Lord, I want to understand the things of your kingdom. I need your Spirit’s help and wisdom to hear aright.
Read Mark 4:21-34
 He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand?  For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.  If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”  “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you-and even more.  Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”  He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.  Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.  All by itself the soil produces grain-first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.  As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”  Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it?  It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth.  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.”  With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand.  He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat secrets is Jesus revealing?
Jesus again underlines the importance of understanding the kingdom of God (23,24) and its secrets (26,30,33). And the secret is that the kingdom has come in the person of Jesus; this is the lamp of verse 21 which shines through Jesus’ followers as a light to the world. The light of the kingdom is meant to be an “open secret”, radiating out from those of us to whom it has been revealed. It’s not meant to be hidden, any more than a lamp is meant to be covered up. What does this say to you about the brightness of your own light? Jesus then gives a solemn warning about the possibility of a “wrong hearing” (24,25), wanting his listeners to understand as much as possible (33). But he points to the tension between the “now” and the “not yet” of the kingdom by describing the kingdom first as like seeds growing to be harvested (28,29) and then as something small which will one day be all-encompassing (30–32). Might he be engaging people’s attention with fascinating stories, so that they will want to hear and know more, until eventually their faith in him enables them to accept him as the secret of the kingdom?
Plant a seed and it grow with and let it teach you lessons about God and his kingdom.
Jesus, I choose to follow You with abandon because You gave Yourself with abandon.
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