Transformed – teen devotion – June 16, 2024

One truth shared: The kingdom grows when the seed is sown. The Word works.

The Parable of the Growing Seed
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.”

The Parable of the Mustard Seed
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 4:26-34

Trust the Word

How do you measure progress? Or success? And how do you achieve them? In American culture, progress and success are largely measured by outward results, and the path to achieving progress and success is directly related to the amount of effort one puts in.

Think about it:

  • Sports are measured by wins or championships and success depends heavily on the efforts of the players and coaches.
  • School is measured by grades and test scores, and success is largely driven by how much studying a person does.
  • Companies are driven by profits and revenue and success or failure is directly related to the efforts of the employees and management.

It’s easy to take those same ideas and mistakenly apply them to the kingdom of God – that kingdom progress means more people sitting in church, that if we’re doing a good job sharing the gospel then we’ll see more and more people coming to faith in Jesus right before our very eyes. Based on these ideas we’ll likely feel like our efforts are insignificant and failing, we’ll get discouraged, and we’ll possibly even stop trying to make disciples of others as Jesus commanded us.

Perhaps that’s why Jesus told two short parables about sharing the gospel. He often taught in parables – earthly stories with a spiritual meaning.

In both parables Jesus encourages us to simply share the seed (the gospel or good news of Jesus) with others and trust in God’s promises.
What are God’s promises when we do that? The first parable promises that the power to convert another person to faith is not in us, or in our efforts, but in the gospel itself. Faith will sprout and grow even though we don’t know how. By nature, all people, including you and me, are corrupt and sinful and we reject the grace of God, but God’s Word overcomes our unbelief and brings us to faith.

The second parable reminds us not to judge the growth of God’s kingdom by initial outward appearances or results. God promises that he will grow seemingly small and insignificant beginnings into something greater than we’d ever imagine!

Therefore go, and share God’s Word with comfort and confidence, trusting that the Word will do the work, and leaving the results in the hands of your almighty God.

Prayer:Lord of the Harvest, it’s such a human thing to take credit for success. Forgive me when I do that. Give me confidence, not in myself, but in the power of your Word. Help me share Jesus with someone new this week. Amen.

Teen Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
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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