Media Sunday Worship Service

Sunday Worship Service

Shine Jesus Shine

Mark 4:21 – 34

 

Proposition:  God shines through as we spend time with the Lord, as we are taught by His Spirit and as we obey Him out of love. 

Application:  Know the Lord. Be taught of Him.  Obey Him out of love. And bear much fruit so that Jesus might shine through our words and works.   

Introduction

One Sunday as they drove from church a little girl turned to her mother and said, “Mommy, there’s something about the preacher’s message this morning that I don’t understand.” The mother said, “Oh? What it is?” The little girl replied, “Well, he said that God is bigger than we are.  He said God is so big He could hold the world in His hand. Is that true?”  The mother replied, “Yes, honey, that’s true.” “But mommy, he also said that when we believe in Jesus as our Saviour God comes to live inside us. Is that true, too?” Again, the mother assured her daughter that what the pastor said was true. With a puzzled look on her face the little girl then asked, “If God is bigger than us and He lives in us, Wouldn’t He show through?” 

God showing through is the subject of today’s message. We will explore steps we can take so we do not hinder God from showing through. What we will learn, is that God shows through us, as we spend time with Him; as we are taught by His Spirit; as we obey Him out of love and bear much fruit. 

  1. Conceal/Reveal (4:21 – 25)

The Light We Reveal (4:21, 22):  Here the lamp is brought in.  The light comes into the house.  The light refers to Jesus.  He enters our heart as the light of the world.

Read John 8:12 

Jesus comes into our lives, to bring to light what is unseen; to expose the sin we hide; and reveal the truth we need. Just as seed is meant to be scattered, light is intended to shine. Jesus is the light, we are the lampstand.  We are to shine His light well.  We shine the Light of the Lord Jesus, through our works and through our words. But two things hinder our witness for the Lord Jesus: a basket and a bed.

The Basket: How absurd it is to turn on a light then obscure it.  The purpose of light is to reveal not conceal. We want to promote light not prevent it from shining.  But this dark world does not want the light of Jesus to shine.  People want us to keep Jesus to ourselves.

Illustration: For instance, many may claim Scripture contains hate speech and therefore seek to ban the Bible from public discourse. It reminds me of the song, “This little light of mine, I am going to let it shine. Hide it under a bushel? No!”  Even if the world does not want to see the Light, it is a grave sin to hide the Light of Christ from a sin darkened world. 

The basket is a symbol of being ashamed of shining the Light.  Perhaps we do not feel good enough to be a witness for the Lord.  Maybe we feel inadequate to share the Gospel.  Perhaps we are afraid of what others might think when we talk about Jesus. But the Gospel is life changing therefore we need not be ashamed of the Gospel message.

Read Rom 1:16

Transition:  Two things hinder our witness for the Lord: a basket and a bed.  A basket is a symbol of being ashamed of Jesus.  A bed is a symbol of comfort, leisure, and sleep.

The Bed: Sometimes we are stuck in the comforts of this world and unwilling to deny self for the sake of the Gospel. Maybe we too concerned with the pursuit of pleasure and have no time for spiritual matters.  Or perhaps, we are unaware of the dreadful fate of the unsaved and thus passive, when it comes to sharing the Gospel. A bed is a symbol of idleness in regard sharing the good news.

Read Eph 5:13, 14

Beware of the basket.  Beware of the bed.  They obscure the light of the Lord Jesus.  Our duty is reveal the Light of the Lord not conceal it.  We do this through our words and our works, through our lips and our lives.  Not only are we to shine His light well, we are to hear His Word well.

Hear the Light through His Word (4:23 – 25):  We need to be careful how we hear. There are some things we should not listen to. We can either listen to seeds of truth or to weeds of deceit.  We hear well by opening our minds to truth and closing our ears to error.  But truth is not always easy to hear.  Sometimes truth hurts.  Because truth might require we change our way of thinking and our way of living.

Read 2 Tim 4:3, 4

These “Christians” grew tired of hearing truth, so they turned to sweet sounding falsehoods.  Although we must always be attuned to the Word of God, we need to be aware that His Word is not always easy to hear.  But our growth in the Lord Jesus, and our service for Him, depends on hearing well. The degree of effort we put into hearing the Word of God, governs the degree of blessing we derive from the Word of God.  The blessing we derive exceeds the effort we apply.  If we neglect to pursue truth, even the little truth we have will be lost.

Illustration:  We have likely heard the term muscle atrophy. This refers to a wasting or thinning of muscle mass. It is often caused by disuse of our muscles.  But when we work the muscle, the atrophy can be reversed. In the same way, as we re-commit to seeking the truth of God’s Word what was lost will be regained and then some.

Transition:  As we put effort into hearing the Word of God and doing the works of God, the Light of Christ shines through.   Having described how to hear well, Jesus now describes how the kingdom works.  The way things work in nature, is a picture of how things function in the kingdom. 

