(Today’s post by Tim David)
It only takes one little sprig of Poa Annua to ruin an entire yard of sod. Most of you who live in the South know what I’m talking about. Last year I had an infestation and it ended up ruining an entire year of growth. So this lawn killer starts out innocent enough – nothing too major, until you get a lawn guy out who knows what you’re looking at. I had no idea the destruction and frustration I was about to face as a result of this little weed. Eventually it almost completely decimated my backyard (completely sodded) and significantly thinned out my front yard. It didn’t take but 3 months for this weed to take root beyond my sight.
Unfortunately, this is a great example of what will happen in our churches if we don’t start paying attention. Jesus is giving us the warning 2000 years in advance…”Wake up! Quit sleeping!” It’s happening right now and we kinda’ know it, but don’t think it’s really going to affect us. We are, after all, the American church. Our nation was founded on Christian principles and that seems to be enough for most of us, right? We are proud of our buildings, our programs, and the few charities we contribute to. God has blessed us immensely, and so it’s just going to continue. We’ve been lulled into a sleepy state, content for now with our lives and comfortable churches. Maybe you try to do something here and there, and then again, you might not even care just as long as you have a church to come to when you want to!
These three parables have a common thread – it only takes a little of something to affect the whole mass.
- The Tares – the tares represent “Look Alike” Christians, who aren’t really believers, who Satan has put in among us (yep right in your air-conditioned, padded seat, great programmed church) to choke the rest of us out! In verse 25, Jesus correctly identifies our state of action as sleeping. Jesus gives us the promise that when the time comes, He will make sure to separate us out – but how much stronger could we have been if weren’t asleep?
- The Mustard Seed – The mustard seed is small, insignificant, but has the potential to be a great tree. All it takes is one…one person to make the decision to allow God to work…one church to make a stand in a world of compromise…one congregation to be so committed to Christ that an entire community can’t help but see their difference! But then again, if there’s not that “one,” than how will God’s work continue?
- The Leaven – The leaven is active…it is an agent of change. The power that resides in each of us Christians is so powerful that world can’t even imagine. But then again, that means giving the leaven the proper opportunity to sustain its life. What God can do through you is incredible, but you have to be the conduit. There is no one in the world with the opportunity you represent if you will allow God to work through you.
The point of these short stories is to give the disciples a clue as to what kind of power they are going to have after Jesus is gone. The kingdom of heaven is such a powerful idea you can’t even imagine how quick we can take this world back for Christ. With just one person completely sold out and open to God’s use, God can globally eradicate ignorance to His person and work. Back to my first example – in order to get my grass to start growing again I had to use a powerful herbicide that also ended up killing off good grass. After time and attention we finally got the good yard we had always had. Thinking back, it would have been a lot easier to just prepare yard properly in the first place.
Are we prepared to be the “one” who Christ can use?