HOW TO BE WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO BE
I originally wrote this sermon in 1978. It is based on Matthew 13:31-32.
Basically the sermon deals with a question the disciples are concerned
with, "Jesus, how can we find meaning, joy, happiness, and calm
serenity in our lives?"
It is in response to this question that he shares the parable. "The
Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted
in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it
grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that
the birds of the air come and perch in its branches."
The mood of the timing is one of discouragement. A few sick people have
been healed but actually Nothing Seems to be Happening. Many times our
lives are like that, getting through one day at a time, nothing
happening worth mentioning.
Also, the disciples were discouraged because they had left their fishing
business to follow this itinerant preacher. "I'll make you fishermen
of men," he said. So financially the fishing business was dying, the
boats rusting in the harbor, the big fisherman (Peter) along with the
rest anxious, without results.
"You sure made a bad trade, Peter," says his friends. And for us it
is similar. This Christianity is not always a big joy ride, miracles
after miracles, life changing events, and peoples lives turned around.
Sometimes it is just difficult to get out of bed, especially in our line
of work. Deaths, illness, deadlines, and too much happening in our jobs
that leaves us little energy. We are not always on the mountaintop.
Two notes are worth looking at:
David Brainerd was a missionary to the Indians. He grew discouraged and
said, "My circumstances are such, that I have no comfort of any kind.
I have little appearance of success to comfort me. I can do nothing to
any good purpose. The Indians hat me because I preach to them…….and
he adds that the greatest difficulty of all is that, "God hides his
face from me."
2. Then there is Frank Laubach, a missionary to the
Philippines, who wrote in 1930 that he realized he was failing as a
It is in response to this nothing happening problem that Jesus says,
"Start Where You Are, Plant a tiny seed." In other words start where
you are with what you have. We all have gifts. Are we using them? The
smile that changes the reflection on another's face. The comforting
word that comes from our mouth. Helping another. Look at your gifts and
start where you are.
Secondly Jesus says, "Wait Patiently." You mean the tree doesn't
grow over night? How many of us have planted a garden and watch everyday
to see when it would bare fruit?
Daniel prayed for deliverance from Lions and from hopelessness and
finally God says, "From the first day thy words have been heard. But
the prince of darkness withstood me for 21 days, but finally Michael
came to help." Be patient. Wait for the fruit.
And the results of the waiting.
David Brainerd writes: "They were praying and crying for mercy in
every part of the house. I never saw any day like it."
And Frank Laubach, the failing missionary, helped 60 million people
learn to read and write in 209 different languages and wrote a popular
book on prayer.
And the Apostle Peter, the errant fisherman, preached a sermon and
thousands of people were converted to the Lord.
So, be a mustard seed. Start where you are and Wait Patiently. The day
will come when the tree will be filled with birds and leaves and people
whose lives you have touched.
Remember: Be a mustard seed.