The LORD is moving. In OPEN USA, we are seeing people who are seeing good reason to do things differently, and want to join our network overseas to learn and contribute to the movement.
In Mark 4:26-29, the Kingdom of God is compared to a man scattering seeds on the ground (4:26). The man is clearly not God in this parable because he sleeps and rises and lives out his days while the seed sprouts and grows into a full ear of grain (4:27).
Jesus says very clearly that the earth brings forth the grain by itself (4:28, Greek: automatos – bet you can’t guess what that word means!). Jesus doesn’t even say God causes the growth: He created the earth to do this and is comfortable giving the earth the credit under God’s sovereignty. Like a king who conquered in the Old Testament (when the physical work was done by the army and not the king), the biblical concept of authority allowed for the earth to get credit while acknowledging that its Creator is sovereign over all processes He created.
When the Kingdom is fully grown, it will be harvested. I believe Jesus’ meaning is that He is at work around us without our knowing exactly what He is doing, yet we are certainly involved in the process. We plant, and He grows—it’s a partnership. Paul agrees with this from 1 Corinthians 3:6-9:
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
Yet, when the fullness of the Kingdom has been brought forth, the harvest will come and with it—a massive feast and celebration.
Jesus could also be referring to Himself as the grain that gets harvested. For us to enjoy the harvest, something had to die (the grain). He has put even into nature the concept of dying to bring life. Let us rejoice in His death and resurrection that brings us fullness of life forevermore!
As the advent season and the current year come to a close, I hope some of you will begin to think about using your God-given skills to bless the nations and be part of the Genesis 12:1-3 fulfillment. As you have been blessed, so you may now be a blessing to those who have not heard about the gracious King who is restoring His Kingdom to fullness on earth and who is inviting them in. Would you join us?
Greg is the President of OPEN USA. He used his education to work as a tentmaker in the Middle East for 8.5 years seeking to plant a church amongst a least-reached people group. Currently back in the USA with his wife and children, they aim to return to finish what the LORD used them to start.
To learn more about B4T, read Business for Transformation by Patrick Lai.