HS WEEK #19: Dependent on God

On Wednesday night Executive Pastor Dave Williams taught on the parables of Jesus in Mark 4. Dave shared on how the gospel transforms people to be Christ-centered people. Dave shared three characteristics of Christ-centered people; they know that God didn’t give you the Gospel just for you, they have learned to wait dependently on God, proclaim the Gospel confidently.

 

Mark 4:21-34

21 And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? 22 For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. 25 For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

26 And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. 28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

30 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. 34 He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.

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The first point which is in each of the three parables is that we should be sharing

  • The Gospel

 

  • –  There are three characteristics of Christ-centered people that I want to share:
  • –  First Characteristic of Christ-Centered people: They know that God didn’t give you the Gospel just for you.
  • –  Look at verse 21: ““Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand?
  • –  Essentially he is asking was the purpose of the Gospel to simply save you and then be tucked away? No, that is not why you have lamps.
  • –  Think about it. A lamp, especially in those days, was the primary source of light. It provided a sense of safety and security when you heard things creaking around the house. It revealed the the objects you could stumble over on your way to your bed.
  • –  You wouldn’t hide it. You would put it in the place in the house to maximize it’s usefulness.
  • –  Matt. 5:14–16 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
  • –  Think about what the Gospel does to us personally. It provides safety and security. However it also reveals truth in our lives as well. The first big truth of the Gospel is that we are sinners. The second is that God can save us from that Sin. Only the Gospel could show us that.
  • –  The Gospel convicts our hearts of the sin in our lives but also warms our hearts by revealing the truth about how much we are loved by Him. The Gospel does that. That is why it’s good news.
  • –  Now as light-bearers or Gospel-bearers we are to do the same for others. Weprovide safety and security for those around us. We speak truth—even if it is unpopular—about the world around us that brings about conviction but reconciliation.

 

  • –  Look at verse 22, “22 For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light.”
  • –  See everything is going to come to the light it is just a matter of time. Why not it be now? Why not share the truth so others can respond to Christ before it’s too late?Vs 26-29
  • –  26 And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. 28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
  • –  Second Characteristic of Christ-Centered people: They have learned to wait dependently on God.
  • –  See we are responsible to share the Gospel, no question about that but we are not also responsible to save the ones we share to.
  • –  Look at the development we see here. A man scatters seed—the evangelist—he then goes to sleep. Not worried if he was planting in good soil or bad, not making sure that the conditions were perfect when he planted, he just scattered seed. The seed grows, not by his knowledge, efforts, or abilities. The seed just grows.
  • –  The earth begins to produce by itself. Slowly and steady the seed grows until it is ripe for harvest and then the man acts again and harvests the plant.
  • –  That is what we do. We share the Gospel early and often knowing that God is working when we don’t. Knowing that seeds are planted and are growing even if I don’t see it.
  • –  That is true in your life. That is true in others as well.
  • –  Keep planting.
  • –  See I think the problem at times is we mistake what our responsibilities are and what are the Lord’s.

 

  • –  I think we flip the roles often times in our lives. See he is the one that plants and goes to bed and we are the ones that are working. So instead of being dependent on Christ we act as if he is dependent on us.
  • –  So the roles changed and we stop spreading the Gospel to ourselves and the world and spend too much time worrying and stressing about life.
  • –  We need to learn to wait dependently on God.Vs 30-34
  • –  30 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
  • –  33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. 34 He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.

 

  • –  Third Characteristic of Christ-Centered people: Proclaim the Gospel confidently.
  • –  Imagine being one of the disciples hearing this. They are being asked to preach about a savior that hadn’t died and rose again yet. About a kingdom that no-one has seen. And a God that loved them enough to die for them to a people that think they don’t need dying for.
  • –  30 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it?
  • –  These were humble beginnings.
  • –  It was a mustard seed.
  • –  A small seed. But one of great significance when planted in great soil.
  • –  See at first glance we see that it starts out small but in time it becomes a great plant that puts out large branches that rare a blessing to the birds around them.

 

  • –  But it is much more. First Mustard plants grow fast. Within 60 days they produce seeds. They will actually self-sow. Which means that farmer does not need to continue planting seeds once he gets a few of these plants established. And each plant that is planted in good soil now is producing more seeds that are carried off into the wind to be planted in other soil but producing other plants around itself.
  • –  It’s leaves are edible and it’s flowers attracts birds to nest in them. Because of it’s ability to not only self-sow but reproduce so quickly it is used as a cover crop by farmers to regenerate the soil on their farms.
  • –  Are you getting the picture?
  • –  See we were that soil in the parable of the farmer. God planted the Gospel in each of you. Because of that we should be producing seeds. We should be sowing around us. We should be a blessing to the world. That is the characteristic of a Christian.
  • –  The farmer is Jesus, he came down once to die so that we may live. And have live more abundantly.
  • –  Now with that in mind listen to these words that I skipped over: 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. 25 For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
  • –  If we are that good soil. We should be producing. We should be sharing, and the more you share the more will be added until you. It quickly multiplies. Think about that. The more you share the Gospel the more clearly you are gong to understand it, appreciate it, and grateful for it.
  • –  If you don’t believe in Jesus he has this warning for you in verse 25. 25 For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
  • –  Without Christ we stay soil. Sure things may grow their but not Mustard seeds. If you refuse Christ then sadly in the end what was yours will be taken away too. It is sad to me and I wish it on know one. So it is my responsibility to share the Gospel and let my light shine,
  • –  33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. 34 He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.

 

  • –  He spoke to everyone in parables but to his followers he explained the meaning. Again reinforcing the fact that God does the revealing, the saving, the changing. Not men.
  • –  Sometimes you are going to share the Gospel and people wont respond the right way. Why, because to them it doesn’t make sense. Keep sharing.
  • –  For those of us here tonight that can understand the Gospel I want to you to understand that it is because Christ is in you. The same Christ that explained it to the disciples has explained it to you. How comforting!-

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