This is the audio and outline from the September 5, 2021 sermon, “The Kingdom of GOD”, shared by Tom Lemler at the North Wayne Mennonite Church.
Text: Mark 4:26-34
While Jesus lived on earth He had much to say about the kingdom of His Father. As I read through the gospels, I find Jesus talking about the kingdom of God in not only a future tense, but also in the soon to arrive and even in the present tense. Part of the reason for this is the eternal nature of God’s kingdom — no beginning and no end. But it also comes from God’s desire that we would understand what it looks like to live as a kingdom citizen, and that we would begin living that way now rather than it simply be something we hope to attain to someday when this life is over. In Mark chapter four, we find Jesus telling a couple parables about the kingdom of God and in doing so He defines His kingdom as a kingdom of . . .
- Growth. Mark 4:27, Colossians 1:6
- Seeds are planted in the ground with one primary expectation and that is the expectation of growth. The seeds planted by God’s Word and the life, teachings, and sacrifice of Jesus are the seeds of the kingdom that God has designed for growth. When we recognize the kingdom of God as a kingdom of growth, we ought to be more deliberate about seeking out that which helps our faith to grow and to share the good news that helps others become a part of the kingdom through a relationship with Jesus.
- Obedience. Mark 4:28, 1 John 3:24
- Jesus says that the seed planted in the ground grows and produces a harvest whether anyone is watching or not simply because it is being obedient to its design. Scripture teaches us that while our obedience isn’t what gains us a place in the kingdom of God, it is a common trait of all those who belong to His kingdom. When we recognize the kingdom of God as a kingdom of obedience, we seek God’s help in taking every through captive and making it obedient to Christ so that our actions would follow with the same level of obedience.
- Destination. Mark 4:32, Philippians 3:12-14
- In the parables, Jesus talks about a seed growing and producing a plant that was large enough for the birds of the air to come and perch among its branches. Paul would write about our need to press on to a heavenward prize, knowing that an eternal destination awaited that had room for all who would respond by faith to Jesus. When we recognize the kingdom of God as a kingdom of destination, we learn to live as kingdom citizens who are on a journey home and we live a life that shares the good news of a destination that has room for everyone.
How will you live as a kingdom citizen today?
Are there changes you need to make to better live in a kingdom of Growth, Obedience, and Destination?