on the fields. Cultivate a world vision if you don’t have one; nurture and feed the global outlook if you do. The birds of the air are still looking for branches to perch in; so spiritual ornithology should be a matter of great interest and concern to us.

PRAYER: Again Lord, help us to live on a world map. Thank you, too, for the encouragement that though our work may be small, it is not irrelevant or powerless