Just a Seed – June 21, 2024

[Jesus] 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.”
Mark 4:26-32

Just a Seed

Family Devotion – June 21, 2024

Devotion based on Mark 4:26-32

See series: Devotions

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Can you describe the miracle of how a seed works? No matter which way you place it in the ground, the roots will grow down, and the plant will grow up. All of the life, fruit, and flowers you find on any plant, no matter how big or small, all started from one little seed. Cut open an apple and examine the seed that is so tiny. Then, imagine all the goodness that will come from that one little seed when it becomes a tree. The most experienced farmer cannot completely explain how this can be. It is a miraculous cycle—the seed to the plant. It began in the Garden of Eden when God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it” (Genesis 1:11).

So it makes sense in Mark chapter 4 when God uses this miraculous cycle to explain the power of the gospel and the kingdom of heaven. Just as we cannot explain how all that goodness can come from one little seed, it’s amazing how the gates of heaven are opened to young and old, wise and simple, strong and weak, simply through the preaching of the gospel!

A three-year-old and a wise hero of faith understand this gospel truth the same—Jesus died for their sins, and heaven is theirs. This gospel, whether spoken by a gifted preacher, a stuttering teen, or from the mouth of a tiny child—its power remains the same. The power to crack open cold hearts of stone and give them life in Jesus. All of the gifts this life in Jesus has to offer—like peace that surpasses understanding, purpose in this life, a Savior-brother who gave his life for ours, and finally, a home with him in heaven—it all lies in the power of the gospel—the good news of Jesus, our Savior.

Each spring, the farmer plants the seeds, believing that, in the fall, there will be a harvest. Just as the farmer plants the seed, God tells us to ‘plant’ the gospel. And just as the farmer believes there will be a harvest, we believe the Word will do its work. Just as tiny seeds grow into amazing, beautiful, life-giving plants—when the gospel is preached, the kingdom of heaven grows. You can count on it!

Closing Prayer:

Dear God, we thank you for the powerful message of the gospel. Help us spread this gospel to everyone with faith that the Word will do its work. Amen.

The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.

Questions for Younger Children

  • In ten seconds, name as many fruits as you can. Ready, set, go!
  • In ten seconds, name as many good things that come from knowing Jesus. Ready, set, go!

Questions for Elementary Age Children

  • What gives a little seed the power to grow into a plant?
  • What do you need to grow faith?

Questions for Middle School and Above

  • True or False: A newly baptized baby and the pastor of your church have exactly the same faith.
  • In Matthew 28:19, God tells us to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. How do we ‘make disciples’?

 

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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