  1. Insignificant Start/Influential End (4:26 – 32)

The Effort We Apply (4:26, 27):  Plants begin small but over time they grow large.  In like fashion, the kingdom of God may have an insignificant start, but will have an influential end. The kingdom of God is not the church.  The church is an expression of the kingdom of God, but the church does not include all of the kingdom. Or said in another way, the church is a sufficient expression of the kingdom of God. but not an exhaustive expression of the kingdom of God.

Jesus said, the kingdom of God is like a man.  Who is the man? Some believe the man is Jesus and we are the seed.  Others believe the man refers to believers and the seed is the Word of God.  This view aligns with the parable at the start of the chapter, which Enoch spoke on last week. 

When it comes to the power of the Gospel, the only effort we apply is to share it.  That is all we need to do.  We share the Gospel through our words and our works; we share the Gospel, with our lips and our lives.  We do the obedience and God does the outcome.  We plant the seed of the Gospel in a person’s life then wait patiently for God to bring about the growth.  Our job is to plant well.  God’s job is to give the increase.

Read 1 Cor 3:6, 7

Transition:  The secret of growth is in the seed.  It does not depend on whether we know how the seed germinates.

The Growth God Brings (4:28, 29): The seed is the Word of God.  The soil is the heart of the person hearing the Word.  And the Word of God grows by the Spirit of God.  Once the Gospel is shared, the Spirit of God works in the heart of the hearer causing the Gospel to have an effect in a person’s heart.

Read Rom 10:17

For someone to hear, a believer must be sent to share the Gospel.  When a person hears the Gospel, the Spirit uses the message, to convict of sin unto repentance.  The Spirit uses the message, to convince the hearer of their need for righteousness unto faith in Christ Jesus. The Spirit uses the message, to compel the hearer to call on the Lord for salvation.

Read Rom 10:13 – 15

We sow seed and God brings about a harvest. The harvest is the mass of humanity who believed in the Gospel.  The time of the harvest refers to the end of the age, when the Lord returns in judgement to set up His kingdom reign.

Read Matt 13:24 – 30.

Transition: The way things work in nature, is a picture of how things work in the kingdom.  The message of the parable is that we sow the seed of the Gospel, and God causes the Gospel to grow in influence. The point of the next parable is that an insignificant start has an influential end.  To highlight this truth, Jesus used the example of a mustard seed.

An Expanding Faith (4:30 – 32):  A mustard seed is the size of a grain of sand.  It is not the smallest of all seeds, but in Jesus day it was the smallest seed planted in Israel. This small seed grows into a plant that can stand over 3 meters tall.  Small beginnings are not doomed to insignificance.

Illustration:  Jesus started with 12 men. 50 days after His resurrection the church grew to 3000.  2000 years later, Christianity has become the largest religion in the world.  Small beginnings are not doomed to insignificance.

What about the birds in this parable?  The birds at the start of this chapter denote the evil one (4:4, 15).  In Scripture birds are a symbol of evil. This suggests that as the gospel grows in global influence, as the Jesus movement expands, we can expect evil to find shelter under the influence of the church. Among the wheat there will be weeds.  Where truth is, deceit will find shelter. Lies are always couched in truth.   Satan has his allies, hidden among the saints.  His program is to limit the growth of the Gospel.

Transition:  We are to be good hearers of the Word of God. We are to share the Gospel and leave the results to the Lord.  We do the obedience, God does the outcome. The more we heed the Word of God the brighter the light of Jesus shines through.  Though small at first our influence for the Lord, will grow far out of proportion to its beginnings.  How do we become good hearers of the Word of God?

III. Ignorance to Insight (4:33 – 34)

Be Disciples (4:33, 34):  A disciple knows the Lord Jesus in personal relationship, learns from the Lord through His Word and obeys Him out of love.  As disciples we have certain privileges.  One privilege is we have a personal tutor teaching us Truth.  As disciples of the Lord Jesus the Holy Spirit instructs us in the Scriptures.  There is an understanding of the Word of God that can only come about as the Spirit instructs us.

Read John 14:26

Transition: How do we become good hearers of the Word? Be taught of the Lord. Then spend time with Him.

Spend time with Him:

Read Isa 50:4

As we spend time with the Lord, as we are taught by His Spirit, we will bear much fruit.

Bear Much Fruit:

Read John 15:1 – 5

Notice the sequence - Bear fruit (15:2a); bear more fruit (15:2b); bear much fruit (15:5). 

Let’s compare John 15 with Mark 4:20.

Read 4:20

Bear fruit – 30-fold; bear more fruit – 60-fold; bear much fruit – 100-fold.

Spend time with the Lord. Let His Spirit teach you from His Word. Obey Him out of love, and go bear much fruit for the Lord as you let Him shine through your words and your works.

Shine Jesus Shine
Mark 4:21 34
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Spiritual Crop Failure
Mark 4:1-20
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Surviving the Pressure of Persecution
Mark 3:20-35
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Christ Among The Crowds
Mark 3:1-19
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Feasting, Fasting and Fault-Finding
Mark 2:13-28
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When Jesus Is In The House
Mark 2:1-12
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Follow The Plan
Mark 1:29-45
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Fishers of Men
Mark 1:14-28
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The Good News Begins
Mark 1:1 13
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